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Have you discussed with your Partner…?

Source: NABC Phoenix ACBL Bulletins

Most players know that when partner opens and the next person makes a takeout double, a redouble shows 10 high-card points. Is that all there is? Do you have to redouble when you have 10 HCP – or are there other options?

Actually, there are many occasions when you will decide not to redouble because of what might happen afterwards.

Here’s an example: Your partner opens 1 and your right-hand opponent doubles for takeout. You hold:

4 3 A Q 6 5 K J 6 5 4 10 5

That’s 10 high-card points, enough – technically – to redouble, but consider how the auction might go from there. It is likely that the opponents have a spade fit, so if you redouble, the auction might be at the three level or higher by the
time it gets back to you.

In an earlier installment of this series, you learned that when your partner doubles and the next player redoubles, a jump by doubler’s partner does not show strength – it shows a long suit and weakness.

So, how would you like it if you redouble with the example hand and the next player bids 3 weak and preemptive? It is unlikely that opener will have a hand strong enough to bid at the four level – you and RHO likely have more than half the high-card points and LHO has a little something.

So partner, not knowing you have that excellent heart support, most likely will pass. Now it’s back to you. Yikes! You want to bid 4, but what if partner has a minimum opener? Now you’ve let them stampede you into an unmakeable contract. Okay, partner might have a hand good enough to make game, but why guess?

In yesterday’s issue, you learned that there is a good way to show your support for partner’s suit and more than just
a simple, competitive raise. Over an opening of one of a major, when the next player doubles, 2NT tells partner you have good trump support and at least 10-11 support points.

You can use this convention when you have enough for game because 2NT is not a natural bid. Partner must bid again. If she signs off in three of her suit, you can raise to game to indicate the stronger hand – or you could bid another suit to show even more and at least mild interest in slam.

Remember, your 2NT showed support for partner’s opener, so partner won’t think you are trying to play in a new suit. You established the trump suit with your 2NT bid. Always strive to show support when you have it. That’s far better than trying to catch up in an auction that has taken off on you.

So when is redouble appropriate? Check your convention card (left-hand side) under “Over Opp’s Takeout Double.”

There is a little box that says “Redouble implies no fit.” That tells you just about all you need to know. When you can’t raise partner’s opener, a redouble conveys two pieces of information – at least 10 HCP and at most a doubleton in partner’s suit. This will help partner make better decisions if the auction becomes competitive – and it will help in the defense should the other side win the auction.

This is an ideal hand for a redouble, especially if the opponents are vulnerable:

6 Q 9 8 7 A J 9 4 Q J 10 5

Unless the opponents want to defend 1 redoubled – doubtful – they’re going to have to bid 1NT or something at the two level. You will double whatever thay bid and expect to get a good plus score. I have seen many low-level doubled
contracts produce 800 or 1100 for the doublers. Tomorrow: More tips for dealing with competition.


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