ACBL02A – Double: Opponent’sTwo-Level Bids    Ward Trumbull                

                                                                                                                   Sep 15, 2008

                                                                                                                   Page 1 of 2


Don’t Double Two-Level Contracts for Penalty


      It’s risky business to double two-level contracts for penalty.  I don’t recommend it, and I don’t do it.  Too many things can go wrong.


            1. If they make a doubled two of a major (non-vulnerable), they will

                score 470 points.  If you set the contract 1, you’ll only get 100



            2. You have to take 6+ tricks to their 8 tricks, and partner might not

                follow your line of defense.  


            3. Your partner may miss the point by pulling the double with a bid.


            4. The declarer might have a two-suited hand, and your pair will

                 have aces and kings ruffed out.


            5. The partner of the doubled player might pull the double by

                switching to a makeable contract.


            6. If your pair is vulnerable and their pair is not, you may miss a

                600+ game for a 100, 300 or 500 point set.


Too Many Other Reasons to Double at the Two-Level


      Some typical two-level doubles that are not for penalty are:


     Opp         You       Opp       Partner       Opp       You          Type/Reason

    --------       ------     --------      ----------    ----------     -----           -----------------    

1  2 hearts   dbl                                                                        Takeout Dbl


2                                             1 NT         2 clubs     dbl            Stayman


3                                             1 NT         2 hearts    dbl           Transfer



         ACBL02A – Double: Opponent’sTwo-Level Bids    Sep 15, 2008

                                                                                                                   Page 2 of 2


Too Many Other Reasons to Double at the Two-Level (continued)


     Opp         You       Opp       Partner       Opp       You          Type/Reason

    --------       ------     --------      ----------    ----------     -----          ------------------    

4. 1 diam     dbl        1 NT       pass         2 clubs     dbl           Repeat TKO


5.                                            1 spade    2 clubs      dbl          Negative Dbl      


6. 1 spade   dbl        2 diam    dbl                                            Negative Dbl                                                


7                 1 club     pass      1 heart      2 diams    dbl          Support Dbl


When in Doubt


      If your partner doubles a two-level contract and you don’t know what

partner’s double is telling you, remember:


             He/she isn’t doubling for penalty.


Find a bid somewhere.


Three-Level Doubles


      If the opponents as a pair have only bid once each, treat partner’s double as takeout.  That would be preemptive bids or limit raises.  However, if either opponent has bid twice, treat partner’s double as penalty.


Final Words


      If all your penalty doubles work, you’re not doubling enough.  Good player’s penalty doubles fail about 1 out of 3 or 4 times.  That’s 67% or 75% success.