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a seldom discussed sequence

This sequence seems little discussed

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - ?

First we must define the cue bid. Luckily this is well done in Bridge World Standard : “ A cue bid advance of a takeout double shows at least game interest and creates a force until a suit is bid twice….”. Or as Steve Robinson says: “promises a rebid opposite a non-game bid”. Others have given a point count range of 12+ support points. This works well when the opponents pass the cue bid:

1D - Double - pass - 2D

P - 2H - pass - 3H

All pass.

Bidding up the line the fit is found, the invitation offered and either accepted or declined. Well done. However when opener is not so kind and bids 3D he has essentially forced us to game as you cannot play lower than the 4 level if a suit must be bid twice. Now it is time to set a minimum range for the take out double. If you would, as Marty Bergen advises, make a takeout double of 1D on JTXX, AXXX, X, AJXX or over 1C on ATXX, KQXX, T9XX, X you certainly don’t want to allow the opponents to dictate that you must bid game. So how do you stop in a part score? I hope any advanced pair has a method but let me suggest that a pass of 3D shows a minimum hand and that all these hands will have near perfect major suit distribution but lack high card values. In effect the pass is treated as a bid in both majors.

Following an axiom of sound bidding “if you know where you want to be, get there as soon as possible“ the advancer may now place the contract.

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - pass - pass - 3H

As a place to play for the 3H bid is the second bid in the suit and completes the force. Or:

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - pass - pass - 4S as partner is known to hold spade support.

Try this:

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - double define the 2nd double as game forcing with full high card values but the distribution may be imperfect. Now when overcaller doubles 3D he has not promised or denied 4 card support for both majors. A good hand with 3-4-2-4 distribution will often make a takeout double so to uncover a 4-4 fit advancer bids his 4 card suits up the line.

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - double* - pass - 3H * game forcing

Pass - 3S - pass - 4S and the 4-4 fit is found as overcaller held

4-3-1-5 distribution. Or:

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - double - pass - 3H

Pass - 3S - pass - 4C

Pass - 5C - all pass

Note that the overcaller did not have 4H but held 4S so his hand must be, at worst:

4- 3 - 2 - 4 with full values for a take out double.

As for the hand with perfect major suit distribution and full values simply start with a double of 3D. Up the line bidding will find the lowest of 4-4 fits.

What of this auction?

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - pass - pass - double

Steve Robinson in Washington Standard uses a similar sequence and treats the final double as showing a balanced hand. With the suggested methods this double becomes cooperative with penalties in mind as many players will open 1D and bid 3 on as little as X, XXX, AQJXXX, KJX with full knowledge that it is difficult for them to be punished.

Other hand types are also easily shown such as the traditional strong hand:

1D - double - pass - 2D

3D - 3S on AKJXXX, AXX, X, AJX as well as the solid suit by bidding 4S - AKQJXXX, AXX, X, XX

I have played this for years with success but recent postings have convinced me that I am far from mainstream. The variations on this theme are multiple and become more complex when openers suit is clubs:

1C - double - pass - 2C

3C - ? As this provides more bidding room. Leaving that for another day but as for now your thoughts and comments are both welcome and appreciated.

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