Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bidding after 1NT-X

I think one area that few partnerships have discussed in much detail is bidding after their side has doubled 1 Notrump for penalty--either the opening bid or an overcall. I believe that standard practice says that all subsequent doubles of runouts are for penalties, but usually the discussion ends there. What does a pass show on this auction:



(2)-to play

Sometimes the right spot will be defending 2 Hearts undoubled, but that seems to be a pretty narrow area to shoot for. Some kind of structure involving forcing passes has to be the right idea. My favorite method involves forcing passes and value showing, optional-type doubles. So the passes are consistent with holding a penalty double of the bid suit, intending to pass partner's double if he produces one. Direct bids at the two-level show a smattering of values and are not forcing. Two Notrump is Lebensohl and 3-level suits are game-forcing. When responder (to the original penalty double, that is) has a bust or near-bust, he passes, bids the next step after the second double, and hopes to land on his feet somewhere. Passing and removing the double to a major at the 2-level (on an auction like 1NT-X-2c-p-p-X-p-?) shows values and a real suit but is not quite game-forcing. If the opps bid to the 3-level, forcing passes are off. I read about this system in Barry Rigal's "Precision in the 90s." I guess the most important thing is to have some kind of discussion as to what bids mean after doubling 1NT--anything is better than guessing.

1 comment:

Nik said...

A basic agreement will usually suffice. After 1N Dbl pass pass and runouts our side should be forced to 2S or 2nt. After 1N dbl and runout it should be the similar but I'll advise dbl to show values rather than trump stack. Pass can be neutral.