Rebid by Doubler

Neither side vulnerable
The bidding has gone:

DoublePass1 Pass

Over the years, doubler's rebids have been growing huskier. In the early days of contract bridge, doubler just showed a decent hand; he worried later about a strain for the contract--thus, doubling and bidding a new suit did not necessarily suggest strength beyond an opening bid. As time went on, this approach was found to be unsatisfactory, because the opponents refused to keep quiet, causing tough decisions at high levels, and because doubler had a wide spectrum of hands to describe. Doubler's rebid of a new suit came to be used as a strength-showing device, about 16 points. Now that overcalls have become wide-range, and most players appreciate the virtues of overcalling with good hands, the double followed by a new-suit bid has become even stronger, with a minimum around 18-19 points.

As South, what call do you make with each of the following:

(a) K J 3    A Q 10 8    5 2    A Q 10 6

(b) K J 3    A Q 10 8 6    A 5    A Q 10

(c) K J 3    A Q 10 8 6    A Q    A 10 6

(d) K J 3 2    A Q 10 8 6    5    K 8 5

(e) K J 3 2    A Q 10 8 6    5    A Q 8

(f) K J 9    A Q 10 8    J 2    A K Q 10


K J 3    A Q 10 8    5 2    A Q 10 6

(a) Pass. There is no second choice, really. You don't particularly like spades (your double suggested at least this much in the way of spade support), do not have a strong enough hand to mention a new suit, and have no reason to believe game is available anywhere. Hope that partner can make one spade.

K J 3    A Q 10 8 6    A 5    A Q 10

(b) Two hearts. This is the sort of powerhouse you need for a new-suit sequence. If you had a merely good hand with this distribution, you would have overcalled one heart to begin with. The double begins where the overcall leaves off.

K J 3    A Q 10 8 6    A Q    A 10 6

(c) One notrump. Two hearts is all right on strength, but one notrump, reasonably descriptive, retains more flexibility. You may miss a five-three heart fit, but you may also avoid a short major-suit fit at a higher level. And if partner has a really terrible hand (nothing about the auction or your cards suggests he doesn't), one notrump might be better regardless.

K J 3 2    A Q 10 8 6    5    K 8 5

(d) Pass. Some experts believe it is tactically superior to raise with a fit, even at the risk of getting clobbered when partner has a poor hand (perhaps with only a three-card spade suit). However, the traditional view in this area, retained in the modern style, is not to raise except with a hope of making game. You have little expectation of game with these cards, and might get too high in the attempt.

K J 3 2    A Q 10 8 6    5    A Q 8

(e) Two spades. Here you have a chance for game if partner is in the maximum range, so you show your prospects with a raise, probably not getting too high in any case. (The players who raise with (d) have to cue-bid with (e), which overloads their cue-bid.)

K J 9    A Q 10 8    J 2    A K Q 10

(f) Two diamonds. This is the popular cue-bid, showing great high-card strength and asking for help as to the best strain. That may be standard, but we know in our hearts that the best bid is two clubs. This promises great power, so you won't miss anything if partner passes. And it stays low, where you want to be, when partner has nothing. What it lacks is a fifth club, but this is really not important most of the time.

(Adapted from "Rate Your Own Game" in The Bridge World.)


Our learning center web pages are dedicated to teaching the game of bridge. There are lessons for first-time players, as well as for those at the elementary and intermediate levels. You can find the appropriate section, and proceed through the lessons.

BEGINNER: Learn how to play bridge if you have never played before. The beginner lessons here are designed for those who know little or nothing about the game.

ELEMENTARY: If you understand the basics of the game, and are ready to proceed further.

INTERMEDIATE: Here is a collection of intermediate-level problems in bidding, declarer play, and defense for you to practice and improve your game.