Doubled and Redoubled Contracts

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 07/14/2018
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Note: There are 3 articles in this series. The start/cover page is here.

Scoring for Doubled and Redoubled Contracts

Going down doubled can be scary. The scores add up quickly. If you are sacrificing, you have to not only hope the contract you sacrifice against was making, but that your minus score (especially doubled) is not more than what their contract was worth.

If it is a partscore battle, you can afford down 1 doubled if not vulnerable (-100). Vulnerable, down one doubled is -200, which is considered the "Matchpoint Kiss of Death." That is because when your opponents bid and make most partscores you end up something like -110, -120, -130, -140 -- and while -100 would be great in comparison, -200 is typically a disaster. Down 2 doubled (no matter what the vulnerability) will always score more than a partscore.

If the opponents were going to be in a bid and making game, you can afford to pay out a "medium" penalty and still profit. You need to know the score for their game. If they are Vulnerable, they are getting at least 600.  If Not Vulnerable, only 400.  Knowing their vulnerability and yours is crucial to your decision making. The best time to sacrifice (or be frisky) is when your opponents are Vulnerable and you aren't.

Sacrificing against slams is rare, but again, you need to know who is vulnerable and have a rough idea of what the scores involved are.

Scoring Table for Doubled Penalties

Down how many Not Vulnerable (doubled) Vulnerable (doubled)
1 -100 -200
2 -300 -500
3 -500 -800
4 -800 -1100
5 -1100 -1400
etc... 300 per extra undertrick 300 per extra undertrick

Redoubled penalties are rare (why redouble if you expect to get set?). On the once-a-year occasion where you need to know, just take every number in the doubled table and double it again.






Anything under this line isn't too important to understand. But...


Scoring for making doubled contracts

It isn't too important to understand this. It is practical to just look it up (on the back of the bidding box cards) or let the computer do the calculation. Making a doubled contract is almost always a great result for the making side and a disaster for the doubling side. I don't recommend spending time/energy memorizing/learning this aspect. But, for those who want to know:


1♠ doubled making 1 = 30 per trick x 2 = 60  + 50 insult + 50 for the partscore (part of any duplicate scoring) = 160

2♠ doubled making 3 (Vul) = 60 for the regular tricks x 2 = 120 + 200 for the doubled overtrick + 500 Vul game bonus (considered like bidding 4♠) + 50 insult = 870

5♠ doubled making 5 not vul = 100 x 2 for the tricks + 50 insult + 300 for game = 550

Scoring for making redoubled contracts

It is even less important to understand this. Just look it up.  Someone has a top and someone has a bottom. If you must know:

1♠ redoubled making 2 not vul = 20 per trick x 4 = 80  + 100 insult + 50 for the partscore (part of any duplicate scoring) + 200 for the overtrick = 430

2♠ redoubled making 3 Vul = 60 for the regular tricks x 4 = 240 + 400 for the doubled overtrick + 500 game bonus + 100 insult = 1240

5♠ redoubled making 5 not vul = 100 x 4 for the tricks + 100 insult + 300 for game = 800