RKC Minorwood - Facts

The 4NT Blackwood convention is not suitable for minor suit contacts, because it often commits the partnership to a Slam contract even after a negative response.
Neither can the 3NT Blackwood be used, for after a minor suit trump agreement (1♦3♦) the 3NT bid is "to play".

Players with a simple basic bidding system therefore use the Gerber 4♣ convention which is suitable for both major and minor suit contracts.
However as soon as a bidding system includes Splinter raises or Cue bids or Multi Cues or Slam trial bids etc. the Gerber convention can no longer be used as it is incompatible with those. Minorwood is then the best convention for minor suit contracts.

Minorwood uses the 4-level bid of the agreed minor suit contract (4♣ or 4♦) to ask for Aces or Roman Keycards. 1♣ → 3♣ → 4♣   or   1♠2♦3♦4♦
Both 4♣ and 4♦ in above sequences are Minorwood. In its simplest form Aces or Roman Keycards are shown in the same way as for Blackwood.
A follow-up request for Partner's Kings is a bid of the following suit after the initial reply (but excluding the trump suit). It confirmes the side holds all 5 Keycards (or 4 Aces). The trump King is not shown again.

However the proper Minorwood convention adds a special feature not available with Blackwood.
In Minorwood the key card asker can be switched from one player to his Partner.

After 1♣ - 3♣ - 4♣ - ?    - 4♦ = "Partner, you show ME your key cards !"

Or after 1♣ - 4♣ - ?       - 4♦ = "Partner, you show ME your key cards !"

Irrespective whether this switch is used or not the standard replies are :
4♣ → 4♥ = 1 or 4 keycards *
     → 4♠ = 0 or 3 key cards *
     → 4NT = 2 key cards without the trump Queen
     → 5♣ = 2 key cards with the trump Queen

Likewise after 1♦ - 2♦ - 4♦ - ?       - 4♥ = "Partner, you show ME your key cards !"

Irrespective whether this switch is used or not the standard replies are :
4♦4♠ = 1 or 4 key cards *
     → 4NT = 0 or 3 key cards *
     → 5♣ = 2 key cards without the trump Queen
     → 5♦ = 2 key cards with the trump Queen
In other words, the bid immediately after the 4♣ or 4♦ Minorwood ask is reserved for a possible switch, and therefore not used as a key card response !

This is a useful feature in various situations, but in particular when the future Dummy hand in the contract makes the 4♣ or 4♦ bid.
In such case the Roman Keycards (or Aces) of the disguised Declarer's hand would be made known to the Opposition (while all of Dummy's Keycards will be exposed on the table as well).

For example after the bidding goes 1♣1♥3♣ → 4♣ → ?   the Opener should use the switch bid of 4♦ and ask for RKCs instead, so that only the Roman Keycards of the (to be exposed) Dummy hand are revealed.

*If you prefer to use "3014" (instead of "1430") in RKC Blackwood, use "3014" for MInorwood as well !

© 2017 Michael Furstner