TAKE-OUT DOUBLE: RESPONSES

  • A positive can be assumed to be roughly 9-11 points, i.e. intermediate, since you can assume that partner will be bidding again anyway if holding 17+ and so a minimum response on an ordinary 8 points is safe... you still won't stop short should the partnership hold the requisite combined 25 points.

  • Pass when the opponents haven't bidFor penalties, with excellent trumps and either (a) strength, expecting a juicy penalty, or (b) a weaker hand that can't be sure of beating the opponents' doubled contract, but thinks this is the least bad option. The doubler is entitled to assume hand (a). Subsequent doubles by the partnership are all for penalties.
    Pass after redoubleFor penalties, NOT a "pass-the-buck" forcing bid. The opponents' redouble doesn't change the meaning of our takeout doubles.
    Pass after other interventionEither uninterested in competing the part-score or a penalty pass that's hoping partner can find another takeout double.
    Minimum suit bid (silent opponents)0-8 points, ostensibly natural but sometimes a short suit on a weak hand that couldn't bid no-trumps (either too weak or no stop). With more than 8 points a stronger response is mandatory, because doubler's only guaranteed to find another bid if holding 17+ points.
    Minimum suit bid (opposition intervened)Natural, weak positive (sometimes very weak). Shows a hand willing to compete the part-score at the given level and vulnerability, which often isn't saying much.
    Jump in suitA hand that's not strong enough to bid game immediately by itself, but might miss game after a minimum response. Shows either 9-11 (or a bad 12) or equivalent playing strength, including shape. Negative inferences about suit length will sometimes be available from a failure to cue-bid to show equal length in two suits.
    Double jump to threePre-emptive, at least a five-card suit.
    Jump to four of a minorMinorwood.
    Jump to 4NTStone-Age Blackwood, with no agreed suit.
    Raise the opponents' most recently bid suit"Pick a suit, please, partner." Shows enough high-card strength to force the bidding a level higher (i.e. 9+). Asks partner to choose between two equivalent suits, normally either the two minors or the two majors, so by implication suggests exactly four cards in each. Forcing, but not game-forcing. Is expected to deny four of the obvious unbid suit if there is one, so for instance a cue-bid of a double of 1H asks partner to choose a minor. (Conceivably might also be the first move on a tricky game or slam-going hand.)
    A suit that the opponents have mentioned, but not their last-bid denominationNatural, to play.
    1NTNatural, constructive, about 7.5-10 points. It's essentially the same bid as a 1NT response to partner's opening bid when the opponents have overcalled. Shows a good holding in the opponents' suit(s).
    2NTNatural, about 10-12 points. As above.
    Jump to five of a majorInviting six.
    Jump to 5NTInviting six.
    Any game or slamNatural, to play.
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    Copyright 2015 Finn Clark.