Lead-directing doubles


Lead-directing doubles can be a big help to partner, but they can also backfire. Be sure you have the “right” suit quality and that you’re asking for the “right” lead. 

Here are some common situations where you might consider making a double to suggest an opening lead.
  
(1)  

  LHO  

 Partner   

 RHO   

  You    

 

1H

Pass

2C*

DBL

         * (Stayman)

 
(2)  

  LHO  

 Partner   

 RHO   

  You    

 

1S

Pass

3S

Pass

 

4C*

Pass 

4D*

DBL

      * (Artificial control cuebids for slam)

 
(3)  

  LHO  

 Partner   

 RHO   

 You   

 

1H

Pass

4D*

DBL

       * (Splinter raise - singleton or void)

 
(4)  

  LHO  

 Partner   

 RHO   

 You   

 

 

 

 

1D

 

1S

Pass

2D*

DBL

     * (Good raise of overcaller’s suit)  
 

The lower the level of their artificial bid, the stronger the suit you need to double.

A double of a shortness bid (Auction 3) should usually be a suit headed by the Ace-King. You may want to consider playing “two-way” doubles of splinter bids:

If the opponents cuebid a suit you’ve bid naturally (Auction 4), be cautious about doubling just for a lead. Partner will usually lead your suit anyway, so use double to describe something extra. Many players like to use this double to send the message "Good hand, good suit".

Tip:  Don’t play “stolen-bid” doubles. If partner opens 1NT, you need to have a penalty double available. The exception is if partner opens 1NT and your RHO overcalls 2C; in this auction, it's best to play your double as Stayman.

Tip:  Always ask yourself who will be on lead. If the auction suggests that you’ll be the opening leader, you should usually pass. Announcing where your strength is will help declarer more than partner.


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