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Responding to KCB with a void

I had 6 clubs, 5 spades,(holding both aces) Qx in hearts, diamond void. Partner and I had agreed spades as trumps and he bid 4NT (KCB). I responded 5H - 2 aces without King of spades. Should I have included my void as an 'ace'? He signed off in 5S but I raised to 6S hoping that he had the heart ace (which he did and the contract made). Had he had the diamond ace instead we would have lost 2 heart tricks off the top.


  • edited July 2019

    The simple answer is no. There are a couple of problems with showing a void as an ace. The first is that it will cause partner to miscount - say you count a diamond void as an ace and partner has the ace of diamonds this does not mean that you have two diamond aces between the two hands. But also it might cause partner to wrongly assess other holdings in his/her hand - e.g. say partner holds the king and queen diamonds - these will be valuable cards if you hold the ace but worthless duplication if you hold a void.

    Voids and singletons are better shown through other slam-bidding methods, such as splinters and cue bids.

    I am nervous of mentioning it, but some experts do have methods of showing voids in response to a 4NT inquiry. However these need to be discussed and agreed in advance with partner as they are non-standard and they require considerable judgement rather than simply counting. I do not recommend such methods for less experienced players or players in an ad hoq partnership.

    The response structure that I play with my regular partner is as follows:
    - 5C shows 1 or 4 key cards.
    - 5D shows 0 or 3 key cards.
    - 5H shows 2 key cards without the queen of trumps.
    - 5S shows 2 key cards with the queen of trumps.
    - 5NT shows 2 key cards and a USEFUL void.
    - 6 of the agreed trump suit shows 1 or 3 key cards and a USEFUL void.

    We would only make the void-showing responses if (a) we can tell from the auction so far that enough key-cards are present for a small slam to be playable (i.e, this is a method for helping to find grand slams); (b) we need to be able to tell from the earlier auction that the void will be useful - a void in a suit that partner has bid is never useful and (c) we have at least nine good trumps (a void is only useful if you can afford the trumps for ruffing,

  • The Great American Bridge Tour uses 5N as 2 Keycards a void and no Queen and 6C as 2Keycards a void and the Q. We do not show a void with only 1 keycard.

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