Mark Blumenthal

Bridge Tip #30

There is such a thing called an action double. Assume you happened to opened  three hearts hoiding this  hand,     3, AQJ10875 7, K862, non vulnerable  against vulnerable . LHO bids three spades.  Your partner bids four hearts. It goes  four spades to your right. Although  the preempter is not supposed to bid after his initial call, you could now double. You  probably have a trick on defense and more playing strength than you figured to have from made   your initial bid . With good defense( such as one trump trick and an  outside trick. )  your   partner could leave it in or,  save in five hearts  if it seems your partnership has  with little chance   to beat the contract. These doubles   are used  in  competitive auctions in which you   are not sure whose hand it is.  I would not use an  action double unless I were playing with a partner I was sure would fully understood what I am doing.


Ed ShapiroJune 29th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Hi, Mark!

I think in today’s tournament climate you would find in the neighborhood of one percent of players preempting to only 3H at favorable vul on your example hand, with the remaining 99 percent split between opening four (or even Namyats) or one.

Otherwise, I agree with your action double recommendation, of course.

Mark BlumenthalJune 30th, 2009 at 1:12 am


That’s why I wrote, “Assume you happened to open three hearts,,,”. I needed a clear example for what I was writing. I didn’t at all recommend the bid or state it was likely to occur.

Rainer HerrmannJuly 29th, 2009 at 10:22 am

I thought most people would be playing Lightner (showing a void in an unbid suit) in this position.

Steven BloomDecember 11th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

We have a partnership agreement – a double by the preemptor suggests extra offense. This applies when the preempt has been raised, or when we open at the four-level.

If you would open 2S on both AKJ10x x xxx xxxx and KJ109xx x xx xxxx, then an auction like 2S – Dbl – 3S 4H needs to involve both players. Doubling with the second example lets partner convert with a trump stack, but bid on with most other hands.

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