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Low level competition doubles

#1 User is offline   Phil352 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 05:01

Hi all, couple of sequences to ask about:

(1) 1 (x) 1NT
(2) X

Do most play this double as penalty or takeout? Does it differ in teams events and pairs events?

More simply,

1 (P) 1NT 2
P (P) X

1 (P) 1NT 2
X

These doubles are presumably linked, what do you think each shows?
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#2 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 05:11

All three are takeout for me. In general a low level double is takeout unless common sense dictates that it cannot be takeout. That's not the case here, auction 1 overcaller can easily have a good 5314, auction 2 responder can be 2452 and auction 3 opener can be 5341.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

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#3 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 06:42

View Posthan, on 2012-April-17, 05:11, said:

All three are takeout for me.

Oh! All three are penalty-orientated for me....

No doubt not optimal, but I prefer simple agreements about when doubles are penalty, and one of the conditions is when we have bid NT.
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#4 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 07:51

View PostWellSpyder, on 2012-April-17, 06:42, said:

I prefer simple agreements


So do I and check the "maximal" and "card showing" boxes on the ACBL convention card.

All 3 of the above just show extra values or a max in the case of 1nt with no clear direction. That usually = pass if you can stomach it partner but look at your hand and do something intelligent. Otherwise known as a transfer of responsibility.
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#5 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 07:55

View PostPhil352, on 2012-April-17, 05:01, said:

Do most play [these doubles] as penalty or takeout?


View Posthan, on 2012-April-17, 05:11, said:

All three are takeout for me.


View PostWellSpyder, on 2012-April-17, 06:42, said:

All three are penalty-orientated for me....


View Postggwhiz, on 2012-April-17, 07:51, said:

All 3 of the above just show extra values ... with no clear direction.


So there you have it - as clear a consensus as you could possibly hope for :) .
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#6 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 19:51

View Postggwhiz, on 2012-April-17, 07:51, said:

Otherwise known as a transfer of responsibility.


You and your partners must be very civilised. In my partnerships what is transferred in situations like this is "blame".
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#7 User is offline   frank0 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 20:08

All X should not be used without clear agreement.
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#8 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 21:04

Takeout like Han said.
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#9 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 22:37

One day we all will understand that sparing the double for penalty or penalty oriented at these levels and waiting for it for decades ( and funnily they usually make too even when it comes and you double) is futile and that the hands we are dealt are usually very hard to express by bidding only suits or NT especially when the already limited space is jacked up by opponents too...That day people will only discuss what type of take out doubles are these low level doubles.
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#10 User is offline   Phil352 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 06:44

Well some insightful comments, some not-so. To simply say all low-level doubles are takeout seems ludicrous to me, there must be some auctions where penalty is clear. Would be nice to have a resource somewhere with a list of competitive auctions that you could print off and discuss with a partner.

I see no-one has commented on the teams vs pairs aspect. It seems to me that more doubles could be pens in pairs, but obviously need discussion with partner.
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#11 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 07:03

View PostPhil352, on 2012-April-18, 06:44, said:

Well some insightful comments, some not-so. To simply say all low-level doubles are takeout seems ludicrous to me, there must be some auctions where penalty is clear. Would be nice to have a resource somewhere with a list of competitive auctions that you could print off and discuss with a partner.

http://www.bridgebas...enalty-doubles/
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#12 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 07:22

To ask for opinions and then dismiss some of the responses as "ludicrous" seems unwise to me, assuming you're hoping that people will continue to respond to your posts.
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#13 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 07:40

He's right though; to say that all low level doubles are takeout is pretty silly.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#14 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 07:50

Good link and sound advice above.

You might also enjoy Roy Hughes' discussion of low-level doubles. Looks like he ended his blogging career after posting on this topic.
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#15 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 17:35

View PostPhil352, on 2012-April-18, 06:44, said:

Well some insightful comments, some not-so. To simply say all low-level doubles are takeout seems ludicrous to me, there must be some auctions where penalty is clear. Would be nice to have a resource somewhere with a list of competitive auctions that you could print off and discuss with a partner.


So all three of those you have given look like t/o to me.

The ones that are penalty tend to be those auctions where you have already denied the ability to make a t/o double. E.g.

1s p 1N p
2S x

is basically always played as penalty, as there is no hand that didnt want to make a t/o double at the one level and now wants to force partner to the three level.

Others are less clear:

1c p 1N p
2C x

Is normally played as a t/o double, pre balancing at the two level, as with all three suits in play there is a decent chance of a fit somewhere at the two level. Moreover its quite dangerous for partner to dble over 1N for t/o as he doesnt know if opener is strong or even just strong balanced. So he needs a t/o double available, and if he is doubling for t/o you do not need a penalty double. The same auctions in diamonds and hearts are weighing these factors, nearly everyone plays the dble of 2d in both seats as t/o after 1d-1n-2d, but there is a real disagreement about what to do in hearts. Particularly as people seem to double more agressively over majors at the one level than over minors, as the danger of it coming back to you at the three level is much higher.

Other auctions that are "obviously" penalties are auctions like:

1d (1s) 1N (2S)
P P x

The NT hand would have doubled originally if it had a t/o shape, and has also denied diamond support normally, so it has little 3 level safety.

1d (1s) 1N (2s)
x

is t/o, as if partner has a stop and they have a fit you can never have a penalty double. It normally promises significant extra values.

Obviously low level auctions involving preempts are generally penalties, like 2H (2S) x. When partner is known to be single suited a t/o dble seldom makes sense. When we have a fit double is generally penalties, except i prioritise game tries above penalty when there is no other way to make a game try. A similar prioitisation can apply when we are looking for 3N: 1D (1S) 2S (3S) now dble from either side shows enough extra to look for game and is looking for 3N.

Then there are those in more complicated situations that just feel like penalty:
(1H) 1S (2d) x
(3d) x

Seems like it should be penalty, though I don't have any clear rule for why. Perhaps because we cant have a major fit and if partner had enough for 4 clubs he could just bid it. Anyway, think I have covered most of the non-t.o doubles that come up regularly.
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#16 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 17:41

View PostPhil352, on 2012-April-18, 06:44, said:

Well some insightful comments, some not-so. To simply say all low-level doubles are takeout seems ludicrous to me, there must be some auctions where penalty is clear. Would be nice to have a resource somewhere with a list of competitive auctions that you could print off and discuss with a partner.



View Postgnasher, on 2012-April-18, 07:22, said:

To ask for opinions and then dismiss some of the responses as "ludicrous" seems unwise to me, assuming you're hoping that people will continue to respond to your posts.


How fortunate he didn't do that, since, as far as I can see, no poster said all low level doubles are t/o. That would be ludicrous.
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#17 User is offline   Statto 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 18:05

(1)-P-(1NT)-X is normally played as take-out.

But what about (1)-P-(1NT)-P;(P)-X? Marvin French thinks this should be penalty. Do you?
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#18 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 18:14

View PostStatto, on 2012-April-18, 18:05, said:

(1)-P-(1NT)-X is normally played as take-out.

But what about (1)-P-(1NT)-P;(P)-X? Marvin French thinks this should be penalty. Do you?


Yes, definitely penalty.
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#19 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-April-19, 04:30

View PostStatto, on 2012-April-18, 18:05, said:

(1)-P-(1NT)-X is normally played as take-out.

But what about (1)-P-(1NT)-P;(P)-X? Marvin French thinks this should be penalty. Do you?


Yes penalty.

Its like 1h p 1n p 2h x, except without the 2h bid its even more likely they have no fit and so you have a pen x. OTOH, its much more likely the 1N bidder can run out safely to 2m.

The case for t/o gets stronger as the suit rank goes down though.

1c p 1N p p x: should this be t/o? I think quite a lot play this as a "flawed t/o", something like 4243 shape.

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