- 8 -

 

INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE

 

LESSON 8

 

GERBER AND BLACKWOOD CONVENTIONS

 

        Both Conventions are Ace‑asking conventions which are used when it be desirous of asking for the number of Aces held by partner when there is a presumption of a possible or evident Small or Grand Slam Contract.  These Conventions should not be used when the would-be invoking partner has either a worthless doubleton, or a void.   Under such circumstances the knowledge of the number of Aces held by partner may be useless.  Cue‑bids are the constructive alternative under these conditions in order to ascertain which specific Aces the partnership holds, not the number they hold.

 

The Gerber Convention:  ‑ A “4C” artificial bid asking partner how many Aces he/she holds.

     Responses:  (All artificial)

1.      “4D”    =   none (0) or four (4) Aces

2.      “4H”    =   one (1) Ace

3.      “4S”     =   two (2) Aces

4.       “4NT” =   three (3) Aces

                                                              Considerations    

 1. Recognition as to its use is by partnership understanding.. The easiest understood as being

     conventional when used exclusively over a beginning or ending No Trump bid. Other

     partnership understandings are available however.

 2. The asking for Kings can be either "5‑Clubs" or else by the next available suit (exclusive of the 

     agreed‑upon suit)  Again this is by partnership agreement.   Responses are then similarly 

     sequential.

3. The escape mechanism into a No Trump contract is achieved by a direct bid of the cheapest   

     NT bid by the Gerber invoking partner.

4. Responses when holding a void or when there is interference need be discussed by agreement

 

The Blackwood Convention: ‑ Another Ace‑asking convention in which “4‑NT” is the artificial conventional bid. “5‑NT” then asks for Kings in a similar manner.   Since the “5‑NT” bid is usually an attempt to reach a grand slam, it guarantees that the partnership holds all four Aces.

     Responses:  (All artificial)

1.      “5C”  =   none (0) or four (4) Aces

2.      “5D”  =   one (1) Ace

3.      “5H”  =   two (2) Aces

4.      “5S”   =   three (3) Aces

           Notes:

                1.   a 1NT/4NT sequence is quantitative, not conventional.

2.      The escape mechanism to a final “5NT” contract is achieved by the invoking partner bidding a     

      new non‑agreed-upon suit which demands partner to bid “5NT”

                3.   Responses when the responding partner is holding a void are:

a)     With one Ace and a void = 6 of the void suit if it be a suit below the agreed trump suit     

      or 6 of the agreed-upon trump suit to show a void in an unspecified higher ranking suit.

                               b) "5NT" = 2 Aces and an unspecified void.

4.      Management of an interference bid by the opponents is by either:

a)     “D” "O” "P” “E” Convention = “Double” = an Odd #,  “Pass” = an Even # of Aces.

b)     “D” “O” “P” “I” Convention = "Double" = No Aces, “Pass” = one Ace, and then up   the ladder, thereafter, to show two and three Aces sequentially.