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More uses of Double

Double of a suit bid is take-out when partner hasn’t spoken eg:
(1 )-P-(1 )-Dbl or, later in the auction
(1)-P-(1 ),-Dbl-(2)-P-,(3)-Dbl.

You can choose to adopt the simple approach of saying that whenever partner has bid, double is penalty (ie ‘I think they’re going down’). However take an auction such as (1♠)-Dbl-(2♠)-Dbl. Are you really going to want to penalise 2♠, a bid and supported suit?

It makes much more sense, when the opponents have bid and supported a suit (say, up to and including the three-level) to play double as take-out. The second double in the above auction can be referred to as ‘responsive’, but this isn’t terribly helpful: just think of it as take-out.

Here are three hands that would double after (1♠)-Dbl-(2♠):

Hand a Hand b Hand c
J 6 2
9 7
K J 4 2
K J 8 5
8 6 3
A K 7 4
9 7 4 3 2
J 2
8 4 3 2
K Q 2
K Q 9 7

Note you probably won’t have four hearts (unless they’re lousy as in the third hand) or you’d simply bid 3 (partner usually has four cards in the other major for their double).

The principle of doubles being for take-out when the opponents have bid and supported a suit can apply when partner has overcalled too eg (1)-1 -(2 )-Dbl as showing spades and clubs with some secondary heart support:

eg: A K J 7
J 10
4 2
9 8 6 4 3
East Deals
None Vul
J 5 3
K Q 8 6
Q 7 4 3 2
Q 9 7 4
10 8 7 3
9 4
A J 9
W   E
A K 8 6 2
A 9 5 2
10 5
10 5
K Q J 6
A J 7 3 2
K 8 6
West North East South
    1  Dbl
3 1 Dbl2 Pass 4 
Pass Pass Pass  
  1. Correct to stretch half to a whole level after a double, to make life more awkward.
  2. Take out (responsive), following the principle of doubles being take-out (up to and including the three-level) when the
    opponents hav bid and supported a suit.

West led  4 to  K and East, knowing from the bidding that declarer was ruffing a second spade, switched to  10 (best). Maybe this would lead to a ruff or a second club trick.

If declarer had played  6, West would have played  9, dummy winning with  Q. Declarer could draw trumps and lead 4, but East would rise with A and lead  5, West winning  AJ. Down one.

Declarer made no mistake, covering  10 with  K (key play). West won  A and led  J, but declarer won  Q, drew trumps finishing in dummy and led 4. East had to win A or declarer would avoid a heart loser and merely give up  9. But with no club, East could only lead  A. Declarer ruffed, cashed KQJ throwing  743 and claimed 10 tricks. Contract made.

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