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.
Test your knowledge
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