The Gates double is an extension of any conventional no-trump defense like Astro or Cappelletti that uses a penalty double. The Gates double is used by a passed hand that cannot possibly have the strength to make a natural penalty double.




*Gates double

The meaning of the Gates double is up to partnership agreement. Some examples are offered below.

If playing Cappelletti, then double could show:

  • A single-suited club hand, since a 2C overcall is artificial showing any one-suited hand. A Gates double allows the overcaller to show clubs without getting the bidding up to the 3-level.

  • Both minors, since a 2NT overcall promises at least 5-5 in the minors and forces the bidding up to the 3-level. A Gates double could be made with lesser distribution or strength at the 2-level.

  • Both majors, with longer spades than hearts. Playing regular old Cappelletti, a hand with both majors is shown via a 2D overcall. If partner then corrects to 2H with equal length in both majors (e.g. 3-3), then the better spade fit is missed whenever overcaller is 5-4.

See also

  • Astro
    A defense to 1NT in which a double is for penalty, and 2/ overcalls are artificial.

  • Brozel
    A defense to 1NT in which a double shows a one-suited overcall, and all 2-level bids show specific 2-suited hands.

  • Cappelletti (Hamilton)
    A defense to 1NT in which double is for penalty, and 2-level overcalls are conventional.

  • Landy
    A (very old) defense to 1NT in which a 2C overcall shows both majors.

  • Multi-Landy (Woolsey)
    A very scientific defense to 1NT.

  • Pinpoint Astro
    A variation of the Astro convention, using double as penalty.

  • Ripstra
    A slight variation of the Landy convention.

  • Roche
    A (very old) defense to 1NT in which a 2C overcall shows 12-14 points and 3+ clubs.

  • SCUM
    A defense to 1NT that shows two-suiters by Shape, Color and the Major suits.

  • Suction
    A restricted defense to 1NT that uses ambiguous overcalls.

  • Thrump Double
    A double of a 3-level preempt asking partner to bid 3NT with a stopper.