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Bridge 10/14

It goes redouble, penalty double

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Posted: October 13, 2008 6:37 p.m.
Updated: October 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    Journalist and humorist Kin Hubbard said, "The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket."
    You can increase the number of bills folded in your pocket by playing bridge for money and knowing when to double your opponents for penalty.
    Partner opens one of a suit, the next player makes a takeout double, and you redouble. What does your call mean?
    First, you promise at least 10 high-card points. Next, you have fewer than four cards in partner's suit if he bid a major, and probably not four if he opened in a minor. And if you are short in partner's suit, you should have "penalty" firmly in mind. After this redouble, either the opening side wins the auction or the opponents play in a contract doubled for penalty.
    In today's deal, South makes a textbook takeout double, but gets killed. After West redoubles, North has nowhere to go, and neither does South. One spade redoubled would make three (plus 920) or four (plus 1,120). One no-trump doubled would probably go down four, minus 800. With careful defense, declarer gets only the spade king and his two aces.
    Two diamonds doubled is no better. West leads the spade queen. East wins with his ace and returns the eight, the lowest card being a suit-preference signal for clubs. West ruffs and shifts to a club, East winning cheaply and leading the spade nine. South does best to pitch a club loser, but if East shifts to a red suit, the contract would still go down four, minus 800.
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