Advanced Bridge

 

Lesson 12

 

Support Doubles

 

†††† A Support Double is a double used by the opening bidder to clarify the degree of support for Responderís 4-card suit in a competitive auction scenario.The support double is usable as long as the overcaller does not raise the level above two of the Responderís suit.A double, therefore, of a jump overcall over Responderís response remains a penalty double, as before.††

 

†††† With 4-card or better support, standard bidding allows opener to evidence primary support for his/her responding partnerís 4-card or better suit.We are all accustomed to such bidding sequences such as:

 

†††††† (a)North†††††† East†††††† South†† ††††West

††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††† 1D†††††††† Pass††††††† 1H††††††††† 1S

†††††††††††† 2H

†††††††††††††††††† (Here, North has shown 4 or more Hearts with a minimum 11-15 HCP count (seven or eight loser) opening bid.

 

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†††††††

†††††† (b)North†††††† East†††††† South†† ††††West

††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††† 1D†††††††† Pass††††††† 1S††††††††† 2C

†††††††††††† 3S

†††††††††††††††††† (Here, North has shown 4 or more Spades with a one-trick better than minimum 16-18 HCP count (six loser) opening bid.

 

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†††††† (c)North†††††† East†††††† South†† ††††West

††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††† 1C†††††††† Pass††††††† 1H††††††††† 2D

†††††††††††† 4H

†††††††††††††††††† (Here, North has shown 4 or more Hearts with a maximum 20+ HCP count (five loser) opening bid.

 

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††††

†††† In any of the above-listed sequences, however, it could, hypothetically be possible that South could, indeed, have had a 5-card suit, in which case North would only require 3-piece support to verify a Golden fit in Responderís bid suit.We have already seen that standard bidding produces a way for opener to show a 4-card support for Responder.†† If opener doubles or re-doubles, he/she is showing precisely 3-card support for Responderís suit.A support double or re-double is alertable.

 

 

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†††† All of the following bidding sequences are examples of a support double:Each is alertable.

 

††††††††††† North†††††† East†††††† South†† ††††West

†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††† 1C††††††††† 1H†††††††† 1S††††††††† 2H

†††††††††† Double

††††††††††††

 

†††††††††††† 1C†††††††† Pass††††††† 1H††††††††† 2D

†††††††††† Double

 

 

†††††††††††† 1D†††††††† Pass††††††† 1S††††††† Double

††††††††† Re-Double

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†††††††

†††† If, conversely, opener passes, rebids his/her own suit, or bids another suit at openerís second opportunity to bid, the implication is that (1) he/she does not hold 3-card support, or (2) that he/she will show support later.Such negative inference is also alertable.

 

†††† In all of the following examples, the primary message is that opener has fewer than 3-card support for Responderís suit because, (1) in the first, a new suit was bid, (2) in the second, opener has passed, and (3) in the third, opener has rebid his/her own suit.

 

 

††††††††††† North†††††† East†††††† South†† ††††West

††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††† 1C†††††††† Pass††††††† 1H††††††††† 1S

†† ††††††††††2D

††††††††††††

 

†††††††††††† 1D†††††††† Pass††††††† 1H††††††††† 1S††††††††

††††††††††† Pass

 

 

†††††††††††† 1H†††††††† Pass††††††† 1S††††††††† 2C

†††††††††††† 2H

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†††† Thus, in summary, the support double does not seek to penalize the overcaller (the option to double the opponentís overcall for penalties has been lost), but merely stipulates that the opener wishes to raise responderís suit to the 2-level with a holding of only three trumps.It is generally accepted, anyhow, that low-level penalty doubles are rarely fruitful most of the time, in any event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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