A responsive double is used after partner makes a takeout double. It occurs when:

  1. Your left-hand opponent ("LHO") opens a suit,
  2. Partner makes a takeout double, and
  3. Your right-hand opponent ("RHO") raises.

A double in this situation shows at least 4-4 shape in:

  • the major suits if the opponents bid a minor, or
  • the minor suits if the opponents bid a major.


Examples

A543
HQT98
D5
CQ652
LHO    
1D
Partner    
Double
RHO    
2
You    
Double 1


(1) A responsive double, showing both majors. Partner is asked to bid 2 or 2.


964
H52
DAQ53
CAJ84
LHO     
1H
Partner    
Double
RHO    
2
You    
Double 1


(1) A responsive double, showing both minors.


K964
H5
DKT53
CA984
LHO    
1H
Partner    
Double
RHO     
2H
You    
2S 1


(1) Do NOT make a responsive double if you can bid a 4-card major instead.


5
H543
DKJT65
CAKJT
LHO    
1S
Partner    
Double
RHO    
3S
You    
Double 1


(1) A responsive double, advertising both minors.


Responsive Doubles After an Overcall

Some pairs also play responsive doubles opposite an overcall:

K54
HT7
DAT73
CK652
LHO    
1S
Partner    
2H
RHO    
2
You    
Double 1


(1) A responsive double, denying heart support but promising both minors.


Other Considerations

In their excellent book "Modern Bridge Conventions", Bill Root and Richard Pavlicek suggest these HCP minimums for a responsive double:

  • 6+ points at the 2-level
  • 8+ points at the 3-level
  • 10+ points at the 4-level

They also suggest playing responsive doubles up to 4D, although many partnerships play them through 3S instead.


Origins

Root and Pavlicek attribute responsive doubles to American player Dr. F. Fielding-Reid.

See also

  • Lightner Double
    A lead-directing double of an enemy slam contract.

  • Negative Double
    A conventional double used by responder after opener starts the bidding with one-of-a-suit and the next player makes a suit overcall.

  • Optional Double
    A conventional double made after an opponent has opened the bidding with a preempt.

  • Snapdragon Double
    A conventional double by fourth seat after the first three players bid three different suits.

  • SOS Redouble
    A conventional redouble that asks partner to bid a new suit.

  • Stripe-Tailed Ape Double
    A double of an enemy game contract, in hopes of stopping the opponents from continuing on to slam.

  • Support Double
    A conventional double used by opener after partner makes a suit response and the next player overcalls.

  • Takeout Double
    A conventional double that asks partner to bid one of the unbid suits.

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

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