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penalty double?

In an auction


Opener                     opponent                   openers partner                       opponent

  1 spade                    pass                             2 of a minor                             2 hearts

     double.                  pass                             pass

I took this as a penalty double of hearts, is this how most people play it?

Opener has 12+  I have 10+  I assumed my partner was sitting with good hearts over and decided to penalise the opponent.

Any comments please..

Comments

  • This is something that you need to agree with your partner. I would certainly discuss how we play low level competitive doubles with a new partner as one of my priority discussions.

    There are a number of possiblities:
      - Penalty double. I think that this would be the default assumption in the absence of any discussion.
      - Take-out double ("Competitive Double"). I think that most duplicate pairs players would play a double at the two level (often higher) as take-out. If so you should discuss this with your partner and agree how high competitive doubles apply.
      - "Support double". Some would play that a raise of partner's suit shows four-card support and a double shows precisely three-card support. This works well in a strong no trump context and even then, it is usually only played after partner has responded at the one-level (but not after a two-level response). I don't recommend this playing Acol.
      - Finally, you can play that a double shows a balanced hand, too strong to open a weak NT, but without a stop in the opponent's heart suit. This hand type can be difficult to show in Acol. You was planning to bid 2NT until your awkward opponent interfered. Now that they have interfered you may be left without a reasonable bid - but would like to show your extra values. For what it's worth, I would recommend this last approach - but you would need to discuss and agree with your partner.
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