Competitive Doubles


The origin of the Competitive Double is unknown. The bridge player will discover that practically all players are competing for the contract. Your opponents are bidding to keep you out of a game contract, making you believe that you do not have enough strength to make game. Your opponents are bidding simply to disrupt the Line of Communication between you and your partner.

With their intervening overcalls, the opponents are making it difficult for you and your partner to exchange descriptive information about your hands; the opponents are disrupting the line of communication.

The Competitive Double was designed to remedy this situation by allowing the bridge player:

1. to invite partner either to bid game, and
2. to give partner the chance to sign off in a partscore, or
3. to simply pass for penalty.


The following illustration should clarify this action:























In the above situation, South does not know whether to bid 3 Hearts or pass. North has passed and South is assuming that North is leaving the decision up to him. This is where the Competitive Double comes into play. South has enough strength, but South does not know whether his hand is better in defense or in offense. Therefore, South simply doubles.

After the Competitive Double, West will pass 3 Clubs doubled, since this means game. North, however, recognizes the Competitive Double, and will base his bidding decision upon the length, strength and shape of his hand as in the following three examples.

North   North   North
4 (Game Try)   3 (Part-Score)   Pass (for Penalty)

By using the Competitive Double, North and South will find their best contract. Through the descriptive information provided by the double, the other partner will be able to make a more educated decision than just guessing. Since this situation comes up quite often, it is advisable to adopt the Competitive Double as part of your Partnership Agreement, because opponents love to get in a bid to mess up the auction.


If you wish to include this feature, 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.

email convention links
Claus and Raymond Conventions Bridge Sites
home back home
Home Page Glossary Home Page II
back   back
Doubles   Glossary