What’s your call?
Double and double again
Essentially, the auction has gone (1♠)–Dbl–(2♦)–Pass; 2♠ back to you. Most of the panelists jump in with a second takeout double.
“Takeout of the unbid (not unnamed) suits with extra values,” according to Boehm.
“I could bid 3♣, but I want to keep hearts in the picture,” Meckstroth explains.
“Bidding 3♣ would show less hand and probably only three hearts,” say the Gordons, “something like 1=3=3=6.”
“Plenty of time to get my suits in,” says Rigal, “let’s consult partner first. Partner can bid 2NT with no clear direction.”
The Sutherlins believe, “We need to make a move toward game. If we can coax a 3♥ bid out of partner, we can raise him to 4♥. Four or five little hearts may be all we need to make game.”
“We’re too good to simply bid 3♣,” agree the Coopers. “And the enemy may not have a fit — if partner is able to pass the double, we’ll be in hog heaven.”
Weinstein, too, notes the possible gain to be had by defending. “I have extra offense and extra defense. If partner leaves my double in, I’m happy, and if he is 3–3 in hearts and clubs with a bad hand, he will tend to bid clubs.”
Robinson bids 3♣ rather than doubling because “it shows a good hand with clubs. If partner has four hearts and some points, he could have bid them easily over 2♣. If he does have four hearts, he won’t have a good hand.”
Stack likes 3♣ because “it gives the hand some clear direction. If partner has a distribution such as 3=3=4=3, then he needs help. To double again would work out great if partner has a four- or five-card heart suit. If partner is short in clubs and has four or five hearts, then he can bid 3♥ and we can carry on to game.”
Falk is also considering things from partner’s side of the table. “Partner might be broke, and another double would leave him with no idea what to do. Give North something like:
♠J x x x ♥x x x ♦Q x x x ♣x x,
and in response to another double, he’ll want to crawl under the table and cry. At matchpoints, I need to get us in the auction responsibly. At IMPs, the fear of missing game would possibly force me to double again, but not here.”