An Exclusion Bid not turning into disaster? That’s unpossible
I’ve played Exclusion Roman Key Card Blackwood (“Exclusion” to his friends) for years. And it has never come up. This is an ace asking bid where you exclude one suit (usually because you are void, or maybe just as a psych). So I pick up the following yesterday:
S:xxx H:AQTx D:AQxx C:JT
I open 1 Diamond. LHO bids 1 Heart, and partner doubles (negative). I have an easy 1 No Trump bid, hearts aren’t an issue. Partner now bids 2 Hearts. I’ve played with this partner quite a bit, but we both make odd bids from time to time. I’m assuming this is a general force, and not a heart check back. If the later, I want to bid 2N. But I think he’s just forcing me, so I’ll admit to having 3 card spade support. I bid 2 spades.
(Note that if LHO overcalled 1S and partner doubled then bid 2H, that would be non-forcing. Would double and then bidding 2S in this situation be non-forcing? I’m….not sure actually).
Partner now wheels out 5 hearts.
That sounds like an exclusion bid, but …. I haven’t played with this partner in a year and a half and exclusion wasn’t on our card. But I bid 5 Spades. We play 1430, so I’m showing one (non heart) ace, and denying the spade king. If partner meant 5H as a generic, “So, spade slam?” I’m not thrilled. I do have two aces, but that’s it.
Partner now bids 6 spades, and I’m wondering again. If partner meant this as exclusion, and I had no (non-heart) aces, I’d have bid 5N, forcing us to slam anyway. So now, was 5 hearts a grand try?
I fall back on the simple rule. When in doubt, don’t get cute. I pass, and hope that partner did the same.
Partner held, in fact, S:AKQTxxx H:– D:xx C:AQ9xx, so the grand slam requires the club king in the pocket (if my club spots hand’t been so good, it might require that and ruffing one round of clubs in my hand).
Partner could have gotten cute by bidding 6C which must clearly be a grand try, which would let me bid the grand if I had the club king (instead of the two queens, say). He must have been following the same rule.
So, I survived my first exclusion auction, through no fault of either party. Hooray!
(I prefer an auction I heard, that went 1D-(1H)-1S-1N;6C. Yeah, it gives up on science, but it’s easy to follow).