by Mike Lawrence for the ACBL
A common situation occurs when your partner makes a takeout double and your right-hand opponent redoubles.
KQ762 Q742 KQ4 A
Here is a sample auction:
West North East South
1 Dbl Redbl ?
Let’s say you have not picked up your hand yet What do you expect to find?
That’s easy: not much. Opener has at least 12 or 13 high card points. Your partner has 11 or 12 HCP (or more), and RHO has at least 10 HCP.
Add the HCP 12 + 12 + 10 = 34. You have 6 HCP at most, and it will usually be a lot less.
When you are very weak, there could be trouble. If you fail to find your best spot assuming there is one, you might suffer a large penalty. Here is a likely hand for South in the example auction: 103 9863 J8763 73.
Here are a few hands you might have. Assume no one is vulnerable and the bidding has gone as shown. What should you bid with each of these?
You are going to have bad hands. Knowing how to avoid trouble when they come up is important.
1. 874 1084 873 Q874.
2. Q73 Q83 JI093 J73.
3. 103 9863 J8763 73.
4. J10663 43 9763 Q7.
1. Pass. Your pass says you have nothing to bid It eWes not say you want to defend against 1 redoubled. Your pass is a cry for help, begging your partner to make a decision you are not able to make from your hand. Yes, you have four clubs, but partner will certainly have four cards in one or both majors, and when he bids one, you will pass, knowing you have seven trumps.
2. It might occur to you to bid 1NT with your 6 HCP, but I can give you a rule that handles this situation perfectly:
if your partner doubles and the next player redoubles, your side cannot make any notnunp contracL They will double you and they will set you. That is a promise. Pass and accept whatever partner bids. The redouble tells you that your
partner has a minimum double. If he has 12 HCP, your side has only 18. You are outgunned and will be fighting to hold the losses. Making 1NT doubled will never be an issue for you.
3. Bid 1. You have a four card major, which is about as good as the news will get considering how bad your hand is. If you pass and partner bids 1, the doubling likely will start. You bid 1 and partner bids something, whatever happens Is on his head. One thing for sure: Your partner should not expect you to be showing anything. Your bid is not a value
bid. It is an escape bid, trying to avoid something bad happening.
4. How does this hand look to you? In light of the first three shown, this one is a treasure. Compared to the others, this one has the following useful features: (1) A five-card spade suit; (2) J-10 in the long suit and (3) The possibly usefull Q.
Your correct bid is not pass or 1 -it is 2. A jump over the redouble says you have a long suit with some ahape. You do not promise high cards, but in light of the expected spade fit, you show a hand that rates to make more tricks than expected. Here is one posible layout:
At worst, you might lose two spades, a heart, two diamonds and a club. At best, you might lose just one spade, no hearts it the defense lets you set up a club trick in time, two diamonds and one club. I would guess that making 2. Is a live possibility.
The benefit of your bid is that you get in the way of opener bidding, and if your partner has a little more, he may be able to compete further himself. Be sure you and your partner understand what your 2 bid means.