Thursday, 23 November 2017

Gerber Bidding Convention

The Gerber Bidding Convention

Most bridge players know about using the Blackwood bidding convention if you are considering bidding for a slam. 

Once you know you have enough points to bid for a slam bid and have decided which suit you will bid, you might need to know how many aces or kings partner has.  To do this you bid 4NT to ask partner how many aces they hold and 5NT to ask how many kings.

This works because 4NT isn't a natural bid UNLESS it is in response to an opening bid of 1NT or 2NT, in which case it is in invitational bid with a special meaning.  It tells partner that you have a narrow range of points that would achieve the points needed for a slam IF they have the maximum number of points for their NT bid - and asking them to bid 6NT if they do.

But suppose you need to know the number of aces or kings held by partner after their opening NT bid?  You can't bid 4NT as they will assume your bid is invitational and bid on points.

This is where you use the Gerber convention.

In response to an opening bid of 1 or 2NT  you use a bid of 4 Clubs to ask for Aces and 5 Clubs to ask for kings.

Partner's responses are the same as those used in for Blackwood.

In response to 4 Clubs:

  • 4 Diamonds = No aces or four aces
  • 4 Hearts = One ace
  • 4 Spades = Two aces
  • 4 NT = Three aces
In response to 5 Clubs:

  • 5 Diamonds = No aces or four aces
  • 5 Hearts = One ace
  • 5 Spades = Two aces
  • 5 NT = Three aces
If you'd like to practice using these conventions, join No Fear Bridge for your two week trial membership (no obligation, no financial details taken)
Acol bridge players join HERE.
American Standard players join HERE.

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