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Negative Double:

A takeout-like Double by responder, popularized by Alvin Roth and Tobias Stone in 1957 (then called the "Sputnik"). Like the Russian satellite, the Sputnik indicates the bid was "out of the world".  The Negative Double is used over the opponents' overcall after partner's opening bid.  Below is a comparison between the Takeout Double and the Negative Double. 

Here's an introductory training video on Negative Doubles. You can learn and view more of our videos on our Bridge Blog:

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Negative Doubles - Introduction Part 1    Part 2
Negative Doubles - Refinements Part 1    Part 2
Negative Doubles - Rebids:          Part 1    Part 2

Takeout Double

Negative Double

Opponents' open bidding

Partner opens bidding

Overcalling Partner makes a Double of opener's suit

Responding Partner makes a Double of overcalling opponent's suit

Overcaller typically has opening hand

Responder typically has 6-9 points, depending on bidding level

Support for 3 unbid suits

Support primarily for unbid major

Shortness in opener's suit

May be balanced hand, no shortness requirement in overcaller's suit

Overcaller's new suit after a Takeout Double shows a strong hand (17+ HCP)

Responder's new suit after a Negative Double is simply a signoff to play

Most players use methods that require 5+ cards and 10+ points to make a 2 level raise in a new suit.  The Negative Double conveniently handles situations like this and others.  Here's another situation, this one where responder indeed has 10+ points but lacks a 5 card suit:

    8 7
K 5 3 2
K 10
A K J 3 2
Q 9 4
9 6
8 7 6 5 4
6 5 4

Dealer: North

A J 10 3 2
Q J 7
Q J 9
Q 7
  K 6 5
A 10 8 4
A 3 2
10 9 8


  W      N       E       S
          1C  -(1S) - X
 (P) - 2H - (P)  - 3H
 (P) - 4H - All Pass
Lacking a 5 cards suit, South makes a Negative Double

Common suit distribution requirements include:

1 Minor - (1H) - X
1 Minor - (1H) -1S

The Negative Double tends to show 4 in the other major
Bidding 1S (1 in opposite major) shows 5+ in that major

1H - (1S) - X

The Negative Double shows 4+ in the minors

1C - (1D) - X

The Negative Double promises 4+/4+ in the majors

1x - (2y) - X

The Negative Double shows 4+ cards in another suit

Common strength requirements for responder's Negative Double:

Bidding Level


1 Minor/Major


2 Minor


2 Major


3 Level


Opener's rebids after partner's Negative Double are:

Bidding Level


Lowest available bid

Minimum hand: 12-14

Jump bid

Medium hand: 15-17

Double jump bid to game

Maximum hand: 18-19

Cuebid opponent's suit
(some play 1 Notrump)

Huge hand: 20-21

Also see Negative Free Bid, Takeout Double, Responsive Double, more Doubles and other books on Doubles

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