August 2018 English Bridge
Redouble = 3 diamonds, 2t = 4-card support
While you might like the sound of some of these
ideas (who am I kidding?) I really encourage you
not to adopt these methods. There are other handtypes
which really need describing as we discussed
FURTHER AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT
Let's just take one auction and see how many
bids/definition can arise:
W N E S
1® 1™ 1´ 2™
W N E S
1t Pass 1´ 1NT
W N E S
1t Pass 1´ Dble
W N E S
1® Pass 1t Dble
W N E S
1® Pass 1™ 2t
If you play that responder has shown five spades
for their 1´ bid, then support doubles do not apply.
They were devised to allow the partnership to
resolve trump length issues - so are not needed
here. Simply bid 2´ with three or four trumps and
reserve a double as take-out - no hardship at all.
If the opponents overcall 1NT:
Check you've got it!
Neil's online quiz is on page 68
If they overcall 1´ as before you
might take a two-step approach
and double first to show three
hearts then compete in clubs on
the next round.
playing a short club or some variation it is always
nice to be able to show 'real clubs'. Holding a
´ K 5
™ A 6 4
t 7 6
® A K J 5 4 2
WHAT IF THEY OVERCALL 2® WHEN YOU
HAVE OPENED 1® (POSSIBLY SHORT)?
It is very important to agree whether a double
shows 3-card support or clubs! I strongly
recommend it shows 3-card support (a huge winner
on frequency grounds). With good clubs you can
either stretch to bid 3® or pass. Indeed two topclass
teammates of mine had a major
misunderstanding on this recently, so it shows you
simply must discuss this with your regular partner.
Using Support Doubles means partner is well
able to judge further competition, whether partscore,
game or even higher, knowing the precise
nature of the combined trump fit.
There will be occasional situations when you
make a support double, the next person passes and
responder only has a 4-card suit. They are basically
compelled to 'rebid it' even with four cards. At least
you have a 4-3 fit and are not getting beyond the 2level
which is usually a small price to pay.
Consider the following auction:
Redouble = 3-card support, 2´ = 4-card support
These can act in a very similar way to Support
Doubles. Some people choose to play Support
Doubles but not redoubles - it is a matter for
partnerships to decide. I recommend both - why
not? Once you start I'm sure, after a few teething
problems, you will enjoy them and see your
competitive bidding really start to improve.
Playing a strong NT system clearly you will have
loads of hands that open 1®/t which are actually
12-14 no trump type hands, not to mention the
hands when you also have a natural suit to open.
These auctions are therefore coming up a
tremendous amount, so are really worth persevering
By arrangement, even though Support Doubles
usually resolve major suit responses, you can play
them after 1® - 1t auctions when they overcall a
Dble = 3-card support, any strength; 2™ = 4-card
support, minimum values; 2´ = natural, reversing
values; 2NT = 18-19 points (with or without three
hearts is probably best in my opinion); 3® = nice
hand, 6+ clubs, usually fewer than three hearts; 3t
= unassuming cue bid, 16+ with four hearts; 3™ =
stretch raise, 13-15, typically 4 hearts and shape.r
It is very important to remember that Support
Doubles do not apply here. You are simply doubling
for penalties - as always - with no reference to
spade length whatsoever.