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5NT Blackwood Inquiry For Kings

South Deals
None Vul
10 7 5 2
K Q 10 9 7
Q
A K 5
9 8 4
4
9 8 6 3
J 9 8 6 3
N
WE
S
K J 3
J
K 10 7 5 4 2
Q 10 7
A Q 6
A 8 6 5 3 2
A J
4 2
WestNorthEastSouth
   1
Pass2NT1Pass32
Pass4♣Pass4♠
Pass4NTPass5♣3
Pass5NTPass6♣4
Pass6PassPass
Pass
  1. Jacoby 2NT game forcing raise
  2. Hand worth 17+ "points"
  3. Zero or three keycards (must be three)
  4. Zero side kings

6 by South
Lead: ♣6

Responder decides to use Jacoby 2NT and opener optimistically considers his hand worth 17+ HCP due to the sixth heart and the three aces. Responder learns opener has three keycards so the partnership holds all the key cards (the four aces and the K) and the Q. Responder has no plans to investigate a grand slam, but he should bid 5NT which (1) asks for kings, (2) tells partner all keycards and the trump queen are held, and (3) shows at least mild interest in a grand slam. On this hand, it is possible opener could hold a hand very close to a 2♣ opening bid and opener could directly jump to 7 over 5NT.

Consider opener might hold ♠AK A86532 AKx ♣Qx and decide to open 1. If you were opener, partner bid 5NT, and you answered 6 to show two side kings, how will you feel if partner passes your 6 bid? Won't you feel there is a good chance you will win all 13 tricks?

Clearly the near 2♣ opening bid is better than the hand held which stretched to bid 3 showing 17+ points, so with the better hand opener should jump to 7 over 5NT.

So here is an important principle to remember:

If you use Blackwood and partner could hold clear extra values beyond what has been promised so far, bid 5NT if you hold all the keycards and trump queen, even if you don't plan on bidding a grand slam. If partner has clear extra values, he may be able to jump to a grand slam directly over the 5NT bid.

Here are some situations where partner will be able to hold clear extra values:

1. Partner opened 2♣ and could hold more than a minimum 2♣ opening bid.
2. Partner made a two over one response to the opening bid. He could hold a very good hand and not been able to show it.
3. Partner (if responder) used fourth suit forcing to force to game and could still hold clearly more than a minimum game force. (This is especially true if partner could not make a strong jump shift.)

Here are some situations where partner will not be able to hold clear extra values:

1. Partner opened or rebid 1NT or 2NT to show a narrow range of HCP.
2. Partner made a simple raise or invitational raise of a suit showing a narrow range of values. (Examples: 1-1-3 and 1♠-3♠ invitational limit raise.)

For Advanced Players

The 5NT king inquiry traditonally asks for the number of kings. However, a method gaining popularity is for 5NT to ask for the cheapest king held. The 5NT bidder can then bid another suit to ask if partner holds the king . If partner holds that king, he bids a grand slam.

Example: ♠KQxx Qx KJxx ♣AKJ. If 5NT asks for specific kings, then 6♣ shows the ♣K. If partner now bids 6 to ask for the K, you would jump to 7♠. If you didn't hold the K, you would bid 6♠.

Bud Hinckley
budh9534@gmail.com

     
 
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