Doubles: Stronger Hands

The more points the take-out doubler holds, the less important is shortage in opener’s suit. When a hand is too strong to overcall, (17+ points), you’re better to start with “Double”, and then show your suit over partner’s response. This way the hand won’t be passed out (a simple overcall is not forcing). Here’s an example:

A4.Q52.AK7532.A9 K762.J843.J4.K83 QJT93.AK7.8.QJ64 85.T96.QT96.T752

The opening lead would be the ♠Q, top of a sequence. Declarer counts the sure tricks, and makes a plan. There are two spade winners, no heart winners, two diamond winners and two clubs winners. That’s six, another three tricks need to be found. The diamond suit length will develop the extras, but declarer is missing the ♦Q1098. To make five diamond tricks, play a small diamond towards the ♦J. If West holds the ♦Q, they will probably play it, and you’ll make five diamond tricks. If they don’t hold the ♦Q, a 3-2 break will still see you home with four tricks in that suit. The only way to mess it up when there’s a 4-1 break, is to play the ♦A and ♦K first.