el mister, on Feb 9 2009, 11:13 AM, said:
Is there much value in the redouble of penalty doubles? I'm talking about simply redoubling because you believe you will make your contract, rather than use of the XX card as some sort of conventional bid.
This is quite a vague question, but the answer is generally "yes".
Here are five good reasons to redouble 'for business'
1. If you aren't going more than one off, the scoring table is in your favour. Nonvulnerable 4Sx-1 is -100, 4Sxx-1 is -200 while 4Sx is +590 and 4Sxx is +880 so you are gambling a loss of 100 points to gain 290. That's worth quite a few imps.
2. When you aren't sure if you are making or not, but are certain you have a large penalty if they pull. Suppose you have a competitive auction and are pretty certain that if they bid on you are getting 500-800. They double you in game. If one of the opponents looks uncomfortable and you think you should have at least 9 tricks, then again you are gambling only another 100-200 points for the possibility of a large penalty your way. In contrast, the time not to redouble is when you think their possible save will be cheap.
3. To stop partner pulling. For example, if you get Lightner doubled in a slam, then (depending on the auction) there's a chance that partner may pull to his suit, or to 6NT or something. Or if you get doubled in 3NT for a particular lead, if partner hasn't got a stop that he should have, he may want to pull. Redoubling stops partner doing something so stupid. For example, 1D P 1S P 1NT P 3NT x, where the double asks for a spade lead. If you have AQx of spades and a nice 14-count, redouble assures partner not to be worried about his xxxx of spades.
4. To tell partner it's your hand. For example, I play both 1NT x xx and 1suit 1NT x xx as strong (not SOS). While it's unlikely that we get to play there (usually someone doesn't have their bid), it tells partner that we have the majority of the points and should be thinking about penalising them.
5. When the opponents have made a serious mistake. This is actually the least common reason, though it does come up. It becomes particularly fruitful when there are overtricks involved. You might think that being doubled in a contract that's making overtricks shouldn't happen that often, but it does do sometimes, particularly at low levels (not least when the redouble makes the contract game). For example: After 1NT x (penalties) P, if you are looking at a balanced 2-count in fourth seat, you shrug your shoulders and concede 280, 380 or whatever. But after 1NT x xx (natural) ? now if it's making, even NV, that's 560, 760... Similarly lead-directing doubles are a good source of redoubled overtricks, particularly after a strong opening e.g. 2C P 2D x (I have diamonds) xx (I have more diamonds).