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winners†††† Joe/Bengt††††††††††††††††††††††† 64%† ††††††† winners†† ††††† Mike/Ole††††††††††† 72%
2nd =††††††† John/Ralph; Hans/Bob ††† 61%††††††††† 2nd†††††††††† †††† Kaj/Margit†††††††† 59%
-†† A double of a Major opening always promises 4 cards in the other major (or a hand strong enough to cope with a jump in
the other major).
-†† A double of a Minor opening always promises both majors Ė one may possibly be 3 card (or a hand strong enough to
cope with a jump in either major).
-†† A double followed by a NoTrump bid shows a hand too strong to overcall 1NT directly (so 19+).
-†† A double followed by a new suit after partner has responded shows a hand too good to simply overcall.
Letís have some examples of take-out doubles (and not). In all cases, an opponent has opened 1♦ in front of you.
All these examples are for direct bids; bidding in the balancing seat is sometimes different.
♣ AQ42†††††††††† ♣ Q974†††††††††† ♣ AQ42†††††††††† ♣ AQJ54††††††††
Hand 1:†† The classic take out double.
Hand 2:†† Pass. You cannot double with only 2 ♠ís. You cannot overcall without a 5 card suit. You cannot overcall with
1NT as this shows 15-18 points. That just leaves pass!
Hand 3:†† With a 5 card suit, a 1♥ overcall is preferable to a double.
Hand 4:†† This hand is from a Dutch Magazine. In the article the hand doubled but there was no discussion of this bid.
Perhaps it is standard practice in
With this hand, overcall 2♣.
Hand 5:†† Double is acceptable with this hand.
Hand 6:†† You cannot double with 3 cards in the opponentís suit and with just a doubleton in one major. With this hand,
a 1NT overcall (15-18) is fine.
Hand 7:†† Double! This is the same as the previous hand except that it is too strong for 1NT. So you double first and
then bid NT over partnerís 1♠ or 2♣. Raise 1♥ to 3♥.
Hand 8:†† Double. And subsequently bid your ♥ suit. Too strong for an overcall.
One important point. I mention above that a 1NT overcall is 15-18. This is the case regardless of your opening
1NT range. Since an opponent has bid, you need a strong hand to intervene with 1NT. This 1NT overcall is less in the
balancing seat (11-14).†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Responses to Partnerís take-out Double.
- A non jump suit bid shows 0-9 pts††††††††††††††††††† *†† These 1st 4 responses are non-forcing.
- A jump suit bid shows 10-11 pts††††††††††††††††††††† *
- 1NT shows 6-10 pts, denies 4 card major††††††† *
- 2NT shows 11-12 pts, denies 4 card major††††† *
- A cue bid (bid of opponentís suit) makes the auction forcing (I prefer game forcing).
- 3 of an unbid major is game forcing showing a 5 card suit.
- Pass is for penalties
So, letís have a few examples. Partner has doubled a 1♦ opening in all cases:
Hand 9:††††††††††† Oh dear! Bid 1♥, do not pass, do not bid 1NT (insufficient values).††††††††††††††††††
Hand 10:††††††††† Bid 2♥, do not bid NT with a major
Hand 11:††††††††† Bid 1NT††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Hand 12:††††††††† Bid 2NT
♦ K10††††††††††††† ♦ K7††††††††††††††† ♦ QJ1086†††††††† ♦ KJ107
♣ KQ86††††††††† ♣ Q974†††††††††† ♣ A982††††††††††† ♣ AQ86
Hand 13:††††††††† Bid 2♦. A subsequent bid of 2♠ over a 2♥ reply would then show a 4 card ♠ suit and game forcing
values. Of course you raise a 2♠ bid to 4♠.
Hand 14:††††††††† Bid 3♥. Game forcing with 5 ♥ís.†††††††††
Hand 15:††††††††† Pass. Declarer will have a tough time.
Hand 16:††††††††† Bid 3NT. Obviously where you want to play, and better played from your hand.
Next week we will have a look at a few specific types of doubles.
††††††††††† is your rebid? (you are playing a strong NT if that affects
♦ K76††††††††††††† ♦ AQJ106†††††††
♣ A10765††††††† ♣ 65††††††††††††††† Answers later in this news-sheet.
Hans asked my opinion on the meaning of the 2nd double. It is penalties. Partnerís double promised both rounded
suits, and so this falls into categories 8 (no unbid suit) and also 10 (doublerís partner has described his hand)
mentioned last week and is for penalties.
The No-trump rebid.
Hand C††††††††††† Hand D††††††††† Letís suppose you play a strong NT (15-17). Then you would
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† open Hand C with 1NT. With hand D you open 1♣ and rebid
♠ QJ8††††††††††††† ♠ QJ8††††††††††† 1NT (12-14) over any one-level suit response. If you play a
♥ KQ†††††††††††††† ♥ K8††††††††††††† weak NT, then it is the other way round. You would open
♦ Q942††††††††††† ♦ Q942††††††††† Hand C with 1♣ (with a 1NT rebid in mind) and you open
♣ AQ42†††††††††† ♣ AJ42††††††††† Hand D with a weak 1NT (12-14). Simple, níest pas?
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I always thought so, but it appears not? I had a very interesting time discussing two of
Mondayís hands with Hans:
Letís start with the South hand from Board 6: -
Paul Marstonís Introduction to Bridge: - †††† A 1NT rebid shows a balanced hand without a fit.
Zia Mahmood Ė Bridge for Beginners: -††††† Rebid NT with a balanced hand after a new suit response.
††††††††††† When opener has rebid 1NT to show 12-14 HCP and a balanced handÖÖ
Note the key word balanced. So, a pretty comprehensive argument? But letís just put the icing on the cake and
quote Paul Thurston Ė 25 steps to learning 2/1. No embellishment, this is an exact quote: -
Ď There are some players (no-trump hogs) who think itís OK to rebid 1NT or 2NT with a singleton Ė
sometimes even with a void(!) Ė in partnerís suit. I believe you really should try to avoid doing this;
it makes the auction very difficult if you tell partner youíre balanced and then try to change the
message later on. Typically this comes up when you open 1♣ with something like
††††††††††† ♠ 6††† ♥ AQ32†† ♦ K76†† ♣ A10765
and partner is inconsiderate enough to respond 1♠. You lack the strength to reverse into 2♥, but rather
than rebid 1NT and promise a balanced hand, I would recommend you bid 2♣.í††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††
††††††††††† I could not have put it better myself (although I would never call a club member a no-trump hog).
I hate to think what this author would say about a similar hand with a void and a better ß suit rebidding 1NT
(such as West board 1)! I guess it would be unprintable?
Letís have a really silly bidding sequence: -
I guess South can make 3NT, but 9 or 10 down is unlikely to be a good score for E-W when 7♠ is cold.
This example may be extreme, but the examples of the bidding going astray because partner assumes that you
probably have 2 of his suit are too numerous to mention. Indeed, it really is Ďdifficult to change the messageí.
Playing game/slam contracts with 6-0 or whatever fits takes a lot of skill. Even taking a simple finesse is difficult,
to say nothing about communication. Are you up to it?
Incidentally, if you and your partner still believe that it is OK to rebid NT with a void, then this is not standard
practice and is a partnership understanding. As such, it must be alerted. It misleads opponents if you show a
balanced hand when you have a void. Iím not even sure if itís allowed. Hate to think what Chuck would say,
he would most certainly (correctly) call the director if there was no alert. If you find that it is tedious to alert
every time your partner rebids NT, then play a sensible system. If you are unhappy rebidding a 5 card major,
then one excellent option is to play 2/1. It is not just chance that most experts play this Ė it is far superior to
Standard American. I have a few 2/1 books if anybody wants to borrow one.
Bidding Quiz Answers
Hand A††††††††††† Hand B †††††††††† Hand A is the Paul Thurston example. You open 1♣ and if
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† partner responds 1♠ then your rebid is 2♣.
♠ 6†††††††††††††††††† ♠ A7432††††††††† Hand B is from a Marty Bergen bidding book. You open 1♠.
♥ AQ32†††††††††† ♥ 10†††††††††††††††† If partner responds 2♥ then bid 3♦ if this does not show
♦ K76††††††††††††† ♦ AQJ106††††††† extra values (playing 2/1). He goes on to say that if 3♦
And now onto Friday, a couple of interesting hands: -
Friday Bidding Quiz
Hand E†††††††††††† Hand F ††††††††††† What do you open with Hand E? 21 points.
♠ AK1084†††††† ♠ AK8†††††††††††† You have Hand F, what do you open?† If you choose 1♦†
♥ KQ7†††††††††††† ♥ 109†††††††††††††† then what is your rebid over a 1♥ response? (you are
♦ AJ92†††††††††††† ♦ KJ10943†††††† playing a strong NoTrump if that affects your decision).
♣ A††††††††††††††††† ♣ A5†††††††††††††††††††††††††††
So, a 2♣ opening then? I donít like this either. As mentioned above, the sequence is normally played
as game forcing and this hand is simply not good enough.
I did a poll of many present on Friday. It was 50-50. 4 people opened 1♠ and the other 4 that I asked
opened 2♣. What would be your choice? Nobody voted for my preferred bid; as I indicated, nothing is ideal,
but I would open 2NT (20-22). Not so nice with a singleton, but a singleton ace is certainly acceptable.
I believe that this is probably the best of a bad set of choices. If you donít like 2NT, then 1♠ is best, however Ö
If playing strong twos (either direct or Benjamin) then there is no problem. The hand qualifies for a strong 2♠
opening. A good advert for Benjamin twos? Hans plays them with me, as does Chris. So do Martin and
Rosemary and Gerry (and most Brits).
Die-hards like John Gavens play traditional Acol strong twos as do a few of the less experienced players.
All the rest who have Ďmoved oní to weak twos will have extreme difficulty with this hand!
Hand F ††††††††††† Hand F is North hand 12 from Friday. Everybody opened 1♦.
††††††††††††††††††††††† The hand first caught my attention when held by Hans.
♠ AK8†††††††††††† Partner responded 1♥ and Hans rebid 1NT, passed out.
♥ 109†††††††††††††† Before dummy hit the table, I asked Hans if he was happy with his 1NT
♦ KJ10943†††††† rebid and he said yes. It made +2. Please check on the previous pages to
♣ A5††††††††††††††† see if this hand qualifies for a 1NT rebid.†
It is way too strong Ė 15 HCP with a decent 6 card suit and excellent intermediates. Everybody else I
asked would rebid 3♦. Joe commented that it was closer to a 2NT (18-19) rebid than 1NT but that 3♦ was
Ďobviousí. I believe that the hand is worth a 3♦ rebid but Hans disagrees. However, if the hand is not worth
a 3♦ rebid, you cannot rebid 1NT (12-14). If you wonít rebid 3♦ then there is no choice but to open an
off-beat 1NT. The hand is far too strong for a 2♦ or 1NT rebid after partner has responded. Hans claimed
that if game is on, partner will bid on over the 1NT rebid. Not true. The 1NT rebid is a limit bid. Partner
will normally need invitational values or better (11+) to bid on. You may well miss game (as in this case) if
he has 8-10.
That was not the end of the matter, however. I followed the hand around the room
(I was not playing) and saw some equally atrocious bidding! I spectate♠ the hand 3 more times, each time it
was totally different with a multitude of bids that simply have to be commented upon. The other tables had
intervention, so itís best to see the complete deal:
West††††††††††††††† ♥ 109†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1NT††††††† all pass
N-S vul††††††††††† ♦ KJ10943††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Table B:†††††† West††† North††††† East†††††††† South††††††††
♥ 76†††††††††††††††† † W††† E†††††††† ♥ KJ42†††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1♦†††††††††† 1♥† (1)†††† pass† (2)††††
♦ Q7††††††††††††††††††††† S†††††††††††† ♦ A85†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 2♦† (3)†††† all pass
♣ K73††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ♣ QJ104††††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††††††††††††††† ♠ Q2††††††††††††††† †
††††††††††††††††††††††† ♦ 62
††††††††††††††††††††††† ♣ 9862††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1♦†††††††††† pass††††††† 1♥
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1♠ (4)† 3♦† (5)†††† pass††††††† 3♥
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 4♥† (6)†††† all pass
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Table D:†††††† West††† North††††† East†††††††† South
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1♦†††††††††† 1♥† (1)†††† pass† (2)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1♠††††††† 2♦† (7)†††† pass††††††† pass
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2♠††††††† 3♦† (8)†††† 3♠†††††††††† pass† (9)
None of these auctions are anything to be proud of. Letís examine them all in detail.
Table A :††† This was the auction at Hansí table. West, East and South all bid sensibly,
††††††††††††††††† unfortunately Northís rebid of 1NT was appalling. Hans continues to say that
the bid is correct, funny how he can find nobody who thinks it is remotely sensible.
Table B:†††† What do you think of the 1♥ (1) overcall? (it was also chosen at table D).
††††††††††††††††† Appalling is an understatement, it deserve to go for 1100 or more, read on Ė
in fact it can go six down (see table C). Now south loved it and, (2) playing negative doubles, passed;
awaiting partnerís Ďautomaticí re-opening double. Unfortunately North either forgot how to play negative
doubles or has been listening to the wrong people (the penalty pass and re-opening double are explained
in news-sheet 10). Now the N-S pair at table C were Joe/Jeff, obviously not beginners. I think Joeís 2♦
bid (3) is a poor bid, so I checked with Hans. He would bid the same as Joe!! Hans maintains that a double
by opener shows strength. This is absolutely not true. It shows a fundamental mis-understanding of negative
doubles. The re-opening double is simply a courtesy bid just in case partner has a penalty pass (unable to
double for penalties because you play negative doubles) Ė it is not a penalty double. If partner does not have
a penalty pass (so a heap with less than 6 points) then he will pull this double and opener can then simply
convert to 2♦. The re-opening double costs absolutely nothing here. Either partner has a penalty pass (and
your hand is ideal for defending) or he has a heap (in which case you reach 2♦ anyway). There is absolutely
no % in bidding 2♦ rather than the Ďautomaticí double. A failure to penalise overcalls like this simply encourages
them. If Hans/Joe doubt the wisdom of my words, refer to ĎBieden met
kort is in de kleur van de tegenpartij zal hij anticiperen op een strafpas en het openhouden met een doublet.
Gezien de hartenholding is een strafpas goed mogelijkí. And what about Southís (Jeff) bidding? The initial
pass (2) is fine playing negative doubles, and when opener simply rebids 2♦ (showing a weakish hand
unhappy to defend!) then Jeff can take no further action. His bidding was beyond reproach.
Table C:†††† The bidding here was more sensible. East passed (correct) and South bid the obvious 1♥.
West then entered the lists with a rather dubious 1♠ (4) and the rest of the auction was sensible.
I like the 3♦ rebid (5) although I would perhaps consider 3NT rather than 4♥ at (6) Ė but 4♥ turned out better.
The 4♥ contract made +2! Well played Ole! This result demonstrates the power of the North hand.
Only 23 HCPs, but game is a doddle. You have to up-grade with a good long suit and excellent intermediates.
Incidentally, a weak 2♠ opening at this vulnerability is not too bad (better than a 1♠ overcall). But it is not
everybodyís cup of tea with no honour (always pass playing with Chuck).
Table D:†††† Both East and West got carried away here. Opposite a passed hand, Northís
††††††††††††††††† bids (7&8) show a strong hand, so Southís final pass (9) was feeble.
I guess everybody is eagerly awaiting Chuckís return so that they are not in the spotlight quite so often?