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1D - (2C) - ?

I understand that a negative double after 1D - (2C) shows one major. 

In one of his Mr Bridge articles Bernard Magee says that 8+HCP are needed for a 2 level negative double (he gives 1H - (2D)  as an example, where responder is specifically showing spades. But with 1D - (2C) you might be holding either major, and partner might choose the wrong one. Should the required point count be higher, or should your hand be such that you can then bid 2NT, i.e. reasonably balanced with a good stop in the overcall suit, or both? I have trawled through lots of references on the negative double and have not yet found any treatment of this sequence.   

And if the partnership is not quite ready for playing the negative double, what is the minimum requirement in suit length and HCP to respond with 2 of a major after this sequence? 


  • edited 1:24AM

    I don't agree with the initial assumption. A take-out (negative/Sputnik) double of this specific sequence will normally promise 4-cards in each major (for most partnerships)*. It is possible to play other assumptions for the take-out double, but they would be less usual (in Britain). These are the type of auctions that strong partnerships who play frequently will have discussed in detail. Unless you are in such a partnership I would tend to stick to the assumption that the double promises both majors.

    Normally you will require 10HCP (or a good 9 HCP) to respond in a suit at the two-level. It would be reasonable to reduce this to 8 HCP for the take-out double in order to show both of the majors.

    * - Sometimes you might break this rule with stronger hands as long as you can cope with the subsequent auction (e.g. if you are able to bid no trumps, or support partner's diamond suit if they choose the "wrong" major).

  • edited 1:24AM

    In Bernard Magee's article on Negative Doubles in the Mr Bridge Library he writes:

    "When both minors have been bid, the
    negative double at the one level promises
    both majors, but at the two level it
    promises just one: 
    1♣ – (1♦) – Dbl Because you could
    bid 1♥ or 1♠ with
    four cards, the double
    is used to show both
    1♦ – (2♣) – ? You cannot show a
    four-card major at
    the one level, so the
    double shows at least
    one major"
    I try to stick to Bernard's guidelines as I have his CDs and books, but can't find anything that explains the thinking behind this, and what the advice is if partner responds in the wrong major. Until now we have played that after two minors the double shows four majors. 

  • edited December 2015
    a) If you have enough of a stop in the enemy suit and enough points [ca 10hcp] to continue with 2NT if pd has the 'wrong' major, double and then bid 2NT.   e.g. (assuming 1D -(2C) -?

    10 7 3
    A Q 7 6
    Q 5
    K 10 9 3

    A heart contract is preferable to NTs if pd has 5d 4H.  If pd bids 2S in response to your double then continue with 2NT

    b)  If you have support for partner's suit and pd bids the 'wrong major' revert to pd's suit:

    10 7 3
    A Q 7 6
    K 10 6 2
    9 3

    Over 2S bid 3D

    c) if you have insufficient pts and limited support for pd Pass and wait for pd to make a take out double.

    10 7 3
    A Q 7 6
    9 6
    J 4 3 2

    bid 2H when pd re-opens with a double.  (but pass if he re-opens with 2D).

    d) if you have a penalty double of opps' bid PASS and wait for pd to re-open with a take out double and then pass, converting the double into a penalty double. e.g.

    A 7 6 3
    K 7 3
    K J 9 8 7

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