♠3 ♥A K ♦A J 10 6 4 3 ♣A 10 9 2
What’s your call?
Half the panel chose to double. When the opponents bid and raise a suit, double shows values.
“Double,” said Jeff Meckstroth. “I want to see what partner bids. If he bids a minor, I will follow with a 4♠ control bid.”
“Double is commonly played as a good hand with no clear action,” said Kerri Sanborn. “I should probably have another heart, but I have what I have.”
“Any action besides double is too committal and does not recognize the variety of hands with which partner might double in this auction.” Said Linda and Robb Gordon. “Partner might have hearts and clubs, hearts and diamonds or just hearts.”
“Double shows extras and is takeout, tending to deny four hearts,” said Barry Rigal. “I expect to beat it if partner passes, but this looks like the best way to a minor suit if partner acts.”
“Let’s double and hear what partner has to say,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “We’ll try to get to the right game before we worry about slam.”
“Double shows extras with uncertainty as to what suit should be trumps,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “A 4♠ cuebid takes up too much room.”
“Double is better than bidding 4♣ (or a higher number) which suggests five of them,” said Allan Falk. “I also don’t want to rebid diamonds and miss a club fit.”
Four panelists bid 4♣.
“4♣,” said Karen Walker. “Double would show extra values, but it suggests a hand that has no obvious bid. Bidding 4♦ might hide the club fit.”
August Boehm agreed with 4♣. “Double is takeout, either a strong 1=3=5=4 or a more balanced hand with values. I don’t hold either hand type, so I can’t make that call.”
“If I knew for sure that we had a good fit, I’d bid game,” said Steve Robinson. “Bidding 4♣ allows partner to bid 4♥ in case he has a bad hand with just hearts.”
“5♣,” said Don Stack. “I have plenty of strength and distribution. Partner doesn’t show four clubs with his negative double, so hopefully I will get a preference to 5♦ if partner has only three clubs.”
Partner might play you for 5–5 and pass with only three.
“5♣ seems about right on values,” said Kay and Randy Joyce.
Jill Meyers agreed with 5♣. “I could bid 4♣, but we are vulnerable at IMPs and I like game bonuses.”
Larry Cohen chooses to cuebid 4♠ “This hand is way too good to do anything less,” he said. “If partner has a weak hand with just hearts, maybe I’ve blown it big time. Sorry, partner.”
Double is flexible. It shows your extra strength and allows the contract to be played in all four suits.
Want to receive the retro “It’s Your Call” by email?
Click here to subscribe.