Negative Double


  • your partner has opened, AND
  • your opponent has also interfered by bidding above the bid you intended

Bid:  Double


Partner bids:  1        Opponent bids:   1    You have:   4+  

Negative Double Bid Requirements:

  • Your partner has opened
  • You DO NOT have 3 of your partner’s MAJOR suit
  • Your hand promises 6 to 10 points and a 4+ card unbid major.
    • The shorter you are in your opponent’s suit, the fewer the HCP you need to respond AND the better the Negative bid is.
    • The higher the level you are forcing Opener to respond, the more HCP you should have in your hand.
  • Your opponent has interfered with your preferred bid at the 1-level
  • Your hand does not qualify in length AND strength to bid at the 2-level
    • No 5-card major
    • Less than 11 points
  • You do not promise 4 card support in the unbid minor.
    • Partnership may want to agree though, that if short on second unbid minor, that you have at least a stopper in the opponent’s suit.

It is more important to communicates your 4+ card major to your partner than to bid 1NT (even with Opponent suit stopper) or a 5/6-card minor, and it also takes no bidding space.  

  • It does not prevent you from bidding another suit later.
    • If you open a new suit:
      • It is not forcing
      • Must be a good 5-card or a 6-card suit
  • It does not preclude support for Opener’s suit.
  • It does not insist on having both unbid suits.  Though it does emphasize the unbid major.
  • Forcing.
    • Opener can pass if the double was at the 2 level and they hold 4 good cards in the opponent’s suit

Opener’s Response


1 > 1 Auctions:

  • Negative Double = you have 4 spades
  • 1 bid = you have 5    (Take Note)

1 > 1 Auctions:

  • A negative double implies you have 4+ cards in both majors.
  • 1 bid implies only 4     (Take Note)
  • 1 bid implies only 4   ???

1 > 2 Auctions:

  • A negative double implies you have 4+ cards in one major and enough points to compete.

1 > 1 (or 1 > 2) Auctions:

  • If you can support your partner’s major then this is paramount.
  • A negative double implies both minors and competitive points; denies support

1 > 2 Auctions:

  • A negative double implies 4+ spades and NO  support

How high should you go?  Consider this situation:

1 > 3 Auction

14 HCP

This hand is very good for a negative double with game values.  Whereas the below hand is not.



When a partnership plays Doubles, responder (you) cannot double for penalty.  You have to pass.  Opener can then double for penalty, in which you would pass.   This is called a penalty pass.

Opener’s Response