Advanced Bridge

 

Lesson 16

 

RESPONSIVE DOUBLES

 

 

Definition:   The use of a double for take-out when there has been an immediate raise to the 2- or 3-level over partner’s takeout double (Examples 1 & 2) or overcall (Example 3)

or over a supported weak 2-bid (Example 4).  

 The use of this form of Double says: “Partner, I have scattered strength, I have no specific long suit, but I wish us to compete further.  You bid your best suit and I will have support for it!”

 

Strength Required:   The minimum strength required for a responsive double varies slightly with the preceding level of the auction and will vary with the level at which the prospective user is forcing partner to bid.  Even with a balanced hand, a double at the 2-level requires about 6 HCP’s, and that at the 3-level about 9 HCP’s.   As one’s hand becomes more distributional, even fewer HCP’s are necessary.

 

Maximum Level For Usage:    Each Partnership must agree exactly how high this type of Double should apply.   “Responsive Through 4D” is a common agreement but it is up to each partnership as to what level, beyond which, such a bid necessarily be a Penalty Double as an alternative.

 

 

    Example 1         West        North        East        South

                                        1D          Dbl.         2D          ???

 

 

    South Holds:      JXXX      (It would be foolish for South to Pass

                      QXXX       with this holding, yet he/she is not

                      X          nearly strong enough to make a “3D” Cuebid.

                      QXXX     Not wanting to guess which Major suit to bid,

                             South makes a Responsive “Double”.   Since it be highly unlikely for South to desire to make a penalty double even if East had raised directly to 3D.  South is merely showing values, a desire to compete further, but no specific choice as to which of the remaining unbid suits to choose.)
                
 ----------------------------------

 

 

  Example 2         West        North        East        South

                                        1S          Dbl.         2S          ???

 

 

    South Holds:      XXX      (This would be ideal for a Responsive Double,

                      AJX        and, indeed, would be the case even if the

                      QXXX      opposition had bid Clubs, Diamond, or even  

                      JXX      Hearts.)

                                        ----------------------------------

- 45 -

 

  Example 3         West        North        East        South

                                        1H           2C          2H          ???

 

 

    South Holds:      KXXX      (Here North has shown a simple overcall

                      XXX        at the 2-Level (10-15 HCP’s) and a 5-card

                      AXXX      or longer Club suit.  South, wishing to 

                      XX      compete further, but not having support for

                             Partner, yet no clear choice of his/her own, makes a Responsive Double showing values and length in the two unbid suits.   North is now free to make choice as to whether to rebid his/her Clubs if 6 cards or longer, else bid one of the remaining suits as an alternative knowing South has values and length in the remaining suits.)
                
 ----------------------------------

 

 

   Example 4        West        North        East        South

                                         2H          Dbl.         3H          ???

 

 

    South Holds:      KXXX     (Partnerships must agree to at which levels   

                      X       a Double over both Minor and Major suit    

                      AXXX     supported Pre-empts warrant the use of   

                      QXXX    Responsive Doubles.)

  

                  ----------------------------------

 

Prohibition to Use:    One must not make Responsive Doubles or Cue-Bids in response to a Take-out Double with hands that are suited to No Trump (Examples 5 & 6).

 

 

   Example 5         West        North        East        South

                                          1H          Dbl.         2H          ???

 

 

    South Holds:      AX       (A Responsive Double is never made with   

                      KJXX      excessive strength in the opponent’s suit.    

                      QXXX     Here South should bid 2NT.)

                      XXX   

  

                  -------------------------------------------

 

 

   Example 6         West        North        East        South

                                         1H          Dbl.         2H          ???

 

 

    South Holds:      XX       (A Responsive Double is never made with   

                      AQ      excessive strength in the opponent’s suit.    

                      KQXXX     Here South should bid 3NT.)

                      JXXX   

  

 

                  -------------------------------------------

- 46 -