Back in Lesson 10, you learned about very strong hands and one of the conventions for finding out whether your partner has enough Aces and Kings for you to be in a slam. The convention I taught you then was called Blackwood.

There is a newer version of that which is popular these days, either to be used instead of Blackwood or complimentary with it. The priniciples are exactly the same. What is different is that you start at a lower level - and therefore all the bidding keeps lower which makes it easier to make the right choices.

In Blackwood, the asking bid for finding out if your partner had Aces was 4 No Trump.
In Gerber, the asking bid is 4 CLUBS. When you use this convention all the time, you have to have an agreement with your partner that if you really want to be in Clubs, you will either bid 3 Clubs or 5 Clubs, but not expect to bid 4 Clubs and be left in it.

When people use both conventions, they use Gerber when Clubs have not been bid naturally, and they use Blackwood when they have. So you would expect Gerber to be used most of the time.  Remember a 2 Club opening bid, or a Stayman asking bid, are not natural bids, but conventional ones, so they wouldn't keep you from using Gerber.

So from the starting point of the asking bid, 2 Clubs, the responses are as follows:

0 or 4 Aces -  4 Diamonds
1 Ace            4 Hearts
2 Aces          4 Spades
3 Aces          4 No Trump

and then the asking bid for Kings is 5 Clubs and the answers are

0-4 Kings        5 Diamonds
1 King            5 Hearts
2 Kings           5 Spades
3 Kings           5 No Trump

You can see that we have kept the bidding a whole level lower, and therefore were able to get more information, and stop before the slam level if we wanted to. When you are asking for Kings in Blackwood, all the responses are on the 6 level, so you are in a small slam whether you want to be or not.

Let's say your partner opened 2 Clubs, No Bid, you replied positively with 2 Hearts, No Bid, and your partner now says 4 Clubs, and his bid after your next bid will be 5 Clubs.

62. With this hand, what will your two responses be?

Spades              9,7,3,2
Hearts              A,K,7,5,3
Diamonds         K.5
Clubs                7,4

a.   4 Hearts, 5 Hearts
b.   4 Hearts, 5 Spades
c.   5 Hearts, 6 Hearts