Dear Ed & Peter,
I had a poor hand with 3 HCP. My partner doubled the first bid but his partner rebid so I passed. They bid again and my partner doubled again. I passed and we went down badly. Must I rebid after the second double? I thought it was for penalty?
To start with: we suppose that 'we went down badly' means: 'They made their contract with overtricks', since after the auction as Ray described it they play the doubled contract, -Ed & Peter
Reply from Ed Hoogenkamp ('South'):
Without the exact bidding sequence it is difficult to answer this question (please send it to us)
Let me try to say some things in general:
- if the opponents show a fit the second double is 100% take-out
- if opponents last bid was in notrump, the second double shows a very strong hand and may be passed
- When in doubt I would treat a second double as take-out
Peter reads all my take out doubles as penalty and vice versa, let's see what he has to say.
Un saludo desde Barcelona
Reply from Peter van der Linden ('North'):
I agree with Ed, without more information your question is hard to answer.
Still, let's have a look at a few examples, including the ones Ed mentions. You are South:
Partner's second double is 100% for take-out. So you'd better bid, unless you have a strong six (five?) card suit in clubs (hardly possible in view of West's bidding).
Partner's second double shows a strong hand and is, like almost any double of a notrump bid, for penalties. Holding 3 HCP (as you said) and a more or less balanced hand you pass and hope for the best. If you have a six card suit (or decent five card suit) you bid it.
Since EW have found a fit, partner's second double is 100% for take-out. So you should bid.
This is trickier. In principle North's first double promised three suits (diamonds, hearts and spades). However, his second double changes that message: it shows a very strong hand (although not 19-20 balanced, since he would have bid 1NT at his second turn instead of doubling again), meaning his hand does not have to meet the distributional demands of the first double anymore.
North can have a spade suit but even so the double is for take-out. Note that over North's second double East passed, giving 'preference' for spades. So EW will usually have seven or more spades between them. Therefore you probably do best to bid, unless you have a five card spade suit or longer (very unlikely in view of the bidding so far).
So we conclude that only if the second double is of a notrump bid, it is for penalties. In all other cases the double is for take-out.
(Unless Ed is the one who doubles twice, of course. In that case you will have no clue about what to do. But that is hardly surprising: Ed's partners never know what to do over any bid by Ed.)
En hils fra Orkanger