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Intermediate Bridge
LESSON 11
The Responsive Double

 Responsive DBL after Partner's TO-DBL Responsive DBL after Partner's Overcall Responsive DBL over RHO 2♠ Fourth suit DBL   ("Snapdragon") Deals 93-100 Quiz - Answers Bidding Guide : 8

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IBR 11.1 - Responsive DBL after Partner's Take-out DBL

A double when there has been an immediate raise to the 2-level or 3-level (of Opener's suit) after Partner's Take-out Double is a Responsive Double.

In Example 1 below South's Responsive Double shows 6+ points and length in both major suits. Partner (North, usually with at least 4-3 in the majors) will now bid the suit he prefers.

1.
W N E S
1♦ DBL 2♦ DBL

S : ♠ K 9 5 2     ♥ Q J 8 3     ♦ 7 4 2     ♣ 7 6

South may be much stronger of course, like the hand shown below for example.

1a.
W N E S
1♦ DBL 2♦ DBL
Pass 2♠ Pass 4♠

S : ♠ K Q 5 2     ♥ Q J 8 3     ♦ 4 2     ♣ A 6 3

In this case South goes on to bid Game in Partner's preferred suit.

In Example 2 East has raised to the 3-level. In this case South's Responsive Double must be slightly stronger, 9+ points, but it still promises length in both majors.

2.
W N E S
1♣ DBL 3♣ DBL

S : ♠ K 9 5 2     ♥ Q J 8 3     ♦ 7 4 2     ♣ A 6

In Example 3 South does not bid spades, and therefore denies holding 4 cards in that suit.
His Responsive Double in this case shows 4-4 in the 2 minor suits, as well as tolerance (2 card support) for Partner's (presumed) spade suit.

3.
W N E S
1♥ DBL 2♥ DBL

S : ♠ J 9     ♥ 7 5 3     ♦ K Q 4 2     ♣ Q 10 7 6

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IBR 11.2 - Responsive DBL after Partner's Overcall

A Responsive Double can also be made after Partner's Overcall. In the bid shows length in the 2 unbid suits.
But as Partner can make an Overcall with as little as 8 points, the Responsive Double after Partner's Overcall at the 1-level should be slightly stronger.   At least 8-9 points for a Double at the 2-level, and 10-11+ points for a Double at the 3-level.

In Example 4 South does not raise spades, and therefore denies having 3 cards in that suit.
His Responsive Double in this case shows 4-4 in the 2 unbid suits : hearts and clubs.

4.
W N E S
1♦ 1♠ 2♦ DBL

S : ♠ 7 2     ♥ A 7 5 3     ♦ K 4 2     ♣ Q J 9 4

In Example 5 South does not bid clubs, and therefore denies holding 4 cards in that suit.
His Responsive Double in this case shows once again length in the 2 unbid suits : in this case both majors, hearts and spades.

5.
W N E S
1♥ 2♣ 2♥ DBL

S : ♠ Q J 9 4     ♥ 7 5 3     ♦ K Q 10 5     ♣ 8 6

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IBR 11.3 - Responsive DBL over RHO 2♠

A tricky situation arises when you are in a competitive auction with the Opponents reaching 2♠.   What should the Advancer bid ?

6.
W N E S
1♠ 2♥ 2♠ ?

S : ♠ 9 4     ♥ Q J 7 5 3     ♦ K 10 5     ♣ 8 6 2

South has a weak hand, but with 5-card hearts support for his Partner he would certainly want to compete. But North will regard his 3♥ raise as an invitation to Game, which is clearly not South's intention.

The solution for the Advancer (South) is to bid a Responsive Double. Partner will then bid his better minor suit in reply (assuming Advancer holds the two minor suits), after which South can then safely bid his competitive 3♥.

6a.
W N E S
1♠ 2♥ 2♠ DBL
Pass 3♣ Pass 3♥

S : ♠ 9 4     ♥ Q J 7 5 3     ♦ K 10 5     ♣ 8 6 2

If South happens to have trump support and a stronger hand he can now unambiguously invite Game by bidding 3♥ directly.

6b.
W N E S
1♠ 2♥ 2♠ 3♥

S : ♠ 9 4     ♥ Q J 7 5 3     ♦ K J 10     ♣ A 6 2

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IBR 11.4 - Fourth suit DBL   ("Snapdragon")

The Advancer has yet another Responsive Double at his disposal whenever the three previous players have bid three different suits.

7.
W N E S
1♦ 1♠ 2♣ DBL

S : ♠ 9 4     ♥ K Q 7 5 3     ♦ K 10 8     ♣ 9 6 2

This shows a strong 5+card suit in the unbid nomination ( in above example) 8+ HCP and usualy 2-card support for Partner's suit.
This bid is predictively known as the "Fourth suit Double", or (far more interestingly) the Snapdragon.

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IBR 11.5 - Deals 93 - 100

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