The Next Step: Penalty Doubles

Quick Tips

  • If partner has not bid and you double at a low level bid, that is for take-out, not penalty, and you are asking to hear about partner’s longest suit

  • But if partner has bid, and you double later, it could be for penalty (by partnership agreement)

  • With a shortage in partner’s suit, and strong cards in the opponents’ suit, try a penalty double (it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work!)

  • Prefer to show a fit for partner first, rather than doubling for penalties

  • If partner makes a take-out double and you leave it in for penalties at a low level, you need at least five (good) trumps of the opponent’s suit and high cards in other suits

  • If your partner preempts and the next hand bids, a double by you is for penalty

  • If the opponents open 1NT and you double, it’s for penalty

  • Be cautious doubling the opponents’ partscore contracts for penalty because if they make they score the game bonus as well

  • Doubling a freely bid slam is a “Lightner” double and asks for the lead of an unusual suit (it suggests a void)

  • If you are defending a low level contract that’s been doubled for penalty, lead a trump

  • You need an understanding partner if you’re going to practise penalty doubles, because sometimes the opponents make their doubled contracts!

Here’s a video from an earlier lesson if you would like to do more revision on Penalty Doubles.


 

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