North would like to ask for key cards, however 4NT may get the auction too high. What to do?
Kickback is popular among advanced players but requires careful study and discussion to avoid misunderstandings; disasters will otherwise happen, for example in the deal above 4♦ may be taken as natural.
A simpler alternative is Minorwood. This is also discussed in the first article linked above.
The general idea with Minorwood is that most bids of 4 of a minor ask for key cards with the bid minor as trumps. Exceptions would include:
- In non-forcing competitive auctions
- When we have an 8+ card major suit fit
- When it is another convention (e.g. splinter, Gerber, Texas)
- When it's the opening bid
- When it's illogical to set the suit as trumps
Responses to Attitude Minorwood are the same steps as RKC, except the first step indicates a minimum holding for the bidding. For example:
1♥ 2♦ 3♣ 4♣ 4♦ Minimum hand 4♥ 1 or 4 key cards 4♠ 0 or 3 key cards 4NT 2 key cards without the trump queen 5♣ 2 key cards with the trump queenWhen responder has chosen the first step, asker might choose 4NT or 5 of the minor to end the auction. Or to demand an answer regardless, their bid of the next step asks responder to use the remaining steps in the same way. For example:
1♥ 2♦ 3♣ 4♣ 4♦ 4♥ I don't care, tell me anyway 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 queenEither way, after the response asker has options available to ask for the trump queen and/or outside kings.
If responder showed 1/4 or 0/3 key cards (step 2 or 3) then asker can bid the next step to ask for the trump queen. Responder bids 5 of the trump suit without it, or with it can show the cheapest specific king. This is similar to normal RKC.
When the queen ask is not used or has already been answered with a specific king bid, asker's bid of a step that is not the trump suit and not 4NT asks for the king of the bid suit; or 5NT asks about the suit that cannot be bid below 6 of the trump suit. For example:
1♦ 2♦ 4♦ 4♥ RKC; Minimum hand 4♠ 5♣ Please answer; 0 or 3 key cards 5♦ To play 5♥ Queen ask 5♠ Got ♠K? 5NT Got ♥K? 6♣ Got ♣K?With the desired king responder should bid 7 of the trump suit. Without it they may bid the suit of a different king in case that is also enough for asker to bid the grand slam.