The opposition have opened and I have an opening hand!
DefinitionIn the card game contract bridge, a takeout double is a low-level conventional call of "Double" over an opponent's bid as a request for partner to bid his best of the unbid suits. The most common takeout double is after an opponent's opening bid of one of a suit where the double shows a hand with opening values,
Takeout Doubles (not for penalties).A double by the defense at their first bid is usually intended to be taken out by their partner. Partner does this by bidding their own suits, it is not usually for penalties (punishing the opposition). Even if you have no points they are required to bid their cheapest four card suit. A takeout double can be made after the opponents have opened the bidding. It shows 13+ TP and at least 3 cards in all of the unbid suits. Partner must reply even if they have no points in their hand (in that case they should bid their cheapest 4 card suit).
Some partnerships have the understanding that when responding to a takeout Double, a minimum bid indicates less than 8 HCP, and a jump bid indicates 8 or more HCP
Double is written by making an “X” on the bidding pad.
Takeout Doubles in later rounds of BiddingDouble can be for takeout in later rounds of bidding. It shows support for the unbid suits and sometimes extra values. Generally any low-level double after opponents have bid a suit (especially if opponents have found their fit) and partner has previously passed.
Reopening Takeout DoublesOpener can double for takeout in the second round of bidding, when the opponents have overcalled and partner had either bid or passed. As with a normal takeout double, it shows support for the unbid suits.
Negative DoublesA negative double promises support for the unbid suits and shows a hand where you don't have a natural bid to make. You can take part in the bidding even with quite a weak hand. To change suit at the 2-level You need 10+ points, and you need a stop in the opposition suit to bid 1NT. The solution is to make a negative double. The message to partner is that you have some points, some cards in the unbid suits, but not enough strength to bid independently at the 2 level.
Your right-hand opponent opens 1♣. What is your bid?
- ♠ K Q J 10
- ♥ K J 6
- ♦ Q 8 3 2
- ♣ J 7
13+ TP, support for all unbid suits. Double "X" and then you will pass whatever your partner bids. Remember partner may have as few as 0 points as they are forced to bid in the absence of any intervening bid