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Black and Red Gerber

1 Is Gerber better than Blackwood, since you can get out at a lower level?
2 Does it help Gerber 4C to be Black, asking for aces for a Red suit, or Red 4D asking for aces for a Black suit?


  • Yes, the advantage of Gerber is that you can look for aces and get out at a lower level if missing two aces. This might be especially useful for minor suits - where the wrong response to a 4NT inquiry might take you past your safe five-level contract.

    But there is a major disadvantage with Gerber. A Blackwood 4NT uses an otherwise idle bid to ask for aces, but the 4C bid is far from idle. Other uses for the 4C bid might include: Splinters; Cue-bids; Natural Raises and Natural Changes of Suit. If 4C is to be used for Gerber you need to find other ways to show these types of hand. Note that splinters and cue-bids are very powerful tools in accurate slam bidding, because they involve partner in a two-way conversation rather than the ace-asker unilaterally making the decision.

    I don't play Gerber and I find that few top-level players play Gerber, except maybe in the specific sequence 1NT-4C. I haven't come across your specific version of this convention and don't know the details - but on the face of it, this exacerbates the disadvantages mentioned since neither 4C nor 4D are now available for other uses.

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