Home

Negative Double

The Negative Double* is very similar to a takeout double, except that it is a bid that is used by responder in a competitive auction to shows a hand that either has insufficient strength or length to make a natural bid.  (Note: A suit bid tends to show 5+ cards and a bid at the 2 level should show 10+ points)

Partner opens the bidding on the 1 level and the opponents make a direct suit overcall.  Since a penalty double at this level would not be practical -- a double by responder is used for takeout. The purpose of the negative double is to find a 4-4 fit with emphasis on the majors. The "negative" double shows "values" and a willingness to further compete. The Strength Requirements depend on the level of bidding. You need 6 points on the 1 Level, 8 points on the 2 Level and 10 points on teh 3 Level to make a Negative Double. However, Negative Doubles are quite flexible.  If a major suit has been bid -- a negative double promises the other major.  If both minor suits have been bid on the one level -- you promise both majors.   Since you promise both majors for your double -- a bid of a major suit on the one level only promises 4 pieces. 

If both major suits have been bid -- you promise satisfactory values in the minors.  If responder does have a decent long suit but doesn't have the HCP's to introduce it on the 2 level or above -- he should start with a "negative double"  and then bid it on his next turn.  A double and bid of a new suit by responder shows a long suit and a weak hand.      

#1

North

 spade 8 7
 heart A Q 5 4
 diamond Q 7 6
 club A Q 7 6
  South

 spade K 6
 heart K J 9 8
 diamond T 4 3 2
 club J 8 4

North
1heart
2heart

East
1heart
pass

South
Double
pass

West
pass
pass

North opens the bidding 1C and East overcalls 1S. You do have some values but lack the length and strength to make a 2 level bid so you make a negative double.

This sequence promises at least 4H and 6+ points. North knows that you have 4H and confidently bids 2H with his minimum opening hand.  Since you also have minimum values you are content to play in a part-score.



#2

North

 spade K J T 8
 heart A
 diamond A T 4
 club A Q 7 6
  South

 spade A 9 7 6
 heart 9 5
 diamond J 9 2
 club K J 8 4

North
1heart
4heart

East
2heart
pass

South
Double
pass

West
pass
pass

North opens the bidding 1C and East makes a pesky 2H bid. With 9 points and 4S South makes a negative double promising values and 4 spades.

North is delighted to hear that South has Spades and with a maximum hand and no wasted values in hearts bids a game in Spades.


More References:    ACBL Homepage      Karen Walker's Homepage     Bridgeguys      Negative Double Quiz























X