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Responding to a Takeout Double -- Part 2


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In Part 1 of this article, we discussed responding to a low-level takeout double. The gist of it was that notrump bids show values and a stopper(s). Suit bids show 0-8 except for jumps. A single-jump after partner makes a takeout double shows about 9-11.

What about if the takeout double is of a high-level bid (like 3♠ or 4♠)? There is not as much room, so the ranges are a bit less defined.

Here is a rough approximation of responses to a 3-level takeout double:

3 of a suit (or 4 of a suit without jumping): 0-9 (approximate), 4+ card suit
3NT: Stopper, some values (probably about 8-13 -- wide range!)
Jump to game: 10-15 (approximate), 4+ card suit
Jump to 4NT: Probably Blackwood (but some expert pairs might define it as natural, invitational).

Example hand for 3♠ X P 3♠ :

♠ A2  
♥ Q765  
♦ 7652  
♣ 764.
 

Example hand for 3♠ X P 3NT :

♠ A2  
♥ J75  
♦ AQ532  
♣ QJ4.

Example hand for 3♠ X P 4♠ :

♠ A32  
♥ AQ65  
♦ K652  
♣ 76.
 

Here is a rough approximation of responses to a 4+level takeout double:

Non-jump takeout = Anything. Could be very weak. Could be up to 13 or even more points. What can you do?
Takeout to 4NT = Not natural. Typically 2 places to play (Example: 

4♠ X P 4NT on

♠ 3  
♥ 87  
♦ K10876  
♣ AJ654.

Note: taking out a 4-level double usually shows a shapely hand. With a flat hand, such as:

♠ J42  
♥ J65  
♦ Q765  
♣ A32,
you would just pass a double of a 4♠ or 4♠ opener and hope to beat them. The only time you might take out a 4-level double with only a 4-card suit is if they open 4♠ and you want to take out to 4♠ (maybe with something like:  

♠ AQ76  
♥ 32  
♦ K10765  
♣ 32.

Be prepared to make some bad decisions. It is a guessing game at a high level and you can't get them all right.


 

With both sides vulnerable, the auction begins: 

WestNorthEastSouth
 3♠  Double  Pass  ??

 What is your call with:

♠ K32  
♥ K4  
♦ K654  
♣ K942?
 

Choose One:

Pass

3NT

4♠

4♠

4NT

5♠

5♠

With both sides vulnerable, the auction begins: 

WestNorthEastSouth
 3♠  Double  Pass  ??

 What is your call with:

♠ K82  
♥ KJ74  
♦ 42 
♣ J942?

Choose One:

Pass

3♠

3NT

4♠

With both sides vulnerable, the auction begins: 

WestNorthEastSouth
 3♠  Double  Pass  ??

 What is your call with:

♠ KJ532  
♥ 42 
♦ KQJ4  
♣ 32?

Choose One:

Pass

3♠

4♠

4♠

With both sides vulnerable, the auction begins: 

WestNorthEastSouth
 4♠  Double  Pass  ??

 What is your call with:

♠ 2  
♥ KJ642 
♦ 54  
♣ KQJ42?

Choose One:

Pass

4NT

5♠

5♠

Other

With both sides vulnerable, the auction begins: 

WestNorthEastSouth
 4♠  Double  Pass  ??

 What is your call with:

♠ Q32  
♥ QJ4  
♦ K654  
♣ J42?

Choose One:

Pass

4NT

5♠

5♠