We present here the fifteenth in an occasional series on Roman Keycard Blackwood (RKC).

We have really pretty much covered RKC in our previous articles; we could simply wish you all good luck, suggest you read Eddie Kantar’s book on RKC, and move on to something else. But we can’t resist throwing in three more ideas. This time we’ll address responding with a void when you’ve shown shortness during the auction. Next time we’ll discuss why you might not need all of the keycards to ask for kings. Finally we’ll address when and how you may choose to show the ace and king of a suit that the RKC bidder said he was void in.

Sometimes there’s no need to tell partner what suit you’re void in because you’ve already shown shortness in it, usually by splintering but also possibly by implication (for example, if your uncontested auction goes 1S-2C-2D-2N-3C you’ve shown that you have at most a singleton heart). When partner bids 4N as RKC and you have an odd number of keycards with a void you still jump to the six level to confirm that you have a void, but you jump to the lowest suit in which you have a king, as long as that suit is below both our trump suit and your known shortness (so that partner can bid six of your shortness to ask about the queen); if you have the queen but no lower king you bid six of your void if it's below six of our suit and six of our suit if it isn't; and if you don’t have the queen or a lower king you bid six of your king if it's below our suit or six of our suit if you have no kings or if your only king(s) is/are above six of our suit (and yes, we know that this may leave partner in doubt about what you have; it doesn’t work well if our suit is a minor unless you bid Redwood; nor does it work well if our suit is Hearts and you’re void in spades with no outside kings).

Perhaps a simpler way of saying this is that you bid the lowest thing you have at the six level, with the suit you’re void in standing for the queen: If you have an outside king below your void that’s your lowest thing, so you bid it (allowing partner to bid six of your void to ask for the queen); if you don’t have an outside king below your void but you have the queen and your void is below our trump suit that’s your lowest thing, so you bid it (allowing partner to bid a suit above your void in which he needs you to have something in order to make a grand); and if you don’t have the queen but have a king that’s both above your void and below our suit that’s your lowest thing, so you bid it.

An example to make this clearer: Assume that our suit is spades, you’ve splintered in diamonds (where you’re void), and partner bids 4N as RKC and you have an odd number of keycrads. If you have the king of clubs you bid 6C (if partner needs to know about the queen of trump he can bid 6D to ask); if you don’t have the king of clubs but do have the queen of trump you bid 6D; if you have neither the king of clubs nor the queen of trump you bid 6H if you have the king of hearts and 6S otherwise.



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