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bidding problem reverses and support doubles

#1 User is offline   JAQPM 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 19:34

Openers hand KJ96 Pards hand A873
Q3 AK98
J6 9
KJt32 9654

Bidding 1C..P..1H..2D

Question Opener cannot X as it is support so Passed as 2S could be a reverse
Pard was reluctant to bid 2S as it could intimate five H

Who should bid S
replies would be appreciated
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#2 User is offline   JAQPM 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 19:38

hands looked horrible jumbled so
opener kj96....q3...j6...kjt32
Responder A873..Ak98..9..9654
Hope this is understandable
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#3 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 19:48

The hand editor tool is your friend :) . In general you also want to specify vulnerability and form of scoring.



Opener's pass is normal. Responder has an easy takeout double, after which opener can bid 2S.
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#4 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 19:50

1c-p-1H-2d
P-P-x-P
2s
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#5 User is offline   JAQPM 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 20:38

Thank you both for your prompt reply
We play that if three suits have been bid then X is penalty
Is this wrong?
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#6 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 22:33

"Wrong" is a strong word (I might still use it in this instance), but your agreement differs from common practice. As you found out here, you need ways to say "I want to compete but I'm not sure how" much more than you need ways to penalise the opponents with a trump stack. Otherwise, some hands are simply impossible to bid accurately. For reference, in serious competitions I think I have seen one pair in the past decade who play this sort of thing as penalty, and they prealert that a lot of their low-level doubles are penalty.

More generally, you want to play most doubles of suit bids below game as "takeout" rather than "penalty", although there are many shades of grey and many specific agreements that impact them. In fact, you are better off if your agreement start with "doubles are takeout unless ..."

So what are these 'unless' rules? It depends how fancy you want to get, but they typically include:
  • We've passed a takeout double for penalty
  • Partner has preempted
  • We've found a fit (you might have an exception for game-try doubles)
  • The hand has taken action to show values (such as double of their opening NT, 1x (X) XX, or 1M (2NT) X)

Even over the last one I still prefer takeout doubles. That's less common though.

This list will be easier to remember and much shorter than starting with the idea that double is penalty and writing down the exceptions. You lose the direct penalty double but you gain the ability to cooperatively compete in a wide range of auctions. You can still penalise them most of the time, but by passing a takeout double rather than by direct action.

The other thing you gain is that you don't have to worry about specific types of doubles - negative, responsive, snapdragon, etc. Even support doubles mostly fall into this general approach. They're all basically "takeout".
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#7 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 22:35

Yes. Modern bridge has fewer penalty doubles than older styles as takeout has been shown to be more valuable.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#8 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 22:54

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-June-01, 22:35, said:

Yes. Modern bridge has fewer penalty doubles than older styles as takeout has been shown to be more valuable.


The pendulum is perhaps swinging back the other way a bit given the utter cheese that people are bidding on these days...
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#9 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 23:23

View PostJAQPM, on 2021-June-01, 20:38, said:

Thank you both for your prompt reply
We play that if three suits have been bid then X is penalty
Is this wrong?

This is how I was taught too. Unfortunately, or fortunately, bridge is a lot more complex than this and those teaching new students should add the caveat that these "rules" are only guidelines to get you started.
Double here is take out. Partner can always convert the double to penalty with an appropriate hand,but it is not likely at the 1 level.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

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#10 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 01:19

View PostJAQPM, on 2021-June-01, 20:38, said:

Thank you both for your prompt reply
We play that if three suits have been bid then X is penalty

But you are not really playing this in these sequences, as opener's double is support which is really a takeout double than penalty.

So hopefully it is not difficult to see that responder's double should be takeout too as opener can not make a penalty double.
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 08:31

View Postpaulg, on 2021-June-02, 01:19, said:

So hopefully it is not difficult to see that responder's double should be takeout too as opener can not make a penalty double.

It would be easier if you spelled it out :)
Is your logic just that it makes even more sense to play responder's double as takeout because opener might well be able to convert it to punishment, or something more elusive?
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#12 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 10:01

View Postpescetom, on 2021-June-02, 08:31, said:

View Postpaulg, on 2021-June-02, 01:19, said:

But you are not really playing this in these sequences, as opener's double is support which is really a takeout double than penalty.

So hopefully it is not difficult to see that responder's double should be takeout too as opener can not make a penalty double.

It would be easier if you spelled it out :)
Is your logic just that it makes even more sense to play responder's double as takeout because opener might well be able to convert it to punishment, or something more elusive?

There is a greater probability that the opener has a penalty double when they do not have heart support, so the ability to convert a takeout double into a penalty double is higher.

When the responder has a penalty double of diamonds, which will be rare sitting under the bidder, there is a far higher chance that partner either has heart support or will have bid with a black two-suited hand.

So, overall, it is far more probable that responder will want to compete rather than penalise.
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#13 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 11:14

View Postpescetom, on 2021-June-02, 08:31, said:

It would be easier if you spelled it out :)
Is your logic just that it makes even more sense to play responder's double as takeout because opener might well be able to convert it to punishment, or something more elusive?

Back when I learned - prior to sunshine and dirt - these doubles were called “cooperative doubles “, meaning, I have too much to pass but no clear bid. That description still makes sense to me.
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