Out-of-the-Blue Double

//Out-of-the-Blue Double

You are West and you are on opening lead after an auction of 1NT-3NT. What do you lead? Probably a diamond. But what if partner surprisingly doubles?

Dlr: South   Vul: None   IMPs

S 7 5 3
H 6 3 2
C A K 9 4 3
S Q 9 8
H 10 5 4
D K 9 6 5 4
C 10 7
S 10 6 4
H K Q J 8 7
D 8 2
C Q 8 2
S A K J 2
H A 9
D A 10 7 3
C J 6 5


pass3NTdblall pass

Some players agree that the doubler is asking for a specific suit, whereas others want their partner to find a short-suit lead or some exotic lead.

Paaksoy reasoned that partner didn’t figure to hold a good spade suit since he was looking at Q-9-8. And the opponents had not tried to find a major suit fit. So he decided that his partner’s double was based on a good heart holding. Once a heart is led the contract has no play because the CQ does not fall doubleton and the spade suit does not behave.


The following hand was submitted by Easy Sells from a daily MP Mini. He was very happy to see his student and partner BS3NT (Beve Smith)bring home 4H despite getting the worst possible lead — a diamond.

Dlr: South   Vul: None   IMPs

S A 10 8
D A 8 7
C A K 10 7 5 4
S K 9 6 3 2
H J 2
D K 10 5
C J 9 6
S J 7 4
H 10 9 8 6
D Q J 3
C Q 8 3
S Q 5
H K Q 7 5 4 3
D 9 6 4 2
C 2


pass4Hall pass

Beve was the only declarer to get a diamond lead and make the game. After winning the DA, he led the C2 to the ace and ruffed a club low. A heart to the ace was followed by another club ruff. He breathed a sigh of relief when West had to follow.

Next he drew two rounds of trump, discovering that East had four. Beve led his last trump to East, and East was helpless. The key was that the opening lead was a small diamond, so East had to have either the DK or the DQ or both. That meant that declarer could not lose more than two diamonds unless West had started precisely with the doubleton 5-3 or the singleton 5. 4H making.

About the Author:

Harold Schogger has just celebrated 40 years of bridge teaching. He opened his bridge club in Hendon London in 1983. Since 1997 he has devoted his time to teaching and directing.He holds the Professional Teachers’ Diploma from the English Bridge Union, and now trains teachers for the EBU. He is also a member of the International Bridge Press Association. Harold is the author of Practice Your Rule of 11 and the ebook Bridge for Winners.Harold has been an OKbridge member since 1997. You can see his valuable blog posts here under the category Bridge Hand Review. Harold is also a Premier Life Master.

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