Cooperative Double

A Cooperative Double is a double that gives the partner the option, decision or opportunity of passing for penalties or to continue bidding. Cooperative Doubles are used mostly on low-levels of the auction. They generally do not reach or exceed the three level. That is all there is to understand the application of the Cooperative Double.

Most bridge players do not employ the Cooperative Double, but this fact does not in any way signify that this form of the double has become obsolete, or is not worth exploring.

The first and second examples serve to illustrate the difference between a Takeout Double and the initiation of a Cooperative Double.

Example 1:
West   North   East   South   Meaning
Pass   Pass   1   Double   1. Takeout Double by South.
                2. Support in all other unbid suits.
                3. Strongly suggests a 4-card Spade suit.
                 
Example 2:
West   North   East   South   Meaning
1   2   Pass   Pass    
2   Pass   Pass   Double   1. Cooperative Double by South.
                2. Final decision is the option of North.

From the auction, it is apparent that South has moderate to very good defensive strength, shortness in Hearts, medium support in Diamonds. The Cooperative Double by South puts East-West into a game contract, but South is informing his partner that they may have a contract and also that they may be able to defeat the contract of their opponents. South finds himself in a position that he cannot, with his holding, guarantee a penalty, and therefore, South is clearly leaving the final decision up to his partner.

Example 2:
South   West   North   East   Meaning
1   Pass   Pass   Double   Takeout / Balancing Double by East.
1   2   Pass   Pass    
Double   Pass   Pass   ??   Cooperative Double by South.

After two passes, East decides to make a Take-Out Double. South rebids 1 Spade, showing generally somewhere around 18-19 high card points. His distribution and strength do not allow him to open No Trump. West decides to enter the auction with a bid of 2 Diamonds, which is passed to South, who doubles. Hence South only has the Cooperative Double left as his only option, leaving the decision up to his North whether to pass for penalty or to bid.

 

 

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. Checxk 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




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