What should I bid? (June 2017)


What should I bid? (June 2017)

The best submission for June came from Brian Thorp. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridge Books.

Matchpoints, EW vul, W deals;

West North East South
 Pass 1 X  1NT
 2 Pass 2NT  X
 Pass ?    

We play Standard with better minor.

The 1NT over the double shows 7-9hcp.

The main question here is not so much what should N bid, but what south’s double means. Needless to say my partner and I were/are in disagreement.

It seems that lots of intermediate (and better) players have simple rules of thumb they use about doubles at levels below 3NT, such as “all such doubles are take-out”, or “all such doubles are take-out, except doubles of NT and doubles once partner has opened 1NT or a pre-empt”.


Hi Brian,

The simple rule of thumb that you mentioned I would say is a good one. Of course, you will have to evaluate each auction individually as sometimes one meaning might not make sense, but as a general rule, it is a good one to follow. Of course on this auction the double should be for penalties as it doesn’t make much sense for it to be for takeout (i.e. responder has already denied a four-card major with 1NT, so what would it be takeout to?).

If you follow this rule of thumb, you will certainly cut down on the misunderstandings that you’ll have with your partner:

– Most low level doubles are for takeout
– Some doubles of NT
– Doubles once partner opens a preempt (or makes a weak jump overcall)
– Double after partner opens 1NT (though I still prefer this double as takeout if partner opened 1NT, i.e. 1NT-(2)-X, but there are people who like it as penalties – it’s up to partnership agreement).

Hope that helps,

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