ACBL02B – Double: Reopening Double                Ward Trumbull                

                                                                                                                   Feb 14, 2011

                                                                                                                   Page 1 of 3




      ACBL02 item 1C is a brief description of the Informative Reopening Double.  This handout describes it in more detail.


Takeout Double vs Reopening Double  


      A Takeout Double is made at the first opportunity in the 2nd or 4th position after the previous opponent has bid.  It implies that the doubler  has 13+ HCP.


                    Opener         Partner         Opponent         Partner

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

      1.           1 heart          double


      2.           1 heart          pass             1 spade            double


        After either of these Takeout Doubles, Negative Double and/or skipping to show 9+ HCP would apply.


      Whereas an immediate Takeout Double of an opening one notrump implies that the doubler has 15+ HCP.


                      Opener         Partner         Opponent         Partner

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

      3.          1 notrump        double


      In this case, by partnership agreement, Stayman and Transfers would apply.








                          ACBL02B – Double: Reopening                  Feb 14, 2011

                                                                                                                   Page 2 of 3


Takeout Double vs Reopening Double (continued)


     A Reopening Double is made after two passes, and the doubler’s HCP

is vague, at best.  In these cases a pass would end the bidding; so the double reopens the bidding for the pair that has been passing up to this point.  The bidding suggests that the HCP are nearly equal between the two pairs.


                    Opener         Partner         Opponent         Partner

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

      1.           1 heart          pass              pass                double


      2.           1 heart          pass             1 notrump         pass

                    pass             double


      3.           1 notrump     pass              pass                double



      Since the doubler’s HCP are unknown, all bidding conventions are off.

If the doubler had any kind of a decent five card suit he should have bid it.

So the double suggests support for the unbid suits.  The rules for the response bid to that double are also vague.


      1. Should you bid a 4-card major over a 5-card minor?


      2. With both unbid majors do you bid up-the-line?

          Or the stronger of the two suits?


      3. Do you bid whichever 4-card suit has the most HCP?


The Real World


      Most often the purpose of the Reopening Double is to goose the opponents one level higher.  And is works, probably 80% of the time.



                          ACBL02B – Double: Reopening                  Feb 14, 2011

                                                                                                                   Page 3 of 3


Reopening Cue Bid


      If you haven’t bid yet and the bid is dying out, how can you tell partner

that you’ve really got some points?  The answer is to make a reopening cue bid.  A cue bid in the second position is, of course, a Michaels cue bid.  However, in the dying out position (normally fourth), it is not.  It should be

alerted as a Takeout cue bid (13+ HCP), and now negative double and 9+

HCP skip bids would apply.


                    Opener         Partner         Opponent         Partner

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

      1.           1 club           pass              pass                2 clubs


      2.           1 spade        pass              pass                2 spades


      In the first example, if the responder skipped to show a major with 9+ HCP, he would bid 3 hearts or 3 spades.  No problem.


      However, in the second example, any skip bid by the responder would be at the 4 level.  Unless that is an awfully good 9+ HCP, caution would be  

to not make the skip bid.