Take-Out Double

This page is concerned with sequences following an opponent opening of 1  in a 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..

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
B. (7)8-10 The imposible lowest 2 unbid suits which can occur when RHO passes T-O *---------3
C. RHO bids a second suit at the 1-level. 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.
D. 2NT response 11+ HCP.........................................................................................................Full Puppet i.e 3,3...3N all next bid transfers & 4 Major game transfers to &
Doubler's usual continuations referring to ABCD 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
D. The required Puppet transfer bid or 3 to examine major holdings

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 suits & 11+:bid 3N! 
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, raise Major or revert to NT's Ex. 1-*-1-1N-P-2-P-2
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 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
3. Where LHO opened 1mi!.   Alerted minor opening. In this case rebidder will not have both Majors (this warranted a direct initial 2 bid  e.g. 1mi-*-2...)
        The impossible 2-suits is the usual 3 rebid if 1N forced (e.g. 1!-*-P-1N-P-2-P-3 shows +. All other 2-suits can be shown normally - directly at the next level.
         Similarly with 1! alerted opening 3 will still show both minors.
         Also 1 Natural opening then 3 shows + - the usual impossible!
3bis LHO opens 1mi.
        If 1 opening 3 rebid will show +
        If 1 opening 3 rebid will show + 5-5 while a direct 2 shows + 4-4 or 4-5 or 5-4 as usual

H. 2Ma 45 Cards + Guard in opps minor. Doubler may PASS, bid  NT's, or bid his own suit
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 he passes he may accept a 4-3fit
If doubler only had Hearts he has the option to play in a possibly 3-4 or possibly 3-5 fit OR raise (4-4 at least) or bid NT's to play

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.

4, Other Stronger rebids after a 2 continuation

J: 2Ma cue-bid:  11-13HCP Only when opps opened 1Ma. Shows 5+ Clubs
K: 3 11-13 HCP Natural 5+ Diamonds  If cue-bid Shows Clubs
L: 3 11-13 HCP Natural 5+ Hearts
M: 3  11-13 HCP Natural 5+ Spades.

All the above deny a guard of course.

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.