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Points Schmoints - CHAPTER 7 -

© Marty Bergen


Order Points Schmoints here   Other Bergen books
Index   TOC

Prior Chapter:
“MICHAELS ROW YOUR BOAT ASHORE”                                       37

Note: Only summaries are included below -
see book for details

Saved by Marty (A Story by Larry Cohen)                                              45

No Time to Prepare — Order Takeout                                                    48

An Offshape Double is Nothing But Trouble                                           50

Negative Doubles: The Quintessential Convention                                53

Saved by Marty (A Story by Larry Cohen)

“The real test of a bridge player isn't in keeping out of trouble, but in escaping once he's in.”

Alfred Sheinwold, well-known syndicated bridge columnist



No Time to Prepare — Order Takeout

When you have a tough bidding decision, strive to be flexible. When you would like to be flexible, consider making a takeout double. When you double, you allow partner to assist in the decision-making process. When you do not know what to do, perhaps your partner will.

Do not be trapped into believing that all doubles at high levels are for penalty. In fact, level plays a secondary role in determining the meaning of a double. A good rule of thumb is: When partner has not yet made a bid, most doubles are for takeout.


An Offshape Double is Nothing But Trouble

“I had a hand yesterday that I have to ask you about,” said one of my students as she arrived in class. “My opponent opened 1, and my hand was¼ Wait a minute, I wrote it down, I know you like that. I've got it here somewhere,” she said, opening up a purse the size of the Grand Canyon.



The key to takeout doubles is distribution, not HCP.




Unless you have a huge hand, do not make a takeout double with shortness in an unbid major.




Negative Doubles: The Quintessential Convention

The negative double is the most important convention in modern bridge.  The world owes its inventor, theorist Al Roth, a big debt of gratitude. Suppose you were dealt:


Your partner opens 1
. You are ready to respond 1, but your RHO overcalls 1. Now what?

1.    Can you pass?  That’s not very enterprising. Once partner opens, you would like to take action. It would also be nice to show your major, hoping for a fit.

2.    Can you bid 1NT?  No, that would show a stopper in spades, the opponent's suit.

3.    Can you bid 2?  No, you need at least 10 HCP to bid a new suit at the two level.

4.    Can you bid 2?  No, you should not support opener's minor with only three cards.

5.    Can you bid 2?  No, responder must satisfy the requirements of five and ten to introduce a major at the two level (five-card or longer suit and at least 10 HCP).


CHAPTER 8 - AFTER THE DOUBLE                                                    57

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