Specific Kings

Once the keycard bidder has discovered their partnership own all of the 5 keycards plus the queen of trumps (or enough trumps not to worry about it) they can choose to continue investigating a grand slam.  The 5NT bid asking "How many kings do you have?"  has been modernized.   Click the Read More...

This convention is used in conjunction with Keycard Blackwood

As modern bidding has advanced, people have come to realize that location of points is often far more valuable than quantity.  Quite often, the blackwood bidder has a distributional hand type where finding out that partner has a specific king would be all the information neccessary to bid a grand slam. Specific Kings is exactly how it sounds.   You respond to 5NT by bidding the kings you have rather than showing the number.  If it is impossible to show a king (because it is above 6 of your trump suit) you should either make an impossible bid (show a king you have denied earlier in the auction) or just bid 6 of your suit.

South
x
AQJxx
Ax
QJxxx
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
5NT
P
6
P
7

*4 = Splinter (singleton or void in + 4 card support)

*4NT = keycard blackwood
*5 = 0 or 3 Keycards
*5NT = Specific Kings
*6 = I have the king of clubs

Here in very few bids south was able to determine that 7 would be completely cold.  Had south only heard from partner they have 1 king, they could not be sure if it was the K or K and therefore would be making a dangerous 7 bid.

Many situations arise where this will be the case.  This convention has been adopted by so many people that it has become Expert Bridge Standard.  If you sit down with an expert and agree on playing KCBW , it's safe to assume you respond specific kings to 5NT.

Using 5NT effectively:

In an auction where the person responding to keycard's strength is unlimited, the person who has taken control of the auction by bidding blackwood may not really want to investigate 7.   It is important if your partner may have a big hand to bid 5NT to confirm all the keycards, whether or not you are interested in 7.  Partner will only bid a grand slam if they know that what they have is sufficient for 7, otherwise they will just make their expected response to 5NT and you can sign off.   It is also important that when your partner bids 5NT, if you can see 7 in your own hand, rather than answering 5NT with which kings you have, you should just bid 7 directly.

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