Passion of The Game of Bridge

Outline for Takeout Double

One of the most important tools for competitive bidding is takeout double. Takeout double is the opposite of the classic double which intended to penalize opponent. With takeout double, practically you communicate “Partner, please bid your cards!” while with penalty double you are saying “Partner, do NOT bid!” – The problem is, we are playing both – so it has to be very clear which double is which one….

Part of Competitive Bidding

Takeout Double need to be incorporated into the overall competitive bidding which include double, overcall, NT overcall, preemptive bid and other special bidding. The common one, for example:

  • Overcall: 8-15 hcp with sound suit at least 5 cards. Good 4 cards can overcall only at level 1
  • NT Overcall: 16-18 hcp with stopper
  • Preemptive bid: 6+ cards – weak. The weaker the hand, the higher the jump, especially if partner has ‘Pass’ already
  • Take out double:
    1. Take out double: short in opponent suit (1-2 cards), 12 – 15hcp, cannot overcall (no 5 cards), promise at least 3 cards on other suits.
    2. Takeout double and rebid suit: strong 16+, 1 or 2 suiters
    3. Takeout double and rebid NT: strong 19+, balance
  • Everything else: Pass.

So, how about:

  1. 16-18hcp without stopper, and cannot do take out double (as you do not have 3 cards on every other suit)?
  2. 8-15 hcp, overcall range but only have opponent suit ?

And as prescribe above, the answer of these 2 questions are: Pass. Just remember ‘Pass” is also a bid. Furthermore, just in case later partner double for takeout, you can do the most satisfying one: Penalty Pass: you pass to penalize opponent, converting partner’s double from take out to penalty.

So, if you want to change the characteristic of your double, you need to consider all other factors as mentioned above.

The Take Out Double

First thing first, you need to agree with your partner: until what level take-out double is still in play. Some partnership only play up to level 3 (up to 3S) so 4D and above all double become penalty double. I usually play take out double up to 4H, so if opponent open 4H , I can still do take out to play 4S or 5m, but maybe a little bit more risky if you do take out double up to 4S as every bid will be on 5 level.

Then discuss the sequence on the situation below:

  1. After Partner’s Takeout Double (RHO Pass)
  2. After Partner’s Takeout Double and RHO Redouble
  3. After Partner’s Takeout Double and RHO Raise / Jump Raise
  4. After Partner’s Takeout Double and RHO Bid New Suit / NT
  5. After Partner’s Takeout Double and RHO did Artificial Bid

Finally, you also need to discuss some related aspect:

  • What double you play after opponent NT bid
  • What double you play on artificial bid (Stayman, Michael Cuebid, Ace Answering after Blackwood/Gerber, 2D Multi opening)
  • What is the general use for “Redouble”, then what double you play after your side (you or partner) bid redouble?

Then as long as you write it down, everything can be easily improved along the way.

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