1. What do you need to double when the opponents have bid two suits?
2. Does it make a difference which suits they bid?
The questions we will deal with involve takeout doubles when the opponents have bid more than one suit.
Suppose you hold:
♠ J 10 4 3 ♥ A J 4 ♦ A Q 7 4 ♣ 8 4
and your right hand opponent opens 1♣ as dealer.
Most players would be happy to double 1♣ with this hand. They might look at the hearts and object to having only three of them, but in the main a takeout double would be the choice.
The decision to enter the auction becomes less easy when the opponents bid two suits.
What, for instance, should you bid with the example hand in the following auction?
Would it still be right to double?
One reason to get involved is that you have the equivalent of an opening hand, but there is a bigger reason not to double now. When your RHO opened with 1♣, doubling was okay even with three hearts because you were offering three places to play. The odds that partner would bid hearts are acceptable.
If you double after West bids 1♣ and East bids 1♠, you are now offering only two suits, and having a three-card holding in this circumstance is more objectionable.
There are many factors that make these sequences different. Here are the first three problems in a quiz intended to challenge and enlighten you.
No one is vulnerable and this is the auction.
You are South. What is your call with these hands?
1. ♠ Q 9 8 7 ♥A Q 7 ♦J 7 6 2 ♣ K 4
2. ♠ Q 9 8 7 ♥ A Q 7 ♦ J 8 7 3 ♣ A 10
3. ♠ A J 7 3 ♥ A 10 7 6 ♦ Q 7 6 4 ♣ 7