Take-Out Double

This page is concerned with sequences following an opponent opening of 1 in any suit and a 'T-O Double' made in 2nd position - This page is NOT at all relevant if opponents opening bid is 1NT (see page: NT-TOD) or 1 strong 16+ (see TRAP), also see our page on defensive bidding and for a Protective Double in 4th position.

This approach to a T-O *  is an entirely novel approach  - very different to the classical approach that has barely changed in 40 years!

A T-O Double can be 12-(15) HCP with some restraints, see below, or (15)16+ unlimited without restraints. In all cases as long as no other more specialised bid is fitting. E.g 2-suited overcalls or pre-emptive bids.
This definition is apt for BetaAcol - may need adaptation if using this convention in another system. A (15) count requires a quality 5 card Major or any 6 card suit to qualify for stronger rebid sequences.

A 12-15HCP T-O * FORCING, usually promissing 3+ card support for all unbid suits -  some leniency is allowed - however opponents suit can be short, and with or without guard. An unbid minor may be acceptable with Hx - a 2 card holding headed by one of the top 3 honours.

It is important that the double is NOT used if any of the following bids available in BetaAcol are suitable:

A Take-out double is strictly FORCING

BetaAcol uses a lower minor response to indicate weakness - a negative - when RHO passes:
E.g. 1 - * - P - 1     OR    1 - * - P - 2
In practice there is a good probability that this bid is Natural! Doubler's best action may be to consider to PASS a negative response with minimum values and without a 5 card suit of his own
Responder will use PASS to indicate a negative -  if his RHO has intervened!

Our Guiding Principles - Responding to a T-O *
Guiding Principles  - Doubler's rebids to above responses
Partner's Responses when RHO passes

If RHO bids a new suit at 1-level or 1NT

All the above is unchanged except:
PASS                     Negative. - no longer shown by bidding lower minor. The lowest unbid minor is now freed for showing 2-:  e.g. 1-*-1-2! shows both minor suits and (7)+HCP
*                             If RHO bids 1NT now double shows our 1NT Forcing 8+ HCP. Partner responds as if 1NT had been bid:  e.g.  1-*-1NT-*  Shows a (7)+ 1NT response exactly as defined above
*                             If RHO bids a suit Then double shows the highest unbid suit below the highest ranking of opponents suits: e.g.      1
-*-1-* Shows Hearts OR 1-*-1-* Shows Diamonds; 1-*-2-* Shows Hearts 4+ cards 5-10 HCP, denies 2 suits if 8-10
Bidding a suit at the same level is natural 4+ cards 4-7HCP as before! E.g. 1-*-1-1...
More about our 1NT FORCING response to a T-O Double

This bid is never used if 4-4 or better is held outside opponents suits - these are shown bidding at the next level the lower cyclically. E.g 1-*-1-2  = + and 1-*-1-2  = 4+5
However an exception occurs when one of your 2 suits is the LHO opening bid suit - Note: a quality guard in a 3 card suit of opponents opening bid suit also qualifies, then this is shown by 1NT.
If responder is 5-5 in the unbid 2-suits this can be shown with the following sequence: 1D-*-1S-1NT-P-2!-3! = 5-5 in +. As this sequence is no longer needed for the impossible negative!

This very wide range of possibilities of a 1N response is dissected for strength and majors and guard detected, all sorted out with our 2 inquiry detailed below:

Note: If 1NT is the normal response and RH opponents intervention at the 2-level makes this possible. Now 2NT can be bid with (9)10 HCP in addition to the otherwise norm of 11+
Simple overcalls at the same level or * are also extended in value up to 8(9)HCP without guard. Doubler must allow for this somewhat lower valued 2N response after a 2-level RHO o'call..
Also note that  if 1NT is your intended response and RHO bids 1NT then * shows your 1NT bid and doubler's 2C inquiry may follow.

Responder's rebid after bidding 1NT and Doubler inquires with 2

Ex.: 1X-*-1YPASS-1NT-P-2...  or 1X-*-1NT-*-P-2...

Responder's rebids are either  (7)8-10HCP OR 11-13 only where stated
All rebids are important and somewhat complex. I have divided them into section to help make understanding clearer

These responses need to handle the following situations:..

1. Mandatory Responder Rebids:

A. 8-10 Balanced with a good solid guard in opener's suit and NO 45 card Major  --------------2NT,  Doubler may now  PASS or  use a  transfer to any unbid suit DHS
B. (7)8-10 The imposible lowest 2 unbid suits which can occur when RHO passes T-O *---------3
C. RHO bids at the 1-leve even 1NTl. Now 5-5 in the other suits is shown by a rebid of-------3   Note: In this case with < 5-5 the two suits would have been shown directly.
Doubler's usual continuations referring to ABC above:
A. PASS or 3N
B. PASS accepting the bid suit or bid one of the two indicated suits (limit bid)
C. Select one of the two suits shown at appropriate 4 or 5 level OR or 3NT to know LTC (usual 4 steps). See 3 opening for details

In order that they can be more readily applied I have made a different categorisations that should aid memory although repetitive:-
2. Where LHO opens 1Ma.

In this case there is only one possible Major holding: Ma' Also the guard of interest is in: Ma.
With its 'impossible' to show 2 suits (when RHO passes) i.e. & & 8-10HCP: bid 1N then rebid 3 OR if good in both minors & 11+:bid and not 5-5 bid 2 (which falsely suggests the unbid Major but correctly denies a guard) which requires a correction to 3 after opener bids the unbid major! thereby showing both minors and 11+ HCP (see K below if 5-5 or better.
With a good guard in Ma and NOT holding Ma' bid 1N and rebid 2N

E. 2Ma' (unbid major) Shows: The bid Major suit & promises a  guard in Ma. Ex. 1-*-P-1N-P-2-P-2. Doubler may PASS or raise Major
F.  (7)8-10 2: Shows the unbid Major &  denies a guard held in opponents Major. Doubler may agree the Major by bidding 2+Ma' OR when 15+HCP  introduce his own suit.
Note: In the following sequences, all showing 11+ HCP, responder implicitly denies a Ma guard - as then he would have first responded: 2NT!
G. 11-12HCP 2Ma cue-bid  (opponents suit): Shows 56 Card Clubs. [Note: if holding a good guard in opponents suit always prefer a 2NT rebid!] Partner may PASS, support Clubs or if strong introduce his own suit.
H. 11-12HCP 3 56 Diamond suit 
I.  11-12HCP 3Ma'  Unbid  Major 4+cards
J. 11-12HCP 3Ma shows 3-suited hand  NEW
K. 11-12HCP 3N 5-5 or better in the minors NEW
3. Where LHO opened 1mi!.  
The OTHER minor shows the negative.
Clarification: Alerted minor opening. In this case the sequences showing a guard refer to the alerted minor!  & the negative is the other minor. NEW
Furthermore a Cue-bid shows the the presence of an unspecified good suit and opening values e.g 1D!-*-P-2D-P-2N(inq)-3D shows a genuine Diamond suit and opening values -3 shows the impossible 2 suits + as usual
&  1!-*-P-1N-P-2(inq)-P-2N shows a good guard in 's & -2Ma shows the Major & a good Diamond guard (or suit).
Based on this all regular bids treat the opponents opening as genuine. E.g 1!-*-P- 1 is negative as usual; 1!-*-P-2-is a cue-bid as usual too; 1-*-P-2 shows + as usual too.
 - a reminder here:  1mi`-2mi` is natural in BETA and not a cue-bid! If partner has the opps minor (only suit) do not *. alternative is to PASS and expect a PD from partner.
1D!-*-1N-2-3 shows + and 1!-*-1N-2-2N-  shows a good Diamond guard & denies a major whereas 1!-*-1N-P-2-2Ma shows the Major and a Diamond Guard as you would expect.
G: A direct 2mi! 1mi!-*-P-2mi! is cue-bid showing opening values and an unspecified suit - which may even be mi!
Passing by an initial 1NT response: 1!-*-1N-P-2Ma shows the Major  & a Diamond guard.
& 1!-*-1N-P-2- shows an unspecified Major and no guard in Diamonds. Partner bids his lower major suit as usual
H: Following a -1NT-2(inq) 3mi shows the impossible 2 suits i.e. mi+H &  3mi' shows 11-12HCP & mi'
K: 3N shows 5-5 or better in the minors
L: 3 11-13 HCP Natural 5+ Hearts
M: 3  11-13 HCP Natural 5+ Spades.
3bis LHO opens 1mi.
       Largely as for mi! as above
        If 1: 2 is the negative. The impossible negative is +
        If 1: 1 is the negative. The impossible negative +
Bids following sequence 1mi-*-P-1N-2C-P-:
-3 shows the impossible 2 suits with 1 openinng +; with 1 opening + - not required of course if RHO also bids.
E. -2Ma 45 Cards + Guard in opps minor. Doubler may PASS, bid  NT's, or bid his own suit
F; -2N denies a Major and promises a sound mi guard
I. -2 Shows a Major & NO guard in the opps minor. Partner to bid his Major (Hearts with BOTH)- responder (who cannot have both majors) may correct to 2 if short in Hearts (<=2 cards) if he passes he may accept a 4-3fit
K: 3 11-13 and Diamonds Clubs better shown with a direct cue bid: 1D-*-P-2D-2N-3mimi
L: 3 11-13 HCP Natural 45 Hearts also Direct cue bid can be used with stronger 56+
M: 3  11-13 HCP Natural 45 Spades. also Direct cue bid can be used with stronger 56+
N: 3N Impossible 2 suits 5-5 or better.
Note doubler is expected to hold at least 3 cards in any unbid major. His partner will be 45 cards when a Major is offered.

The next section treats partners T-O double of a weak 2 opening by his RH opponent: This shows willingness to compete.
Passing on the other hand suggests more defensive values and  partner is encouraged to re-open with a Double when balanced (possibly short in opponents suit) OR lower cyclically of 2 suits held - at least 5-4.
Note: another school of thought is to use Double as strongly sugeesting penalties. Beta does not follow this view.

In 2nd position partner makes a T-O double over a weak 2 opening e.g. 2 -*-P-?
BetaAcol also utilises
1)  Rubinsohl overcalls (2N...3
--->3.....3N) for  stronger or more distributional hands - usually to show a 6+ card suit. Transfer to opponents Ma  shows 4-5 Cards inMa'.
2) Natural bids at the SAME level are non-forcing

Responses to a T-O double of a weak 2 opening:. (fundamentally) the same style as over a 1-level opponent's opening:
                                      2-level bids: Natural
3                                            Negative
2NT                                          8-(14) Balanced with guard
Cue-bid                                      Single-suited ( (5) 6+ card)
3...                                      2-SUITED 8+ HCP
3N                                             Natural to play
4-level break-outs show 7+ card suits.

RHO Raises his partner's suit  e.g. 1X * 2X ?
PASS: Negative
2-level bids: Natural

2NT:     Unchanged  11+  with guard!
3-level bids: Bids at the next level show 2-new suits cyclically as usual too
*: 8-10 We use the efficient bid of * differently as a replacement of our forcing 1N response. There are  differences & similarites to a 1NT response! First the similarities: it still shows the same value ranges of 8-10; 11-13; It denies holding  2 unbid suits; one lower ranking unbid suit is held. Now the differences: Opener's inquiry is now +1! or  * if his RHO rebids:  Unbid suit responses are natural
Cue bid of 'X' shows game values and a single suited game going holding partner may bid NT's to request

3-level bids: 2-suited
Weak2 opening- *-P
As usual.

Weak2 opening- Rubinsohl defence

Always accept the transfer request if RHO passes. Partner may continue with a 2nd suit and this shows at least a game going hand.

When opponents bid to 3-level:  e.g.  2 * 3 ?
Now all options below 3 levels are lost  and  no  negative response 3C is requied (PAAS suffices)

Continuations to a T-O double either if RHO passes
Note: Rubinsohl transfers only over a 3 opening, NOT available uver 3DHS openings,
PASS                             Negative (For penalties with a weak 3 opening)
*                                    Suit below: 's in example above. Limited values.
4                           2-suited as per usual - but either more HCP and/or a little more length!
3NT                               Vulnerable v Non-vul only (usually) to play. Prefer penalty PASS if opps are vulnerable
Same level                     Natural where possible

When opponents go to 4-level: e.g.  3 * 4 ?
Very Limited options now:
4NT                2 lowest unbid suits
*                     2 highest unbid suits
4Any              Natural
5Any              Natural
In all these sequences the Doubler usually makes the final decision.