Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Light Negative Doubles

A couple of hands came up while I was playing online last night that presented opportunities to make light negative doubles of a preemptive bid. Are these long-run winning tactics or is it better to "stay fixed" with these hands? Some style is certainly involved, with the daring, gambling type of player favoring the double while the conservative passes without much thought. Here are the 2 hands and situations. Assume neither vul and you are 3rd to act.

QJxx
Kxxx
Qx
xxx
Partner opens 1 Diamond, RHO overcalls 3 Clubs.

QJxx
Qxxx
x
Qxxx
Partner opens 1 Club, RHO overcalls 3 Diamonds.

6 comments:

Paul said...

Three small clubs on the first hand are a real turn-off. If partner has a balanced 12-14 hand then we really don't want to be competing at the three level.

I'd also pass the second one. It is just too weak even though the diamond singleton is golden.

Life is rarely easy after a pre-empt. Perhaps they should be banned!

Jonathan Weinstein said...

The first one I would let go; I think partner will have enough to x if we have a game. (I'll bid 4c over x.) It is tempting to X to ensure we compete enough for the partscore at these colors, but i'll say a close pass.

Second one also very close. Naturally now that we have a stiff in their suit you took away hcp to torture us. You have a very high chance they have a 9+ card fit because partner didn't open 1D, which provides some safety. So X will usually work out...but I guess I still pass. If I thought partner would pass with a balanced 18 I would have to X, but I think he can X with something like AKx AKxx xxx KJx and again I'll cuebid in response. I could be convinced passing is wrong...make a Q a K and I'll bid all day.

kennyz said...

shape is more important than strength on these hands. We're not missing much if we both have 3 clubs. I'd pass without thought on the first hand, expecting parner to reopen with any hand that has a 4 card major and a stiff club. Then I'd bid 4cl asking him to pick a major suit game. I'd double without much concern on the second hand, because partner will otherwise be stuck with his likely 3 card club suit and if he has a 4 card major too we're likely to miss a game.

alex_perlin said...

In his book on contested auctions Mike Lawrence has a small section on negative doubles after an adverse 3-level preempt. There he states that "10 working points is par for the bid". Seems like a reasonable default absent partnership's agreement to the contrary.

Best regards,
Alex

kennyz said...

I'm not worried about Jonathan's balanced 18, I'm worried about the shapely 12 counts like

AKXX
X
XXX
AJ10XX

which leaves us going -110 instead of +420. A big risk to take, when the risk of doubling is, I think, comparatively quite small.

Memphis MOJO said...

I'm like pretty much everybody else. The first one doesn't appeal to me, but I like the second one because I have all three suits.