1. Why can’t you make a takeout double and just bid notrump if partner bids your short suit?
2. Is it always bad to do so?
I will answer both questions with the same statement. You can double and bid notrump, if — and this is a big if — you have the values to do so. What you must avoid is making a takeout double with mere opening-hand values if you do not have at least three-card support for the unbid suits. To repeat the theme from last week: if you double and bid notrump over partner’s response, you are showing a balanced hand that has more strength than if you simply overcalled 1NT. Some examples:
1. ♠ Q J 8 7 ♥ K 8 ♦ A Q 7 6 ♣ A Q 6
Is this auction acceptable?
2. ♠ Q 8 ♥ A K J ♦ K 8 7 ♣ A J 10 8 7
How do you expect this to work out?
South took three tricks. He could have taken five tricks in hearts. Who is to blame?