By Peter Rhead
Your second bid: When to bid the Support Double convention
Correction: This post has been updated to replace previous mentions of “left-hand opponent” with “right-hand opponent”.
You are the opener. The Support Double convention may be bid only by you and only after your partner responds a major suit (One Heart or One Spade) to your opening. In addition, your right-hand opponent must bid a suit, or double your partner’s bid.
The convention is designed to help find the magic eight-card major trump fit. Your opening bid can be One Heart or One Diamond or One Club. Partner must respond One Heart or One Spade. He could bid either major with only four cards in the suit. You have three-card support for partner’s major suit. You would like to show this support in case partner does have five cards or more for his major suit bid. What choices have you for your second bid to support partner’s major suit bid?
Choice One Reminder: You show four-card support by supporting partner’s suit directly.
Choice Two: You want to show three-card support in case partner has five or more cards in his bid suit (One Heart or One Spade). You cannot support partner’s suit with only three-card support because he may have only four cards in his one-level bid suit. This is where the Support Double convention might be used. If your right-hand opponent bids a suit, you may now bid the Support Double. Your double shows three-card support for your partner’s suit.
Choice Three: If right-hand opponent doubles instead of bidding a suit, you may bid the convention Support Double (in this case Redouble) to show three-card support for your partner’s suit.
Choice Four: Your right-hand opponent takes no action (Passes). You cannot PASS partner’s new suit and you cannot show support with only three of partner’s suit. Therefore your most likely bid is One No-Trump and see if partner bids his suit again, thus showing at least five cards in his suit.
To show three-card support for partner’s suit, you have only Choice Two or Three.
Otherwise you must bid normally until partner bids his major suit again, showing that he has more than four cards in the suit.
For More Information, Check Out “Support Double and Redouble” in Barbara Seagram’s 25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know, page 107.
Next Week: Examples of when your second bid could be the convention Support Double to partner’s major suit bid.
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to email@example.com and I will try to include it in this column.
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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