Gerber Convention


All bridge played follows the rules of contract bridge, or sometimes just called bridge. Once bridge became a popular game, players have been trying to come up with improved ways to communicate to their partner. These are called conventions. Some have worked, and some have not. The Gerber Convention is a convention that many players use.

As discussed in previous blogs, the first round of bidding helps the partners determine how high they can go in their bidding. If their total points are 30 or greater, then a small slam (12 tricks) or grand slam (13 tricks) is possible. If the partners have all 4 aces and all 4 kings between them, they should bid a grand slam. If they are missing 1 ace, then a small slam is possible.

The Gerber Convention is used to ask for the number of aces and/or kings in your partner’s hand. The signal for Gerber is a jump bid to 4 clubs. It does not specify that clubs is your suit, but it does ask for the aces.


Once you know where all the aces you have between you, you might then want to know how many kings your partner has. The signal for asking for kings is a bid of 5C.

Once this information is gathered, the team then sets the final contract (suit and level). If you have 30-plus points and all 4 aces and kings, bid 7 of your suit; 30-plus points and 3 aces and 4 kings, bid 6; if 30-plus points, 4 aces, and 3 kings, bid 6 of your suit to play safe or 7, if you want to gamble.



James Frazee

Author, Beginning Bridge by the Numbers

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