Home Contents April 27 May 11 05-29-2006 17:01:49

May 4

Takeout Doubles and Two-Suited Bids

There has been too much tent folding over interference. If responder has 7 notrump count and would bid with 8- or 9-notrump, she should bid with seven. Do not give the defenders a free run.

Since the beginning of time, takeout doubles have shown an opening bid or better. Then with 13 HCP and stoppers you can bid 3NT. Suddenly, there is a move afoot to double with less with a singleton or void in the bid suit. Then, if partner doubles with a 4-4-4-1 pattern and 10 HCP, and you cater to this possibility, you need 15 HCP to bid 3NT.

Different double rules specify a different number of cards in the unbid suits. If you can double with three spades, then you want five spades to bid game. Three spades and 12 HCP in a 4-4-3-2 hand corresponds to a suit count of 11. If this is a minimum double, then you need five spades and 14 suit points to bid 4♠. On the other hand, if the double shows four spades and 12 suit points at spades, then you need only four spades and 13 suit points to bid 4♠.

There are also "big hand" takeout doubles.

An objective is to create a set of responses to a takeout double that allows us to intelligently and accurately bid game. I have followed a set of rules for fifty years that are compatible with my doubles. I have not searched bridge books to find rules for advancing in other double systems.

Robinson's Rules

Takeout Double

In a competitive auction, doubler raises to two-level with four trumps. He uses equal-level conversion. Equal-level conversion means bidding a higher suit at the same level does not show extras. He converts to a five-card suit over a 1 NT advance with a minimum.

Robinson gives no examples of jumps by advancer. He has cue-bid examples where responder has enough for game. Though, I think advancer might cue-bid with 8 suit points and 4-4 in the majors, do not playing with Steve.

Unusual Notrump

5-5 in the two lowest suits starting at 10 HCP. Fewer HCP with more distribution.

Michaels Cue-Bid

5-5 any strength. Examples range from 6 to 21 HCP. Over minor the cue shows the majors, and over major it shows the other major and a minor.

Your Rules

I have heard the definition of an opening bid with three cards in each suit and at least seven cards in the majors, or a big hand. I have seen cases where the big hand is not that big.

My Rules

We use the unusual notrump for the bottom two unbid suits, top and bottom for those unbid suits, and are close to using double plus equal-level conversion for the top two unbid suits.

Takeout Double

With two unbid majors, my takeout double is 4-4 or better in the majors. With 6-4, I would not object to your bidding the six-card suit. I accept Robinson's strengths. With one unbid major, the takeout double always has four cards in it. Words like 19 high for the exception to 4-4.

"I have an opening bid, but do not have 4 cards in one unbid major and do not have a 5-card suit."

Advancing Over the Takeout Double

The double has shown four cards in each unbid major. Advancer limit bids as though he were raising opener's second suit. Advance over a double of 1♣, 1, or 1 with four or more in a major as follows:

Note that over these low level doubles, a one-level bid is available for a weak hand. Over each advance, if the doubler can count 25 suit points, he bids game; if he can count 23 points, he invites game. Thus, the doubler needs 14 suit points to bid game over a 3-level major advance, and 16 suit points to invite game over a 2-level advance. The no-no's are to raise a 2-level advance with 14-15 suit points, and to raise competitively with four trumps because "I had four of them."

With only three in a major over a minor suit double.

The 1 NT advance after a minor suit double shows 7-10 notrump points and denies a four-card major. (Occasionally, 1 NT has slightly less.) The jump in a minor invites game. The jump in a minor is rare. Advances are unchanged by an intervening redouble. A pass indicates that advancer doesn't know what to do. (Hasn't he read these notes?) It suggests a distaste for the cheapest anchor suit. The meaning of advancer jumps are unchanged by a redouble. If the opponent bids, advances are in principle unchanged. Yes, you will bid 2 or 2♠ with 5 or 6 suit points. A bid at the one-level shows the upper limit of the 0-6 suit point range, and a non-jump advance at the two- or three-level will be made on slightly less than the required count.

1 NT over a major suit double is artificial and asks partner to bid his longest minor. 1 NT tends to be a weak hand, and advancer does not care if the opponent's block the notrump bid or the overcaller's answer. Reasons for the 1 NT bid include:

Advancing in Hearts over (1♠) – Double
Bid 1NT, then 2 0-6 suit points
2 7-10 suit points
3 11-12 suit points
4 13-up suit points.

Top and Bottom

Approximately an opening bid or better, and four cards in the top unbid suit and five or six cards in the bottom unbid suit. I did try Michaels before it was called Michaels. There were a spate of hands where opponents did not allow us to find the five-card minor low enough, and we missed good five-level saves. Therefore we switched to top and bottom for the cue-bid.

Unusual Notrump

Five-five or better and an opening bid or better, i.e. accept Robinson's rules. Over a minor, four hearts and five or six in the unbid minor.

In the Pass-Out Seat

With our aggressive overcall style, fourth seat does not have to go out of the way to balance. Be aware that a balancing double might be a point or two short, or off on distribution. It is simplest not to change the advancer rules, and I don't.

Opener-Responder System After They Double

Bid'em Up Deals

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