If partner opened 4NT how would you interpret it?  It can not be a flat 28 HCP as you would open 2♣ first. How about a 6-6 in the minors? That is possible but needs special partnership agreement.  Here is Mike Lawrence’s view on this subject.

Using Bidding Space to Save Bidding Space
By Mike Lawrence



















♠A 10 6 4
9 3
♣A K 10 9 7 3

♠Q J 7 5
Q 5 2
J 4 2
♣J 5

A K Q 10 8 7 6 5

♠8 3 2
10 9 8 6 4 3
♣Q 8 6 4


“West took his ace of clubs and late in the play, he got his ace of spades, setting six diamonds one trick.

There is a simple solution to this disaster. Play that a four notrump opening asks for aces.

Using four notrump as Blackwood means you can't open four notrump to show 27-28 points, but that is a small price. In my lifetime, I can remember only one hand where I wanted to show the big balanced hand. Since I have no idea how to respond to a 27 point opening four notrump bid, I am happy to have a meaning for four notrump that I can understand.

In my lifetime, I have opened four notrump to ask for aces on six or seven hands. I won't claim that I gained on all of them but I will claim that I never had a bad result by doing so. In every case, we avoided various potential dangers. “

Why play a 4NT opener as Ace asking?  In a word, you are pre-empting the opponents out of the auction. When you have distributional rocks, they have distribution also. They come in at a low level and make life virtually impossible for you. Opening 4NT keeps the vultures out! Maurice & I play a 4NT opening bid as specific Ace asking.  A 5♣ response shows no Aces so we need another way to show the club Ace. 5,5 & 5 shows that Ace specifically. 5NT shows the club Ace.   Let’s modify the Mike Lawrence hand slightly and add a diamond and take away the club. You now hold 9 AKJ AKQ1087654 void. Opening 1 is silly and 2♣ would seem to bring in the vultures. Open 4NT and hear partner respond 5!  Bidding 7seems to be an odds on shot. This 4NT opening is like exclusion Blackwood.  With voids you want to know the specific Ace that partner has. If you are worried about two Aces, do not open 4NT!

Tom and I play 4NT opener as a specific Ace ask also but Tom got more ingenious. He suggests transfer responses to Blackwood!  5♣ is none and bids up the line are one above. 5 shows the club Ace, 5 shows the diamond Ace and 5 shows the heart Ace. This treatment allows you to ask directly for a 2nd Ace since partners’ response is artificial.  If opener now bids any suit over partners response he is asking for that specific Ace. 6♣ means I do not have the 2nd Ace. Bidding the suit above again means I do have the 2nd Ace.

You open 4NT with x  void  AKQJ10xxx KQJ10   and partner holds Axxx xxxx xx Axx .  Partner responds 5 saying I have the club Ace. Partner bids 5 which asks for the spade Ace. 5NT says I have that one also. Partner now bids 7 and that ends the auction. Change the hand to

void   x  AKQJ1098x  KQJ10  and partner with xxxx Axxx xx Axx        4NT brings a 5 response and opener bids 5 asking for that Ace and partner bids 5 saying yes I have it . The next bid is 7.

Susan held A KQJ109xxxx void KQx as you have 10˝ tricks in your own hand opening 1 is absurd. Opening 2♣ and rebidding 4 is a possibility but still 2nd best to a 4NT opening bid. Susan opens 4NT and I bid 5 showing the diamond Ace and 5 has an excellent play. 

Taken from:'mckenny%20discards'