A takeout double is a bid used to communicate to your partner the shape and value of your hand. Your partner is required to respond with their 4+ card major, or barring that, their best minor suit. When partner bids, he/she is ‘taking out’ the penalty double you bid. This bid allows you to enter the bidding with light opening points; communicate that whatever suit partner is strongest, you can support; and it takes up no bidding space to accomplish the task.
- Your opponents have opened the bidding
- You are three suited, NOT in your opponents suit
- When you have 8 (optimally shaped hand) to 12+ points.
- Can be used at first and second level bidding
- Double at the 2 level with a 5-card major, especially if weak suit.
- If you have a 5-card major and less than 16 HCPs – bid the suit at the 1 level.
- With 15-17 HCPs use 1 NT – this gives better info
- Doubletons must have useful honors!
- Primary consideration on borderline hands is length in unbid major suit.
- If Opponent bids between double and response, partner is not required to respond.
- It is recommended that partner does respond to help partnership come to the right bid. This situation is called a free bid.
- Forced to respond, even with 0 points.
- With a 4+ card major, give bidding preference to it, even over a 5-card minor
- With two majors available for response, bid 1♥ (2 4-card majors); 1♠ (2 5-card majors)
- Reply other major at the 2 level if necessary to identify fit. Remember, doubler will have the suit covered.
- 10 – 12 HCPs and a 4-card suit
- 9 – 11 HCPs and a 5-card suit
- 8 – 11 HCPs and a 5-card suit and a balanced hand
- Consider vulnerability.
- A takeout double does NOT promise a 4-card major.
- Partner may have 0 points!
- Safer to double early, to test the waters with your partner. If your opponents have powerhouse hands, they will likely overcall.