A “double” bid in bridge is a special bid with various use. You can use it for takeout or negative (asking partner to bid longest suit, basically), to penalize opponent to to resume disrupted bidding system (for example: DOPE/ROPE). On this article, we will see how it can be used for lead directing, to make the opening lead much more certain and easier.
Most bridge players play both takeout double and negative double on their system. Although very similar in principle, there are quite subtle different that we all should be aware. This differences might determine whether you miss a game or not.
The common problem during bidding when you have long suit (say 6+ cards) and 2nd suit (4+ cards) is whether to show the extra on the un-usually longer suit, or rebid the second suit. But what if you have the chance to show both with smarter bidding ?
As we can bid the 35 kind of contract in its order during auction, there are 2 important special bids that can be made in addition of those 35 bids: Double (X) and Redouble (XX). And because it’s special bids, they have special requirement and special purpose as well.
This is really happening to me on a supervised session on my club: I open 1♦ as natural 12-21HCP promising at least 3 cards Diamond. LHO passes and partner bids Double !! Apparently the person opposite me has doubleton Diamond, 4-4 majors and 3 cards club and wanting me to be 2nd suit if any… He is not really beginner’s beginner as has been playing bridge regularly for more than 1 years, but it highlite one simple fact that probably the understanding of this Double bid (and even the rarer Redouble) is not really well explained to the beginner as one of the bridge basic.
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….