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Rule of 12 - Similar to the Rule of 10, the Rule of 12 provides a secondary criteria to consider a penalty double when holding a sufficient number of low-level holdings in opponents' trump suit:

1.

Your combined partnership HCP is 20+

2.

You have a misfit with partner

3.

Your trump cards (any) plus opponent's bidding level is 12+

Example: Assuming partnership holds 20+ HCP and no partnership fit, you do not hold honors in opponents' suit yet have length in their suit, say 4 of their agreed suit.

The opponents' 3 level bid promises 9 tricks.  Adding our 4 trumps to the opponents' bidding level, the calculation is: 9 + 4 = 12

According to the Rule of 12, a penalty double is warranted since the number 12 has been reached.

Opponents' Bidding Level

Tricks
Required

Number of nondescript
Trump required to Double
(assuming partnership misfit)

2

6 + 2 = 8

12 - 8 = 4
3

6 + 3 = 9

12 - 9 = 3
4

6 + 4 = 10

12 - 10 = 2

Also see Environmental Factors

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