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A hand for RKCB?

#1 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2018-January-11, 06:02

...which is a convention I've never tried - yet! Time to consider it I think.

This was my final hand of the session, a couple of evenings ago. Pairs MPs, ten tables. Playing Acol.

NS vul, dealer S; I was sitting W.
AKQx
Qx
10
KQJ10xx

Bidding started with:
(pass)/1/(1)/1
(pass)/1/(pass)/4
(pass)/?

4 clearly showed plenty of hearts, so I wasn't about to stop there! If I could locate the missing Aces and the K, a slam would be definitely on the cards - but my partner and I only play simple Blackwood. Nevertheless I bid 4NT and partner showed two Aces. Now I had a guess for 6 but I thought to myself - it's the last hand of the evening, let's let rip!

Opponents led A, and followed with a club: we were missing the K but luckily it was onside, with partner holding seven hearts, and the slam made. It occurs to me, if the finesse had failed and South had held up their King for one round, we'd have been in trouble even in 4.

Oh well - sometimes I like to talk about the good things in life, as well as the not-so-good! That was a top for us - only one other table bid the slam and they went down (not sure how). And a top for us in the session as a whole - which pretty much floored me :blink: . This is a serious club we were playing at!

Next time it'll be back to normal.... :unsure:
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#2 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-January-11, 06:12

Yes, I recommend learning and practicing Roman Key Card Blackwood. It will improve the accuracy of your slam bidding. Good luck.
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#3 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2018-January-11, 07:19

RKC is definitely worth knowing but it is not the holy grail. This hand a good example where RKC would have failed you since your partner would have shown 2 "key cards" and you would have no clue if your side was missing 2 aces. At least when using regular blackwood you would have known you were not missing 2 aces and merely had to depend on luck being with you if your p did not have it.
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#4 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2018-January-11, 07:37

View Postgszes, on 2018-January-11, 07:19, said:

RKC is definitely worth knowing but it is not the holy grail. This hand a good example where RKC would have failed you since your partner would have shown 2 "key cards" and you would have no clue if your side was missing 2 aces. At least when using regular blackwood you would have known you were not missing 2 aces and merely had to depend on luck being with you if your p did not have it.

Good point. In this deal when partner shows two key cards I'd have had to stop in 5 and missed the slam. Shows how no system is perfect.

I don't quite recall partner's hand but it must have been at least:
x
AJ10xxxx
xxx
Ax
Perhaps simple Blackwood is the way to get to the slam after all. I'm sure others will have good suggestions!
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#5 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-January-11, 07:58

View Postgszes, on 2018-January-11, 07:19, said:

RKC is definitely worth knowing but it is not the holy grail. This hand a good example where RKC would have failed you since your partner would have shown 2 "key cards" and you would have no clue if your side was missing 2 aces. At least when using regular blackwood you would have known you were not missing 2 aces and merely had to depend on luck being with you if your p did not have it.


I accept this, up to a point. On this particular hand the slam is probably a good prospect because North is more likely to hold the king of hearts, given the opening bid. A better way to find the slam might be to raise 4 to 5 as a slam invite.

In general, slams depending on a finesse of the trump king are not a long-run winner. For example, slam would fail on the above deal if South holds the king of hearts or North holds KXXX in hearts (you don't have enough trumps in dummy to finesse three times). There are often other small probability failure chances meaning that a slam based on a finesse comes in at worse than 50%.
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#6 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2018-January-11, 08:41

I consider rkc indispensable. There are some rare traps to fall into and if you do, don't let it stop you. All of mine only happened once.

I bid rkc on hearts and got a 5 response. Jail, missing 2 keys (aces) with no way out. BTW, stopping in 5 should happen on your hand but slam is (almost) exactly 50-50 or worse if you were off the J

1 - 2(gf) - 3 - 3 what's the key suit if either hand bids 4nt? Last suit or (as I play) the one the 4nt bidder raised.

Might have some early issues with asking for the queen and how to show it but there are some good articles available.
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-January-11, 13:40

View PostTramticket, on 2018-January-11, 07:58, said:

I accept this, up to a point. On this particular hand the slam is probably a good prospect because North is more likely to hold the king of hearts, given the opening bid. A better way to find the slam might be to raise 4 to 5 as a slam invite.

I'm not sure I accept it at all; you are still better off knowing that you lack 2 key cards, plus as mentioned the inferences available from partner bidding hearts.
A better way to find slam might be for partner not to bid 4 at all, but to bid 2 as either XYZ or Fourth Suit Forcing which would then expose the clubs over which to cue-bid.

View PostTramticket, on 2018-January-11, 07:58, said:

In general, slams depending on a finesse of the trump king are not a long-run winner. For example, slam would fail on the above deal if South holds the king of hearts or North holds KXXX in hearts (you don't have enough trumps in dummy to finesse three times). There are often other small probability failure chances meaning that a slam based on a finesse comes in at worse than 50%.

Agreed, it only makes sense if you know you need to risk anything to win.
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#8 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 02:14

In a general sense the simple Blackwood is used where the suit fit has not been established.However when the fit has been established it is wiser to use the RKCB.Any player who desires to improve has to know both and how and when to use the Simple BW or RKCB.I would like to say that Exclusion Blackwood,The Spiral ,Gerber and even the good old Culbertson asking bids are worthwhile as welll as the Quanitative No Trump bids which are very useful and help improve ones confidence in bidding a hand..Some pairs also use a jump 4C/D ,when it will not be confused as a Splinter or Cue bid,as RKCB to keep the level low.One can choose to learn and use any or all of these.
Personally,I feel that, with the opponent bidding diamonds and one not knowing the full distribution of Openers hand it is exuberant and dangerous to suddenly double jump to 4Heart holding xxx in diamonds.
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#9 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 04:37

When partner showed you two aces would he have bid the same way holding
x
JTxxxxxx
Ax
Ax

?

A 2 ace response is not good enough to be bidding 6 unless you are in the mood for a "Hail Mary" or need one

However
x
KTxxxxxx
Ax
Ax

Is a 3 ace hand using rkcb and allows you to bid 6 with confidence
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#10 User is offline   0deary 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 09:48

wo points:

Slam bidding at “Pairs?” And dogs who don’t bark

Our score is compared with those of other pairs. If our score is bigger then we get more imps. And the ones with the most imps win the competition

If you avoid bidding a slam at Pairs but everyone else bids and makes it, you will lose a shoal of imps. But if everyone else goes down (even if because of a really rotten split), you get all the imps!

Trying to assess the standard of the other room, and then trying to play with or against the room is way beyond me!

My call: bid a decent slam if you reasonably can and play it as well as you can

The quiet dog? She hasn’t used 4th suit forcing so she has no ambitions- her hand must be limited. But she expects to make 4H (its Pairs- you don’t go down just for fun- it would lose a lot of imps) and she expects opposite few/any H and quite a minimal 1C/1S. So I’m expecting she has just one heart loser. I hold Qx so I’m not expecting to be Hbroken. Like you Pete a couple of bullets could easily fill a very nice slam

With ordinary B/W you just ask “how many aces” Answer “Two” Bingo. No Aces out and just one loser in H= 6

With my 5 Ace RKCB I ask “including the K trumps as an Ace, how many “Aces” have you and can you tell me about the Q trumps” Answer “Two “Aces” but missing the Q trumps:- 5H” I’ve got the Q trumps so no surprise there, and I’m assigning K trumps as one “Ace", so an Ace is missing. Its possible opp can cash AC and give partner a C ruff but more likely Ace D and can only exit safely. 6H it is!

I’m sitting quietly now. I’ve tabled dummy. I’m wondering why no claim. Partner plays my QH…covered by K!! Argghhh!

Well I hope you don’t have to drive back with that (now devastated losing) pair trying to make light chat….
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#11 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 10:47

“With ordinary B/W you just ask “how many aces” Answer “Two” Bingo. No Aces out and just one loser in H= 6”

But you only have one ace, so there is one ace out, plus a possible trump loser. Of course you can take the risk of bidding six, but at least with RKKB you know it is a risk.
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#12 User is offline   0deary 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 11:01

Graham- quite right I mis-recalled 2 not the 1 Ace
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#13 User is offline   0deary 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 11:25

amendment thanks to Graham Jepson:

Two points:

Slam bidding at “Pairs?” And dogs who don’t bark

Our score is compared with those of other pairs. If our score is bigger then we get more imps. And the ones with the most imps win the competition

If you avoid bidding a slam at Pairs but everyone else bids and makes it, you will lose a shoal of imps. But if everyone else goes down (even if because of a really rotten split), you get all the imps!

Trying to assess the standard of the other room, and then trying to play with or against the room is way beyond me!

My call: bid a decent slam if you reasonably can and play it as well as you can

The quiet dog? She hasn’t used 4th suit forcing so she has no ambitions- her hand must be limited. But she expects to make 4H (its Pairs- you don’t go down just for fun- it would lose a lot of imps) and she expects opposite few/any H and quite a minimal 1C/1S. So I’m expecting she has just one heart loser. I hold Qx so I’m not expecting to be Hbroken. Like you Pete a couple of bullets could easily fill a very nice slam

With ordinary B/W you just ask “how many aces” Answer “Two” Oh dear, I have only 1- so we lose an Ace and a potential H loser- pass the 5H

With my 5 Ace RKCB I ask “including the K trumps as an Ace, how many “Aces” have you and can you tell me about the Q trumps” Answer “Two “Aces” but missing the Q trumps:- 5H” I’ve got the Q trumps so no surprise there, and I’m assigning K trumps as one “Ace", so two Aces are missing. 5H it is

If you bid and make 6H I hope you don’t have to drive back with that (now devastated losing) pair trying to make light chat….
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#14 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 12:19

View Postggwhiz, on 2018-January-11, 08:41, said:

I consider rkc indispensable. There are some rare traps to fall into and if you do, don't let it stop you. All of mine only happened once.

I bid rkc on hearts and got a 5 response. Jail, missing 2 keys (aces) with no way out. BTW, stopping in 5 should happen on your hand but slam is (almost) exactly 50-50 or worse if you were off the J

1 - 2(gf) - 3 - 3 what's the key suit if either hand bids 4nt? Last suit or (as I play) the one the 4nt bidder raised.

Might have some early issues with asking for the queen and how to show it but there are some good articles available.


You can escape "jail" by adopting Kickback (one over the trump suit is key card) instead of RKC. Then you always have room for the Queen ask, too.

On your second auction, spades should be trump. If responder wanted H to be trump, he should bid anything other than 3S (including 3NT as some sort of unserious, serious, or "moving along" slam try).

Cheers,
Mike
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#15 User is offline   sacto123 

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Posted 2018-January-12, 22:56

View Post661_Pete, on 2018-January-11, 07:37, said:

Good point. In this deal when partner shows two key cards I'd have had to stop in 5 and missed the slam. Shows how no system is perfect.

I don't quite recall partner's hand but it must have been at least:
x
AJ10xxxx
xxx
Ax
Perhaps simple Blackwood is the way to get to the slam after all. I'm sure others will have good suggestions!

I may be too conservative, but I will not bid a slam missing two key cards, even if I know they are one ace and the trump king. I don't think the possible reward is worth the risk.
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#16 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2018-January-13, 03:25

One of the big weaknesses of this gadget is where hearts are the
agreed trump suit but the queen is missing but 5 would be seen
as a sign off Take this bidding sequence.

1 3
4NT 5
Opener's hand :-

AJ10
K108632
AKQJ
-

Opener thinks a slam is very possible and wants to ask if the Q is held
but a 5 bid would be looked on as a sign off. Is there a way around this?
It's not a sin to play bridge,but it's a crime if you play it badly(!) ;)
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#17 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-January-13, 04:39

View PostPhilG007, on 2018-January-13, 03:25, said:

One of the big weaknesses of this gadget is where hearts are the
agreed trump suit but the queen is missing but 5 would be seen
as a sign off Take this bidding sequence.

1 3
4NT 5
Opener's hand :-

AJ10
K108632
AKQJ
-

Opener thinks a slam is very possible and wants to ask if the Q is held
but a 5 bid would be looked on as a sign off. Is there a way around this?


Yes, you use 4 as keycard and 4N as voidwood in spades.

This is known as kickback and there are some auctions I'd seriously recommend it even if you don't play it generally, 1N-2/-2-4N is best played as quantitative, so using 4 as keycard is sensible here (some use 4).

Btw using blackwood is bad on the hand above.

Compare Kx, Axxx, 7 random small cards with xxxx, Jxxx, xx, AQJ, the first hand is a solid 7, the second is far from safe at the 5 level, both are 1 ace no Q of trumps so blackwood doesn't solve your issue (I can adjust the hands for what 3 means in your methods, just cue bid)
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#18 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2018-January-13, 04:56

View Post0deary, on 2018-January-12, 09:48, said:


Slam bidding at “Pairs?” And dogs who don’t bark

Our score is compared with those of other pairs. If our score is bigger then we get more imps. And the ones with the most imps win the competition



The OP specified matchpoints.
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#19 User is offline   0deary 

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Posted 2018-January-13, 08:21

A bit confusing but matchpoints are pairs contrasting teams are imps, see eg

https://www.paloalto...rsvsteamsHO.pdf

and I think the idea is at pairs some of the room won’t bid game so if you stretch too much and go down in game boy do you lose imps. But at teams its often worth it…incidentally there are super teachers on both sides of the pond and if you are in the UK all my chums rightly rave after taking lessons from AR

the thing is always make sure your goldfinch feeders are clean and check on the type of scoring before analysing a bridge hand...
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#20 User is offline   colagada 

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Posted 2018-January-13, 15:38

(blanked)
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