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Cue bid the Blackwood Duplication of information?

#1 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 15:21

When reading reports of how experts bid slams in real life, I regularly encounter auctions which start with (1) suit agreement and general values clarified, then (2) a series of cue bids below 4NT, then (3) some varient of Blackwood, typically RCKB.

The cue bids below 4NT serve a number of useful functions, this I grant. It may assist the partnership in determining that the overall values are in the slam zone (sign out with minimum, cue bid with extras etc). It may also provide reassurance to the Blackwood bidder that there are not two top cashing tricks in a side suit (normally bidding Blackwood with two top losers in a single side suit being a cardinal sin, but if partner has cue bid the suit, perhaps forgivable).

Nevertheless, when responding to Blackwood, partner will frequently be telling you about controls that he has already told you about in his preceding cue bids. For this reason, with regular partner I normally agree that 4NT is NOT Blackwood after a cue bidding sequence has commenced, but is instead a continuation of the cue bidding sequence (typically showing a failure to cue bid 5).

The continued insistence of experts on using 4NT as Blackwood after a series of cue bids seems to indicate that I may be on the wrong track.

I just had another idea, that I have not really thought through yet: Insist that any cue bid below 4NT shows precisely second round control. You may in addition have 1st round control in the suit, but you are only showing 2nd round control and if you have 1st round control you must also have 2nd round control. Then when partner wheels out Blackwood you can be sure that your response shows entirely new information.

Anyone else tried this, or related thoughts?
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

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Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 15:29

1eyedjack, on Apr 23 2004, 12:21 AM, said:

When reading reports of how experts bid slams in real life, I regularly encounter auctions which start with (1) suit agreement and general values clarified, then (2) a series of cue bids below 4NT, then (3) some varient of Blackwood, typically RCKB.

The cue bids below 4NT serve a number of useful functions, this I grant. It may assist the partnership in determining that the overall values are in the slam zone (sign out with minimum, cue bid with extras etc). It may also provide reassurance to the Blackwood bidder that there are not two top cashing tricks in a side suit (normally bidding Blackwood with two top losers in a single side suit being a cardinal sin, but if partner has cue bid the suit, perhaps forgivable).

Nevertheless, when responding to Blackwood, partner will frequently be telling you about controls that he has already told you about in his preceding cue bids. For this reason, with regular partner I normally agree that 4NT is NOT Blackwood after a cue bidding sequence has commenced, but is instead a continuation of the cue bidding sequence (typically showing a failure to cue bid 5).

The continued insistence of experts on using 4NT as Blackwood after a series of cue bids seems to indicate that I may be on the wrong track.

I just had another idea, that I have not really thought through yet: Insist that any cue bid below 4NT shows precisely second round control. You may in addition have 1st round control in the suit, but you are only showing 2nd round control and if you have 1st round control you must also have 2nd round control. Then when partner wheels out Blackwood you can be sure that your response shows entirely new information.

Anyone else tried this, or related thoughts?

Blue Club works in much the way that you propose:

If the partnership is engaged in a cue bidding sequence, the 4N is NOT RKCB, but rather some sort of asking bid. Works well, but it requires a well oiled partnership to understand just what is being asked about when.
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#3 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 16:38

Playing first and second round cues, and in some cases even the Q in responder's 2/1 suit, it is important to still play Blackwood.

Further if you play Serious 3N, then the cue by passing the 3N bid shows a minimum hand for the bidding to date.
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#4 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 17:26

If you like cue bidding to your slam you might consider playing 4nt as something other then blackwood, using Turbo is a good way.
What you are saying makes alot of sense, but not sure you can find a better "blackwood" way, because sometimes the cue bid is a sgl and sometimes its an ace or void or K.
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#5 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2004-April-23, 07:59

I play first/second round controls indisctincly so we may have the control in all the suits and be missing two aces. Thus RKCB is still needed.
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#6 User is offline   mishovnbg 

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Posted 2004-April-24, 04:43

Flame, on Apr 23 2004, 01:26 AM, said:

If you like cue bidding to your slam you might consider playing 4nt as something other then blackwood, using Turbo is a good way.
What you are saying makes alot of sense, but not sure you can find a better "blackwood" way, because sometimes the cue bid is a sgl and sometimes its an ace or void or K.

Turbo or some kind of it modification is best meaning of 4NT for sure. Usage of 3NT as Turbo is perfect but not good :) - you still need tricks before to check KC. I will give you simple example in extreme situation to prove my words. Your p open 4 and you like to play slam based on side solid suit. You have 2 problems - lack of control in side suit as well as unknown amount of KC. What can you do without Turbo? You can ask for KC, but then will be impossible to check side control. You can continue with cue bid, but will be unable to ask for KC. Shortly:

Turbo is only solution sometimes as well as best way to investigate grand by cue bids. You can continue to play jump 4NT as RKCB. For Turbo details you can read my NTC system. ;)

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#7 User is offline   Shrike 

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Posted 2004-April-24, 16:44

As noted, when a cuebid could show an ace or a king, or when it is known to be first round control but could be a void, the information from Blackwood/RKC is not redundant. There is no real reason not to give it, because there is always plenty of room as long as your ace-asking bid is the first step above 4 of the trump suit (kickback).

Also, note that a fair number of experts use 4NT (or its equivalent) as declarative-interrogative, not keycard, in some cuebidding auctions.
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#8 User is offline   Trpltrbl 

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Posted 2004-April-24, 19:53

Most cuebid first or second round controls, Aces/ Kings or Singletons/ Voids, therefore you still need RKC to find out about the rest, including the Q of trump and possibly specific kings that haven't been shown.

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#9 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-April-25, 00:13

Thanks all.

Yes, if like me you cue bid 1st and 2nd round controls at the 4 level, then ONE use of 4NT that is not entirely redundand is to use it as Blackwood to clarify which of 1st or 2nd round control was indicated by a cue. But to claim that there is no redundancy in this method is not the full picture. If your earlier cue bid happened to be 1st round control, then you might as well not have made the cue bid as the response to Blackwood will tell partner the same. Hence my suggestion that the 4 level cue bid, IF a subsequent 4NT IS Blackwood, might be better defined as precisely 2nd round control.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#10 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-April-26, 17:50

luis, on Apr 23 2004, 08:59 AM, said:

I play first/second round controls indisctincly so we may have the control in all the suits and be missing two aces. Thus RKCB is still needed.

Luis has it right, this is how I handle it too.

I use to play NT cue-bids as showing one trump honor, and to skip NT showed two or 0. And this was true for 4NT as well, once cue bidding started. But thiss is not necessary.

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