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negative double

edited October 2008 in Anything Else
can some one explain what is ment by negatve double
Im a novice player..


  • edited 9:23AM
    After your partner opens with 1 if a suit, and next opponent overcalls, a double by responder shows interest in the other two suits.
    Requires about 10 hcps and 4 cards in any unbid major.
  • edited 9:23AM
    The above comment is not exactly correct. If your partner opens 1C or 1D and your RHO bids 1H, then a 1S bid promises at least 5 spades and a negative double promises only 4 spades. When partner opens a suit and your RHO bids one major, a negative double promises the other major and MAY OR MAY NOT promises the remaining unbid suit. For a well-written essay about negative doubles, which gives you correct information throughout, read Bernard Magee's essay at by clickin here:
  • edited 9:23AM
    If your partner opens 1C or 1D and your RHO bids 1H, then a 1S bid promises at least 5 spades and a negative double promises only 4 spades.

    The above is not at all universal practice by those who play negative doubles. If playing negative doubles, do come to an agreement with partner about the above suggestion.
  • edited 9:23AM
    As Bernard Magee said in, at the bottom of page 11,

    "When you have a choice of making a negative double or bidding at the one level, the double always shows four cards, thus:
    1C - (1H) - Dbl The negative double shows 4 spades
    1C - (1H) - 1S You can use the 1S bid to show 5."

    The above truly is universal practice by those who play negative doubles properly. When given a free opportunity to distinguish between a four card suit and a five card suit, go for it. If your partner does not know about this treatment, it's a teaching opportunity :)
  • edited 9:23AM
    Terrence, your argument is not strengthened by the use of the word "properly". Your preferred method is extremely popular, but there are lots of players who do not think that it is best.
  • edited 9:23AM
    Another excellent source of information is RIchard Pavlicek's Web site. For those who wish to read what another expert writer and world-class player says, you can read where Pavlicek has a free lesson on negative doubles. He says

    "With five (or more) cards in the unbid major suit make a negative double only if your hand is too weak to bid that suit."

    I have never seen in print an expert player advocate a a position different from the standard that if partner opens a minor and RHO overcalls 1H that a negative double shows 4 spades and a spade bid shows 5 (or more) spades.
  • edited 9:23AM
    Just browsing through my own small library, I have found Andrew Robson advocating using a double in this situation to deny 4 spades (a popular treatment in America), Eric Crowhurst suggesting that with 4 spades one would choose between making a negative double and bidding one spade, and Terence Reese and David Bird saying that a negative double suggests 4 cards in any unbid major but does not promise them, and also suggesting negative free bids.

    And many players think that using a negative double just to show a responding hand with 4 spades is much too limited a use for this valuable and flexible call.
  • edited 9:23AM
    In fact, the discussion about problem 1 in the link below is a perfect way to end this discussion. Here's why: it provides the views of about 20 or so different experts with respect to the auction

    --- 1C 1H ??

    and most of them discuss the negative double and spades. There are at least 4 or 5 different styles of opinions here. Andrew Robson's is the last comment in answer to #1. He said "for me the double guarantees four spades," whereas some others did not hold that view.

    is the link. Just cut and paste!
  • edited 9:23AM
    I'm sure that the most popular treatment of 1C (1H) x is that it shows 4S with 1S showing 5+ and incidentally you don't need anything like 10+ points to make a negative double at the one level as the second comment suggests. A hand such as
    S KJxx
    H xx
    D Kxxx
    C xxx
    would be a suitable minimum.

    The quoted link from the previous post is about 9 years old, Eric Crowhurst's opnions a couple of decades before that and ideas do change. It is certainly true that in expert fields some do play a double to deny 4S. Some even play 1S to deny 4. However this is not a treatment best suited for those new to negative doubles.
    As the auction gets to a higher level it is more difficult to maintain any promises about 4 cards in the other major and x then tends to say I have some points but no other clearcut action so for example if partner opened 1C and the next hand overcalled 3S and you held

    S Qx
    H KJ9
    D AQxxx
    C Jxx

    you have no clearcut action but an opening hand and have to do something. Double although flawed is probably making the best of a bad job. At least there are upsides e.g. 3NT or pass by partner as well as the downside of landing in 4H on a 4-3 fit but if it wasn't difficult then opponents would not bother to pre-empt.
  • edited 9:23AM
    To add more fuel to the topic you hold xx-Qx-jxx-KJ10xxx- s/h/d/c
    I use x=any 8=11 points.
    1n/t= any 12/14 with stop
    cue =any 12/14 with no stop.
    therefore any bid over opps bid is weak, and less than 8 points,hence above hand
    i would bid 2cl,and any limit raise in pards bid suit is also weak,less than 8 points.Ref whether, to bid 1 sp to show 5 or x to show 4 card spade,either bid, made how many points does either bid show 5/6/7/8/9/? regards
  • edited 9:23AM
    Ok, but what do you recomend after 1C, (1H). when you are, say. 3,3,4,3, or with a few points. You were all set to respond 1D but no longer can and 2D (if you were strong enough) promises a five card suit and 10+ points. If you pass partner will never know you have any points. The negative double fits the bill perfectly and is especially useful when your points are down at the 6/7 level. I find it too useful a bid to restrict it to showing a particular suit.

    After 1C, (1H) I would also double on a 3,3,4,3 hand with 11 ish points and no Heart Stop.

    In any event the original questioner now realises that there are sveral variations in use. The best advice then is,surely, to experiment with your partner till you find a version that suits you .

  • edited 9:23AM
    The problem with doubling and not promising 4 spades is when the opponents bounce you so it goes 1C (1H) x (4H) and now partner with a good hand and 4 spades can't really afford to bid 4S. You can bid 1S promising only 4, use the double for hands without a four card spade suit and partner will know a bit more but it is still useful in my view to be able to distinguish hands with 4 and 5 card spades so if I had one of the awkward hands above I would look to bid NT if I could. I might bid 2D if I had an 11 count. I might pass with an unsuitable 6 or 7 count. If I were too good to pass I would make the best available bid and with 3-3-4-3 even without a stop that may still be 1NT.
  • edited 9:23AM
    perhaps i should have previously stated x=8-11 points ANY SHAPE
    1n/t= 12-14 with stop
    cue bid=12-14 no stop.
    and if ply Acol 12-14 or Sayc---------to answer jack with 3/3/4/3/. and less than 8 points who would want to bid 1d,pass and await perhaps pards next bid.
    to answer jeremys point bounced to 4 hts,if pard passes {assuming pard has a opening hand} i thenx 4hts,if pard bids in front,showing a light opener {any} i have a decion to make and compete with 4 spades
  • edited 9:23AM

    I certainly endorse the bid with 5, double with 4 philosophy.
    In general I find the problem comes when you have a minimum response hand, say 6 to 8 points and were going to make a 1 level reply. When you RHO's interference stops you making your one bid, what do you do? Even if you have a 5 cards suit you are not strong enough to bid it at the two level. I think partner is entitled to know you have some points even if itis not quite clear where. The double comes in handy in such circumstances even though I do not use it to promise particular suits. It does indicate a lack of immediate support for partner's suit and that an alternative choice from him would be welcome.

    One thing is for sure. However you decide to use it the negative double is a great bid.
  • edited 9:23AM
    What is the difference between a sputnik double and a negative double.

    I used sputnik when the overcallert has robbed me of ny bid such as after 1d 1S a double shows I have 4H but am too weak to bid at 2 level
  • edited 9:23AM
    There is no difference. The negative double was invented at about the same time as the first Sputnik launch, so the name was probably used to indicate that the bid was the latest and greatest scientific thing.
  • edited 9:23AM
    I've found negative doubles most useful when they are not specific. Essentially, my negative double means "I wanted to bid in response to your opening bid, partner, but after the interference from my RHO, there's no bid I can sensibly make".

    Usually that means that the opponent has bid higher than what I wanted to and can bid (eg 1C · 1H when I've got diamonds but not enough points to bid 2D), or when I would have bid 1NT but haven't got a stop in their bid suit.

    Using a negative double in this way gives your partner enough information to bid on and reclaim the contract, often leading to part scores or good sacrifices, where others will cede to the opposition's bidding ... conversely, if I pass, my partner knows that I really do have nothing, so will only reclaim the bidding with a decent hand, meaning we don't overbid, unlike some players who are determined to get the contract back without any indication of whether their partner has any values at all.
  • edited 9:23AM
    The problem with this approach comes when the next player bounces the auction. It goes 1C (1H) x (3H).

    If the double promises 4S then the opener with 4S is well placed to bid 3S or 4S. If on the other hand the responder might have 2 or 4 spades for his double this becomes more problematic. You can't win all the time but tying to the majors when the auction starts low is useful. You can't afford to be so definitive if they meanly overcall 2H or 3H.
  • edited 9:23AM
    To add to the fact opps Bounce-- ok let them bounce.the Whole point of Neg x's,it shows and tells partner who has opened our total point count.
    example 1diamond 1heart x{=8-11 any shape} 3hts
    pass/x,if it is pass by pard he has his bid now 1ht bidder passes,
    and the neg x take the necessary action either x or bid.we have the balance of points
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