This variation of the Blackwood conventional method was devised by Italian bridge players of the Blue Team and their members. After Mr. Easley Blackwood devised his concept of ascertaining the number of Aces and Kings held by the partnership through the unique bid of 4 No Trump, his opinion was that he devised the concept not to reach slam, but to avoid bidding a slam contract, which had no possibility of being fulfilled.

Parameters of the Concept

Bridge players from around the world adopted his concept and have been making variations to it. This modification to the Blackwood convention is the Roman Blackwood conventional method.

The concept behind Roman Blackwood is the fact that the responder, if holding two Aces, can show the locations of these two Aces (or Kings later), so that the Ask-asking partner can infer and determine the exact location of these two Aces if holding the other two Aces. This is vital information communicated in an easy fashion.

North   East   South   West
1   Pass   1   Pass
1   Pass   4   Pass
4 NT   Pass        

After the responder has shown that he has excellent support for Spades, game-going values, and a singleton Heart (or void) with his 4 Hearts splinter rebid, North decides to explore for slam possibilities. The responder can show additional values and the number of Aces as shown below. North already has the information that his partner, South, has a singleton / void in Hearts.

5 : Shows 0 to 3 Aces.
5 : Shows 1 or 4 Aces.
5 : Shows 2 Aces of the same color or rank, / or / or / or /.
5 : Shows 2 Aces of dissimilar or unlike color or rank, or / or /.

King Inquiry

In the case that the response to the Ace-ask is positive and the asking partner wishes to know the number of the Kings held by partner, then the King-ask bid is 5 No Trump, as in the original Blackwood conventional method. The responses are identical to the Ace-asking bid, as shown below:

North   East   South   West
1   Pass   1   Pass
1   Pass   4   Pass
4 NT   Pass    5   Pass
5 NT   Pass

It should be a partnership agreement that the King-ask bid of 5 No Trump is a guarantee that all Aces are held by the partnership.

6 : Shows 0 to 3 Kings.
6 : Shows 1 or 4 Kings.
6 : Shows 2 Kings of the same color or rank, / or / or / or /.
6 : Shows 2 Kings of dissimilar or unlike color or rank, or / or /.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.