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What is dbl if not a support dbl?

#1 User is offline   Bende 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 04:17

In the most common support double situations, i.e. 1-over-1 and fourth seat enters the auction with a suit bid below two of responders suit, what does double show if you are NOT playing support doubles? I think I remember reading an interview with Eric Rodwell where he said that he would prefer not to play support doubles in a natural system, but I could be wrong about this.

OK, so the answer is (probably) that it is a take out double. But I have actually never seen a description of which hands choose to bid this way. Does it depend on strength of the hand, for example (i.e. a good/bad type of situation)?
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#2 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 05:25

It probably differs slightly whether you are playing 4 or 5 card majors, and your NT range, but any double at this level - not playing support doubles - I would play as mainly takeout, with a secondary competitive aspect, but showing more than a minimum hand, with no other sensible bid available.

Obviously the overcaller has come into the bidding knowing his/her partner has passed, but there is no reason for your partner not to convert the double for penalties if his/her hand has no sensible bid too. For example Jxxxx xx x KQJxx
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#3 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 05:31

 Bende, on 2019-August-27, 04:17, said:

In the most common support double situations, i.e. 1-over-1 and fourth seat enters the auction with a suit bid below two of responders suit, what does double show if you are NOT playing support doubles? I think I remember reading an interview with Eric Rodwell where he said that he would prefer not to play support doubles in a natural system, but I could be wrong about this.

OK, so the answer is (probably) that it is a take out double. But I have actually never seen a description of which hands choose to bid this way. Does it depend on strength of the hand, for example (i.e. a good/bad type of situation)?


Options are:
1) Penalty - I am not a fan of low-level penalty doubles.
2) Take-out - In a sequence such as 1,(Pass), 1, (2) it can be useful double to show a four-card heart suit.
3) Showing values - If playing a weak NT a double is useful to show a strong NT type hand. Even in a strong NT system a double might show the 18-19 HCP hand or 15-17 with defects preventing a 1NT opening.
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#4 User is offline   Bende 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 06:02

As for basic system, I was thinking 5533, 2/1, strong NT.
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#5 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 06:03

We play double shows 4 cards in the unbid suit, hence bidding it shows 5
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#6 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 06:25

 Cyberyeti, on 2019-August-27, 06:03, said:

We play double shows 4 cards in the unbid suit, hence bidding it shows 5


Given that you play a weak NT, what do you do with: Q4 AQ9 J107 AKJ2 after the sequence 1, (Pass), 1, (2)?

I think that there will always be difficult hands, whatever the agreement.
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#7 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 07:15

 Tramticket, on 2019-August-27, 06:25, said:

Given that you play a weak NT, what do you do with: Q4 AQ9 J107 AKJ2 after the sequence 1, (Pass), 1, (2)?

I think that there will always be difficult hands, whatever the agreement.


WOnder what happened to my 13th card
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#8 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 08:03

 Cyberyeti, on 2019-August-27, 07:15, said:

WOnder what happened to my 13th card


After calling the director, they find the three of clubs on the floor, giving:

Q4 AQ9 J107 AKJ32

:)
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#9 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 08:11

 Tramticket, on 2019-August-27, 08:03, said:

After calling the director, they find the three of clubs on the floor, giving:

Q4 AQ9 J107 AKJ32

:)


That hand I probably have to X, I've shown a 4th heart I don't have, a fraction stronger I could bid 2N which DOESN'T promise a stop and is forcing.
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#10 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 09:16

 Cyberyeti, on 2019-August-27, 08:11, said:

That hand I probably have to X, I've shown a 4th heart I don't have, a fraction stronger I could bid 2N which DOESN'T promise a stop and is forcing.


Fair enough. I have also played that a double is take-out, promising 4+ in an unbid suit but I found that we also needed to include strong balanced hands without a stop.

We have now switched, to make the double specifically a strong NT (or stronger), without a stop. We pass with less than 15, unless we have an obvious bid.
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#11 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 13:25

Values is good playing weak NT.
Perhaps as values without stopper so kind of takeout.
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#12 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-August-27, 16:38

 Tramticket, on 2019-August-27, 09:16, said:

Fair enough. I have also played that a double is take-out, promising 4+ in an unbid suit but I found that we also needed to include strong balanced hands without a stop.

We have now switched, to make the double specifically a strong NT (or stronger), without a stop. We pass with less than 15, unless we have an obvious bid.


It's much like any other ToX, if minimum (amd ours DOESN'T show any extras) it needs to be on shape, the more values you have the less on shape it has to be
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#13 User is offline   hamish32 

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Posted 2019-August-29, 09:13

We play this as a power X: that means it shows some (generally unbalanced) hand by opener or some game forcing hand by responder. Except in pass out seat where it could be converting partners pass.
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#14 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-August-29, 09:40

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-August-27, 08:11, said:

That hand I probably have to X, I've shown a 4th heart I don't have, a fraction stronger I could bid 2N which DOESN'T promise a stop and is forcing.

Having your cheapest bid reserved for 6-5 hands strikes me as bidding theory no-no. Combines with this example where your double cannot follow the supposed agreements suggests to me that you might do well to have a re-think to clean up and optimise the agreements a little.

To the OP, system matters quite a lot here. In systems such as Acol, this double is often referred to as the "Strong NT Double" because it is often, but not always, made with a strong balanced hand. The traditional meaning for this double in strong NT systems was simply takeout. The poster-child in the 1 - 1 - (2) auction that has been brought up might be a weak 2=4=1=6. The unifying factor for both of these old, traditional meanings is that the double covers hands that have had their natural rebid taken away but want to be able to say something positive.

In more recent times the Support Double has gained popularity over the traditional method enormously. It is now almost ubiquitous in strong NT systems up to a certain level and even in Acol it is not so uncommon to see pairs trying to work around their use. More recently still, there is something of a revolution taking place at expert level in using transfer-based methods in competition. In that case the double tends to have a quite different role in showing a suit, perhaps more akin to CY's definition (ie 4+ hearts in the example auction) but with other rebids also being artificial and covering the alternatives (for example 2 might be a 3 card raise essentially amounting to a simple switch). These transfer-based systems are usually more efficient than natural methods but come at a cost that is much too high for club and social players. If you wanted my vote on how to use double in a 5 + Strong system outside of a Support Double though, that would be my top choice.
(-: Zel :-)
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#15 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-August-29, 10:00

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-August-29, 09:40, said:

Having your cheapest bid reserved for 6-5 hands strikes me as bidding theory no-no. Combines with this example where your double cannot follow the supposed agreements suggests to me that you might do well to have a re-think to clean up and optimise the agreements a little.


It's a blanket agreement for all these auctions and it depends which suits are bid and in which order how good an agreement it is. 1-P-1-1-2-2- round the table, knowing partner is 5-5 can matter in the competitive auction.
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#16 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-August-30, 02:40

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-August-29, 10:00, said:

It's a blanket agreement for all these auctions and it depends which suits are bid and in which order how good an agreement it is. 1-P-1-1-2-2- round the table, knowing partner is 5-5 can matter in the competitive auction.

That is certainly true but whether it matters more than knowing, for example, that partner has 3 hearts is questionable.

More to the point though, I would say that a one level overcall is quite different in character so treating these auctions in the same way is bound to lead to some issues. That is particularly the case for one level overcalls that are the next step, giving us more space rather than less. Where we have been gifted an extra call it makes absolute sense to use it to differentiate between 4 and 5 clubs or between 3 and 4 hearts. Where he opponents' overcall takes away almost a complete level of bidding it is necessary to prioritise and using the cheapest calls flexibly to cover different hand types is one of the easiest ways of achieving this aim.
(-: Zel :-)
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#17 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-August-30, 08:03

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-August-30, 02:40, said:

That is certainly true but whether it matters more than knowing, for example, that partner has 3 hearts is questionable.

More to the point though, I would say that a one level overcall is quite different in character so treating these auctions in the same way is bound to lead to some issues. That is particularly the case for one level overcalls that are the next step, giving us more space rather than less. Where we have been gifted an extra call it makes absolute sense to use it to differentiate between 4 and 5 clubs or between 3 and 4 hearts. Where he opponents' overcall takes away almost a complete level of bidding it is necessary to prioritise and using the cheapest calls flexibly to cover different hand types is one of the easiest ways of achieving this aim.


I play with a partner who doesn't like support doubles, and I've never used them, so we were never going to use X for that. I don't know whether the theoretical argument changes if you play a weak NT and 4+ card minors as we do, so if 1 is balanced it's 15+.

The only minimum hands that will have a support double are 35 in the reds and 4-1 either way in the blacks or have 6+ diamonds
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#18 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-September-02, 04:35

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-August-30, 08:03, said:

I play with a partner who doesn't like support doubles, and I've never used them, so we were never going to use X for that. I don't know whether the theoretical argument changes if you play a weak NT and 4+ card minors as we do, so if 1 is balanced it's 15+.

It makes a large difference for 2/1 overcalls, which was the basis of this thread. It makes rather less difference to one level overcalls, particularly the 1 over 1 overcall from your previous post. I would tend to suggest different rules for one and two level overcalls. A popular set of rules for a 4444 weak NT system is:-

1 - 1 - (1): X shows 3 diamonds
1 - 1 - (1): X shows 4 hearts
1m - 1 - (1): X shows 3 hearts
1X - 1Y - (2Z): X shows a hand that wants to compete without a suitable bid (Responder initially assumes a strong NT)

These rules can obviously be greatly refined but I think they are a net plus over your generic rule. If you want to stick more closely to your existing rule, a simple refinement might be that Double shows the unbid suit if it was preempted by the overcall or is a Support Double if the unbid suit was not preempted. That would make your one level overcalls look like the above method and mean that your 2 level overcalls avoid the 6-5 issue. I think just this one simple change would make a meaningful difference to your competitive options on awkward hands without losing the perceived benefits where they are most useful.
(-: Zel :-)
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#19 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-September-02, 05:12

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-September-02, 04:35, said:

It makes a large difference for 2/1 overcalls, which was the basis of this thread. It makes rather less difference to one level overcalls, particularly the 1 over 1 overcall from your previous post. I would tend to suggest different rules for one and two level overcalls. A popular set of rules for a 4444 weak NT system is:-

1 - 1 - (1): X shows 3 diamonds
1 - 1 - (1): X shows 4 hearts
1m - 1 - (1): X shows 3 hearts
1X - 1Y - (2Z): X shows a hand that wants to compete without a suitable bid (Responder initially assumes a strong NT)

These rules can obviously be greatly refined but I think they are a net plus over your generic rule. If you want to stick more closely to your existing rule, a simple refinement might be that Double shows the unbid suit if it was preempted by the overcall or is a Support Double if the unbid suit was not preempted. That would make your one level overcalls look like the above method and mean that your 2 level overcalls avoid the 6-5 issue. I think just this one simple change would make a meaningful difference to your competitive options on awkward hands without losing the perceived benefits where they are most useful.


1-P-1-1 is an interesting sequence for us, it requires a lot of things about the hand to give it a real issue, but basically it requires length but not strength in hearts. We would normally rebid 1N anyway (which is nearly forcing because it's 15-bad 19).
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#20 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-September-02, 06:23

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-September-02, 04:35, said:

1X - 1Y - (2Z): X shows a hand that wants to compete without a suitable bid (Responder initially assumes a strong NT


We would agree with this. This is our agreement for both one-level and two level overcalls.

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-September-02, 04:35, said:

1 - 1 - (1): X shows 3 diamonds


I can't see any reason to emphasise the three-card diamond support. What would you do with:AQJ 976 K9 AQ432? Why not play that this also shows a hand that wants to compete without a suitable bid (the "Strong NT type"?

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-September-02, 04:35, said:

1 - 1 - (1): X shows 4 hearts


I can see the argument that it is more important to show the four-card heart suit, before LHO raises, rather than the "strong NT type" here. This is particularly true because the Acol style is to respond four-card suits up the line, so partner is quite likely to hold a four-card heart suit. Without LHO raising, partner will surely protect when holding four hearts and four+ diamonds - so it is the further preemption which could be problematic.

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-September-02, 04:35, said:

1m - 1 - (1): X shows 3 hearts


I am not sure how often you will gain with this approach, rather than using the double to show the "strong NT type hand". It is rare to hold hands with clubs + three-card hearts that isn't balanced (either open 1NT or can bid 1NT or double without a stop). With an unbalanced hand we will usually have an alternative bid (rebid a six-card club suit, bid our second four-card minor, pass with four-card spades).

Maybe we will miss a few heart partials, but I suspect that game judgments will be more accurate if we use the double to show extras?
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