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
It is important that the double is NOT used if any of the following bids available in BetaAcol are suitable:
- PASS - often best action when holding significant values & length in the opponents suit - rely on a PD
from a reliable partner! If suitable a 1NT o'call with 2S rebid
(technically a relaxed 3-suited includung opponets suit -
short in highest unbid major
- Intermediate Major jump overcalls (vulnerability sensitive) - 7 to 14 HCP
- MULTI 1NT overcall (BetaAcol) - 'Unusual' -
multiple possibilites - weak or strong in lowest 2 unbid suits - weak6+ cards in lowest unbid minor are some options
- Simple natural overcall (5+ card suit - 6 to 14HCP)
- a 2-level overcall requires a good suit and 9+ HCP and 1 1/2 quick
- Weak 2- suited overcalls (Cue-bid: 2 highest; 2NT: highest + lowest)
- Strong 2-suited overcalls (3 minor)
- Rubinsohl overcall of a weak 2 opening
A Take-out double is strictly FORCING
BetaAcol uses a lower minor response to indicate weakness - a negative - when RHO passes:
- * - P - 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
- Suit bid at NEXT level: With (7)8+ HCP (unlimited) AND holding two 4+ card suits the lower
ranking cyclically is bid. E.g 1 - * - P - 2: Shows &
suits; 1 - * - 2 - 3: Shows both minors, 1 - * - 1-PASS
(weak). It is important to not misunderstand the term NEXT level. It
simply means over a bid of 1X, any 2Y is at the next level - regardless of
whether the rank of Y is >X or is < X. This may mean that
2Y is a jump bid or not.
- A suit bid at the SAME BIDDING LEVEL is Natural 0-6(7), 4+ card suit. Ex: 1-*-P-1. It is better to show even a good 3 card suit at the same level rather than issue a neg 2 or 1 bid with 5-7 HCP.
- A 'co-operative Double' of RHO's suit bid, up to 3S, shows the highest unbid suit of 4+cards BELOW
the highest ranking suit bid by opponents. This bid strictly denies 8-10 HCP
with 2 unbid suits. Range is based on level of RHOs bid 1-level
4-(7); 2-level 5-(8) HCP .
- IMPORTANT Exception
if RHO overcalls 1NT, then double implies holding a 1NT response yourself!
Over a RHO 2NT (rare) a co-op, * still shows a hand suitable for a 2NT
response, In all cases when respoder bids or implies 1NT or 2|NT doubler will usually rebid 2 or 3 's to ask partner to further describe his hand unless holding 16+HCP and a quality 5+ card suit in which case doubler may announce his suit.
- A 2NT response is Natural 11-12(13) HCP witha
good guard in opener's suit - ths bid is the same as used classically.
Lower limit is relaxed if 1NT bid is not available (RHO overcalls in 2
of a suit. See
note below if RHO has also bid at the 2-level. For continuations we use
FULL PUPPET following a 2N response: everything 3...4 are all transfers & 3 investigates Major holdings.
- 3NT (12)13+ with good guard & no singletons, also denies holding 2 unbid suits. This is to play.
- A 1NT response is FORCING. Usually (7)8-10 or 11-(13) HCP - uses a default
inquiry. It handles many types of hand not covered by the above
principles. It should not be used unless one of the five valid following reasons
is present. Doubler may show his 5+ card Major or his (5)6 minor suit with (15)16+ HCP OR jump
with 18+, otherwise doubler must make a system required response bid of a 2 inquiry.
- Suitable for a 2N response but without the necessary good guard in LHO's opening
- Holds a 4¦5 card Major suit & NO 2nd unbid suit & (7)8-10 HCP with or without a guard in opponents opening suit
- With (11)12+ HCP holds a 5¦6 card minor or a 4¦5 Major -
when unsuitable for a direct cue bid due to suit quality - this requires a
5 card super quality suit (3 top honours) or a good 6+ card suit
- Holds a good guard in LHO's or even 4+ cards in openers suit
- Holds 2 suits which cannot be shown by 2 (as bidding 2 or 1 would show a negative)
RHO bids 1NT [E.g. 1X-*-1N- ] then * means 'I intended to bid 1N! The
importance of the forcing 1NT response cannot be under estimated - so
showing a weak hand and a lower unbid suit is not available in this
case. However doubler now treats the double as if it were a 1NT forcing
bid and must continue with a 2C inquiry or by bidding his 5+ card suit if (15)16+ HCP.
- A cue-bid of LHO's bid shows a good quality suit, usually (5)6+ card, (11)12+ in a single-suited hand & at least
solid opening values. A 2NT reply asks for the suit. However doubler
with 16+ HCP may introduce his own 5+ card suit to which responder must
show proper support if he has it OR show his own suit.
A 5 card suit must be exceptionally strong in HCPs OR the hand is
14+HCP. Other single-suited hands with a 5 or 4 card Major suitor a 5 card minor are shown via an initial 1NT response..
- A response at the NEXT+1 level shows a pre-emptive 6+ card suit e.g. 1 * P 3. shows a long diamond suit in a weak hand - preferred to giving a 2 negative. This is a 'Break-out' bid. Often the best denomination for the final contract. Note: 1 * P 2 shows 8+ Diamonds & Spades!
Partner's Responses when RHO passes
- 1NT response: Default bid is a 2Forcing inquiry. (see below for details) A PASS is not permitted. Doubler may bid his own 5+ card suit with (15)+ HCP, jump with 18+
& simple suit bids & co-operative * responses: Limit raises of
any announced suit (competitive if RHO interferes)
- Cue-bid response: Default bid is a 2NT inquiry. A PASS is not permitted. Responder can bid his suit (5)6+ card suit with (15)+ HCP
- 2NT response: All bids are PUPPET: 3 4/5 card Major inquiry & 3///N transfers.
- Repeated Double, if RHO interferes. A strictly forcing bid showing great strength, minimum of
18HCP+ & expectation of playing at least at the same level. It does
not deny or promise support for any suit suggested by partner's initial
response. Gives a free bid to responder.. Doubler is expected to set the
suit to play in with his next bid. Subsequent bidding is cue-bidding
& TURBO or closing in selected denomination.
- Over a negative lower minor response, doubler may bid an unbid suit or even pass partners artificial lower minor: 1 or 2 if suitable but not a likely continuation!
responder holds a guard in Opener's suit it is imperative that any Ma'
suit contract OR Nt contract is NOT played by the Doubler! The
following guarantees this outcome.
If RHO bids a new suit at 1-level or 1NT
- 1 or 2
Whichever is cheaper! A Negative. 0-4. Keeping the bidding open for partner. Note: Because of our negative it is not possible to show the 2 lowest unbid suits when your RHO passes: a 1NT bid is used in this particular case
- Same-level-bid Natural. 0...4...(7) HCP & usually 4-5 cards. 3 card to a top honour always better than giving a negative 2
- Next-level bids
(7)8+ HCP two-suited
4-4 or better. The suit bid & the next higher ranking unbid suit.
Next(+1) level bids Pre-emptive bids 6+ card suits at 3-level. 6-10 HCP. Ex.: 1H-*-P-2S! shows Spades and Clubs (1S would show 4-7 and a Spade suit.
11-12(13) HCP. Balanced.
May contain a 5 card suit, promises LHO guard & full Puppet follows. Usual distributions are: 5332 & 4333
(13)14+ To play Unless doubler has other ideas!
FORCING. (7)8-10HCP fairly balanced with or without LHO guard OR 11+ without
a LHO guard & otherwise unsuitable hand for a BALANCED 2NT
response. See below for responses. May contain a 4/5 card suit (7)-10,in
a usually flat 5332/4333 distribution.
OR 5422 or 4432 hands that cannot be shown at the 2-level as 2
would be a negative (two lowest unbid suits).
A 1NT response may never contain a good 6 card suit: this is either
shown at 3-level unless strong enough (11)+ to be shown with a 2-level
A Single suited hand, usually a QUALITY (5)6+ card suit & SOLID Opening
values. A 2NT response OR a * of any rebid by opener: asks
for Responder's suit. However Doubler may first show his suit ONLY with (15)16+ HCP. If you
have no fit for his suit, then responder shows his suit if 6+ cards. Game going hands (13)+ HCP, without 2 suits to show,
also need to use a cue-bid of LHO opening bid - however it may be a good 5+ card suit. If Doubler
responds with a NT bid: responder shows his suit.
at level+2 shows a long (6)
- ;7+ card pre-emptive type of hand. Ex.
1D-*-1S-3H. 2H would have shown 8+ and H's & C's. st least 4-4. 3H
shows 7+ card Heart pre-empt, 4H to play.
All the above is unchanged except:
Negative. - no
longer shown by bidding lower minor. The lowest unbid minor is now freed
for showing 2-: e.g. 1
! 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
-* Shows Diamonds; 1
-* 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
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
! = 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
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 4¦5
card Major --------------2NT, Doubler may now PASS
or use a transfer to any unbid
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 &
guard in Ma. Ex. 1
. 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
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 5¦6 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.
5¦6 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
(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
is negative as usual; 1
-is a cue-bid as usual too; 1
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.
-2N- shows a good Diamond guard & denies a major whereas 1
-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.
- 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
11-13 HCP Natural 5+ Hearts
11-13 HCP Natural 5+ Spades.
3bis LHO opens 1mi
Largely as for mi! as above
is the negative. The impossible negative is
If 1: 1 is the negative. The impossible negative +
Bids following sequence 1mi-*-P-1N-2C-P-:
shows the impossible 2 suits with 1
; with 1
- not required of course if RHO also bids.
E. -2Ma 4¦5 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
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
11-13 and Diamonds Clubs better shown with a direct cue bid: 1D-*-P-2D-2N-3mi¦mi
11-13 HCP Natural 4¦5 Hearts also Direct cue bid can be used with stronger 5¦6+
11-13 HCP Natural 4¦5 Spades. also Direct cue bid can be used with stronger 5¦6+
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 4¦5 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
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
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
8-(14) Balanced with guard
Single-suited ( (5) 6+ card)
2-SUITED 8+ HCP
Natural to play
4-level break-outs show 7+ card suits
RHO Raises his partner's suit e.g. 1X * 2X ?
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
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 3D¦H¦S openings,
(For penalties with a weak 3 opening)
Suit below: 's
in example above. Limited values.
2-suited as per usual
- but either more HCP and/or a little more length!
Non-vul only (usually) to play. Prefer penalty PASS if opps are
Natural where possible
When opponents go to 4-level: e.g. 3 * 4 ?
Very Limited options now:
2 lowest unbid suits
2 highest unbid suits