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Points Schmoints - CHAPTER 8

© Marty Bergen


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Index   TOC

Prior Chapter:
CHAPTER 7 - DOUBLES ANYONE?                                                     45

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

Searching For Signs of Life                                                                       57

The Goal After Redouble is to Kick Butt!                                               61

How Do I Support Thee?  Let Me Count the Ways                                64

Searching For Signs of Life

You are dealt the following hand:


LHO          Partner       RHO          You
—              —              1
P                1
             P                ???

I would like you to put your curiosity on hold for a few moments. Although the answer to this problem appears at the conclusion of this article, I recommend that you read all the way through so that you will understand the reasons for the answer.

Back to our hand. The key issue here is the amount of strength shown by partner's bid. It never ceases to amaze me how many experienced players believe that partner's response only addresses his choice of suit.

Here is a simple yet effective method of responding to partner's takeout double after third hand passes. Did I invent this?  Absolutely not.


After Partner’s Takeout Double
suit responses)

1.   A non-jump = 0–8 points
  2.   A jump bid  = 9–11 points
3.   A cuebid     = 12+ points

All numbers include distribution



The Goal After Redouble is to Kick Butt!

“The penalty double is an integral part of the game. Without it, there would be no way of preventing rambunctious souls from bidding forever.”


After partner's opening bid has been doubled, a redouble promises at least 10 points. Most players do not realize what that really means. Although your side has the clear balance of power, the opponents have decided to enter the bidding. However, they have yet to find a fit; in fact, they may not have one. Even if they are able to locate their best suit, they may lack the firepower to make anything.

What should opener's side do after redoubling?  Try for penalties, go for blood! Average players consider only their own cards; experienced players love to pounce on the opponents when they step out of line.

The stage is set for a lucrative penalty double. Opener should go for the jugular with four trumps. At the two level, he can even double with three good trumps. The redoubler will overrule the suggestion with a singleton. Otherwise, he will be delighted to cooperate with opener in teaching the opponents an expensive lesson.

If unable to double, opener will bid only if he has something worth saying. He will strain to pass the auction back around to his partner, hoping that he will be able to double. The redoubler will be delighted to do so with adequate trumps; otherwise he will bid.

If they have a fit, you do, too. Once you establish that your side has the balance of power, the only time the opponents can end up declaring is when you choose to hit them (bridge slang for a penalty double).


“Do You Know?” (From The Complete Book of Takeout Doubles by Michael Lawrence)

Every one of the following statements refers to the same well-known convention. Can you identify it?

1.    It is the oldest in use today.

2.    It is the most misunderstood.

3.    It has no upper limit regarding strength.

4.    It is the one that is used most often.

5.    It is not a bid.

6.    Partner must respond without any points.

What is this well-known convention? The takeout double.

How Do I Support Thee?  Let Me Count the Ways

“Points, schmoints! Support with support.”

Marty Bergen

Do you know the meaning of 1 – Dbl – 3?  Everyone agrees that responder promises good trump support. However, many players believe responder is inviting game — that 3 shows a limit (invitational) raise with 10–12 distribution points. no, No, NO, that is not correct!


LIKE FOUR PEOPLE BOXING                                                             67

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