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Definition: ‑ One use of the "DOUBLE" in bridge is for penalties in order to punish the opponents when they have bid more than you believe they can reasonably make,   This type of double is called a  PENALTY DOUBLE”.   If your opponents are defeated, the penalties are increased, and conversely, if the doubled contract is made, additional bonus scores are awarded for making the contract.   You can only double your opponent's contract.   If you don't think your partner can make the contract, keep it to yourself.   You may "double" for penalties only when it is your turn to call.    Lastly, a penalty double, or any other double, for that matter, does not end the auction   The other players still have an opportunity to call.   Only after three consecutive passes does the bidding end and the final contract remain doubled.   If additional bidding occurs, the double no longer remains in effect.


A second use for the "Double" is as a request for partner to bid.   It asks partner to bid a suit ‑ other than the one already bid by the opponents.   This type of double is called a "TAKEOUT DOUBLE.   One cannot say "I'd like to make a penalty double", or I'm making a takeout double, go ahead and bid partner".   The only word allowed to be said is "DOUBLE'.   Thus, it is important to understand the guidelines that exist in order to differentiate the takeout double from the penalty double or any other, for that matter.



Guidelines and Requirements For The Takeout Double:


a. The "double" is made by either member of the opposing team that previously    

   opened the bidding.

           Example: (1H Dbl.) or (1S P P Dbl.) or (P 1S Dbl.) or (1NT P P Dbl.)


b. The partner of the one who doubles must not have previously bid, else the Double is for penalties.

           Example: (lH P 3H Dbl,) or ( 2H Dbl,)   [ 1H 1S 4H Dbl. = Penalty )


c. The takeout double Guarantees an equivalent or better hand than the 

   opponents evidenced by their opening bid.  It is like opening the bidding 

   for your side after the opponents have already opened.   Note: A takeout

   double evidences greater strength than a simple overcall at the 1 or 2


         Example: (1D Dbl. = 13 HCP's or more) (1NT Dbl.= 15‑17 HCP's or more)


d. The takeout double is usually used at bidding levels below game. Above  

   game levels a double is usually for penalties.

      Example: (1S P 3S Dbl. = (Takeout))  vs.   (4S Dbl. = (Penalty))


e. The takeout Doubler should ideally have support (or tolerance) for the 

   unbid suits, especially for the other major suit if over the opponent’s  

   Major opening, and for both Major suits if the opponents have opened a 

   Minor Suit opening.


          Example:     KJXX              AKXX               KQXX

                       QXXX (1D Dbl.)    XX   (1H Dbl.)     QXX   1NT Dbl.

                       X                 AKXX               AJXX

                       AKXX               JXX                AX





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Responding to a Takeout Double


       If the partner to the takeout double were to hypothetically pass, this would convert the intended takeout double to penalties.   If partner does not wish this to happen, he/she must bid, even with as few as O HCP's. Responder's first choice is usually a Major suit since it will produce a higher trick score than would a Minor suit, but the highest priority should be to pick the longest suit such that the partnership is playing in the best Golden fit possible.








1.   With 0‑9 HCP's (Minimum Hand)


      * Bid a 4‑card or longer unbid Major suit at the cheapest level

      * Bid a 4‑card or longer unbid Minor suit at the cheapest level

      * Bid 1 NT (Guarantees at least one stopper in opponent's bid suit)

       * Bid a 3‑card unbid suit if necessary, but under no conditions Pass  

             unless willing to convert the double to penalties.



2. With 10‑12 HCP's (Medium Hand)


       * Jump in a 4‑card or longer unbid Major suit

       * Jump in a 4‑card or longer unbid Minor suit

       * Jump to 2 NT (Guarantees at least one stopper in opponent's bid suit)




3. With 13 or more HCP's (Maximum Hand)


       * Jump to game in a 4‑card or longer Major suit

       * Jump to 3NT (Guarantees at least one stopper in opponent's bid suit)








1. With 13‑15 HCP's (Minimum Hand)


      * Pass whether partner bids at cheapest or jumped level


2. With 16‑18 HCP's (Medium Hand)


      * Raise one level if partner bids at cheapest level

      * Bid a Golden game if partner jumps a level evidencing 10 or more HCP's


3. With 19‑21 HCP's (Maximum Hand)


      * Jump raise if partner bids at the cheapest level

      * Bid a Golden game if partner jumps a level.