Bridge & other card games/neg double


pl explain neg double


Your Partner opens 1 Club and you, holding this hand...Spades xxx, Hearts Q10xx, Diamonds Jxx, Clubs Axx respond with 1 Heart, easy !
If Partner single raises your Hearts or bid NT you will pass, if he replies in Spades you bid NT yourself.

But look what happens when your right hand Opponent interferes with an overcall (in brackets) :

1 Club - (1 Spade) - You ?   Pass ! !
You are too weak to bid Hearts at the 2 level, and you can not bid NT because you have no stopper in the enemy's Spade suit. In other words you have no other option than to pass.

This is where the "negative double" can get you out of jail. It is basically quite simple.

Simply put the negative double is a takeout double by the responder.
It applies when your Partner has opened in a suit (rather than NT) and your right hand Opponent has overcalled at the 1 level in another suit.

The negative double then shows 6 points or more and 4 cards (with weak hands possibly more) in the unbid major suit. Here are the basic responses.

If opponent overcalls 1S, then with 6-10 points and 4 or more hearts you make a negative double as the only way to inform partner that you indeed hold a heart suit. With 11 or more and 5 or more hearts you bid 2H. With 11 or more and exactly 4 hearts you make a negative double.

If the opponent overcalls 1H, then with 6 or more points and exactly four spades you make a negative double. With five or more spades you bid 1S. When you have spades, this method lets partner know whether you just have four spades or whether you have more.

If partner opens 1C and opponent overcalls 1D, then if you have only one four card or longer major bid it. If you have both majors and one or both are greater than four cards in length just bid naturally. However, if you have exactly four cards in both majors, make a negative double. This allows partner to distinguish among various hands you might have.

Since all of these types of hands come up a lot more frequently at the one level than penalty double hands, negative doubles are much more useful.

The negative double response facilitates two most useful communications :

It enables the weak responder (with 6 - 10 points) to show his 4+ card major suit without having to bid it at the 2 level

It enables the intermediate and strong responder to specify whether he holds a 4 card or, alternatively, 5+ card major suit.

Negative doubles are also frequently used if opponents overcall at the two level but the parameters need to be changed somewhat.

Here is another article on negative doubles.  

Bridge & other card games

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I can answer questions on bidding and on cardplay with the caveat that the former may necessarily involve some subjectivity. I have been playing tournament bridge for over 20 years and I have won several regional tournaments.

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