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Told that I couldn’t Double....

Hello. Here’s what happened today - I was the dealer with SKQ, Hxxx, DAQXx, CAQJx. I opened 1 C followed by pass, pass, 1D. Then I doubled thinking I was asking my partner to show me her best suit. I was told off and offered various suggestions depending on my points. The advice was that correct bid for a good hand was 1NT and so I bid 1NT which was followed by 3 passes. On a H lead I went down.
So, was my double an acceptable bid within the rules of the game or not? What should my bid have been if any?
Thank you

Comments

  • Who "told you off"? Partner is not allowed to say anything, it would be very impertinent if the opponents said anything and the director would be simply wrong if he/she told you off for a bid that is perfectly legal.

    What would be the best bid? The possibilities are:
    1) Pass - this is often the correct bid in this auction. Partner can have at most 5 points and will often have fewer. This means that your chances of making game are slim and you are only competing for a part score. It is also important to remember that partner will have a chance to bid before the auction is passed out. Partner should usually make a bid, even with a near Yarborough - this is safe since his/her initial pass has limited their hand. So there is no need to bid to keep the auction alive. You should only choose to bid if you have either (a) a very shapely hand (bid a second suit or rebid a long suit) or (b) you have a lot of extra strength (usually 18+). Passing is a reasonable choice on your actual hand since you have good defence against a diamond contract.
    2) 1H - this tends to show an unbalanced hand and I would expect 5+ clubs, so not ideal.
    3) Double (this is a take-out double) - You have the points to double, but what will you do if partner bids 1S? Will you leave partner in a possible 4-2 misfit? A double would show a similar strength hand, but support (at least three cards) for each of the unbid majors. A 4414 shape would be ideal.
    4) 1NT - this will tend to show 18-19 points and a good stop in their suit in a balanced hand. This would be the best bid on your hand in my opinion - passing is a bit soft on your 18-count.

    As it happens bidding 1NT was not successful. I can't comment without seeing all of the hand, but maybe it was unlucky on this occasion. It is also possible that one-off in no trumps is a better result than the opponents making some number of diamonds.

  • Thank you for your detailed reply! Very helpful.

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