The meaning of Double – as the name suggest –
is to raise the stakes. If you Double an opposing
contract, you win more Points if they fail, but
you concede more points if they succeed.
When Bridge began over a 100 years ago,
double was limited to those occasions where
you expected the opponents to fail in their bid.
However, it was realised that you would be
most unlikely to be confident enough to double
a low-level suit bid, when partner had not yet spoken.
And that if the opponents happened to have bid,
a suit in which you were very strong, it was far
better not to tip them off: rather to keep quiet and
wait for them to get into deeper trouble.
In 1912 New Yorker Major Charles Patten and
Bryant McCambell independently invented an
alternative meaning for the “Double” –
the “take-out double”. It is believed that this
was the first convention in the game (although it is
now so universal that it is rarely thought of as such).
The take-out double – “partner, please take out my
double into another suit” shows an opening hand or
better with no other convenient bid:
no suit to overcall, and an inability to bid notrumps.
To learn more on doubling contact your local Bridge Teacher
or Coach, or get a copy of
Bridge Lessons (Double) by ANDREW ROBSON,
(www.arobson.co.uk) The above extract is from this book.