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The perfect hand for takeout double (1)

Posted on 26 October 2010

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Michael Lawrence says that the “perfect hand” for the takeout double is a 4441, and that with such shape eleven HCP are enough for enter any opening at level one. South has opened 1; as West, Lawrence doubles with: ♠A1094 6K982 ♣K1094: ten HCP by heads and with “body”. [Michael Lawrence, The complete book on takeout doubles – 1994 Magnus Books, Stamford, Connecticut]

Having: ♠6 A1094 K982 ♣K1094, and being vulnerable, would you double an opening of 1♠?

We have submitted this hand to several players and asked them if they should double in both cases.  These are the answers.

Elena Mihova: My bid depends on two things: whether my partner has passed and which side is vulnerable. With the first hand I will double in most cases. This is quite good 10-point hand. We could find a good spade score or game and even a sacrifice over opponents’ 4. With the second hand, I wouldn’t bid if my partner has passed. If she has not – it’s 50/50.

Montserrat Mestres Rodriguez: Sure 10 points and 4-4-4-1 it’s a wonderful take out, when my partner can bid the major at level one. But in second case I’m respectful of the unfavourable vulnerability, if my partner to be auctioned at level two, then I pass and wait for reopen…or not.

Norberto Bocchi: I double with both hands. It’s not matter of points: the good players don’t count points but look at shape. Also with few points, in these hands are three heads and the three suiter hand: where’s the problem? Montserrat is a dear friend, but I don’t agree. The Bridge is fine because it varies too; it’s not matter of being right or wrong, rather are picks, often subjective, never to be discussed. The bridge is a picking out play. Sometime we confront ourselves. Lauria, Versace, or Duboin ask me: “What do you bid with these cards?”. Well, my reply often is different from their. But nobody is wrong, indeed I always accept the viewpoints of the great players. Now, on this hand I say “double” because it’s the more technical thing. But if another player says “pass”, I don’t discuss it: could be right too; of course, if someone should bid…7, it would be wrong. Much depends on personal playing style.

Catherine D’Ovidio: Yes, I double for sure, if I’m not sleeping !

Gabriella Olivieri: it’s a good shape for a double, but it needs at least A K A, then in both cases, as West, I wouldn’t double.


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One Response to “The perfect hand for takeout double (1)”

  1. Adolfo D. Madala says:

    I think that the best hand for a take out double is the 5-4-3-1. You need the singleton in opps suit to lead in case your partner convert your take out in penalties. And a five card suit is neccesary if you hear the word “redouble” by your opp, is the only way to have a chance to survive at the two level. If your pd choose your 3 cards suit at least you are not worried about the forcing defense, you can ruff in the short trumps hand.

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