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Support Doubles  

 
The support double is used to distinguish between 3 card and 4 card support for partner's suit in the situation where his suit bid has been either overcalled or doubled by the opposition. It is a competitive bidding situation which allows the bidding to stay at the lowest possible level.

Double to show three card support for my partners suit?

Definition

When the opposition have bid, doubled or overcalled after a bid from your side has opened, a support double ("X") shows partner that you have three cards in their suit. With four card support bid the suit itself.

Uses

Distinguishing between 4-4 fits which play very well as opposed to 4-3 fits which do not play well. Partnerships usually agree in advance to play support doubles and they are only support doubles up to the level of 2 Hearts or 2 Spades.


Opener (N)
T 8 3
2
A K T 8 5
A J 9 7
Bidding
North East South West
1 1 1 2
P X 3NT

Responder (S)
A K J 6
Q T 6
Q J 6 3
6 3

Comment: When North bids 'X' (a support double) after Wests 2 it is showing three card support for South's spades. South signing off in 3NT indicates that they do not have a 5 card spade suit.

Example

In this auction bidding double ("X") after the opposition overcall promises 3 card spade support for your partners bid suit. A bid of 2 in partner's suit promises 4 card support in spades. If the opposition doubled instead of overcalled redoubling ("XX") a support re-double, serves the same function as a support double.

Problem

North has three spade cards and after his partner responds and bids 1S he wants to find out whether they have a 5-3 spade fit or only a 4-3 spade fit. When partner bids 2NT South now knows that North only has a 4 card spade suit. With a 5 card suit South's bid would be 2S. Click in the panel below to play a game using this bid.







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