DEFENSE TO DOUBLE OF 1 NO TRUMP
It has long been a tradition in the auction, that if an opponent doubles a 1 No Trump opening, then the double is for penalties. The traditional method was for the partner of the 1 No Trump bidder to establish a suit as an escape. A redouble by the partner of the 1 No Trump opener is a penalty double. Bridge players around the world had problems with this method and devised several methods and conventions to circumvent this double after a 1 No Trump opening.
One of the suggested methods was to use Transfer Bids, whereby the partner would bid the suit lower-ranking than the suit to which he wishes to transfer the 1 No Trump bidder. This later became known as the Jacoby Transfer. Originally, however, if the suit of the responder is Clubs, then the responder would redouble to indicate that the 1 No Trump opener bid Clubs. However, if the responder had a 7 or 8 cards in both Major suits, the responder would double, the 1 No Trump bidder would think this a transfer to Clubs and bid Clubs, and the responder would then rebid 2 Diamonds, requesting the 1 No Trump bidder to choose between Spades and Hearts.
Another method, suggested by Mr. Martin J. Cohn, was based on the concept that suit bids by the responder were natural bids. The call of redouble is used as a Stayman-type inquiry asking for the Major suits.
Another method is to use the response of 2 Diamonds to ask the 1 No Trump bidder to bid his better Major suit. The call of redouble is used to ask the 1 No Trump bidder for his better Minor suit. Applying this method, if the responder bid 2 Hearts or 2 Spades, then these bids are considered natural. A bid of 2 Clubs promises a long Minor suit of at least 5 cards. However, if the responder has a long Diamond suit, the responder would first bid 2 Clubs in the expectation that he would be doubled, and after the double, rebid Diamonds to show his long Diamond suit.
Another method, devised by Mr. Alan Truscott, used the redouble to force a 2 Club rebid by the 1 No Trump bidder, and it was possible that the holding showed length in Clubs. However, if the responder, who redoubled, rebids a red suit, Diamonds or Hearts, then the responder shows at least a 4-card suit in the suit rebid plus another higher-ranking suit with a 4-card suit also. Bidding 2 Clubs directly over the double promises at least a 4-card Club suit and a second 4-card higher-ranking suit. Any immediate bids by the responder of 2 Diamonds or higher are considered natural bids. Using this method, it was almost a guarantee that the partnership could find a 4-4 fit in the Minor suits.
Between the period in the evolution of the game of bridge and the development of these methods and the age of modern bidding systems, other conventions and treatments have been devised to handle a double by the opponent to an opening of 1 No Trump. A double of a 1 No Trump opening by an opponent is no longer considered to be for penalty.
If you wish to include these features, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.