Theory and Conventions

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Doubling 3NT


I have emphasised throughout this work that doubles are in general for take-out at all levels, except in the specific circumstances listed on the previous page.


One specific and important exception is a double of 3NT


When you are on lead there is little point in such a double if it is not to be a straight penalty double.  Usually it will suggest a solid suit, or a near-solid suit together with an outside entry.  But just be sure that you don’t drive them into a safer contract, unless you think that there is an alternative high score available by playing a game contract your way.  Taking the opponents 2 or 3 down undoubled when they are vulnerable will usually lead to an excellent score, particularly at pairs scoring.


When partner is on lead it is a different matter.


Usually you will hold a solid or a near-solid suit which will probably take the contract down provided that partner can find the right lead.

And of course that right lead probably won’t be obvious to partner.


Assuming that you haven’t bid your suit partner’s first thoughts will be to lead a promising suit of his own, or perhaps the unbid suit.


Following your double he might still lead his own suit if this is likely to take the opponents down by itself - unlikely.


Alternatively he should try to locate your long suit.


This probably won’t be the unbid suit - an obvious lead - and will usually involve the lead of a short suit.

It will frequently suggest the lead of a suit bid by the opponents.

Beginner and above

Context  -  the continuing auction.

This page last updated 2nd Jul 2020