The origin of the active double remains dubious. This particular call of double is only employed in competitive auctions and is only used in particularly defined competitive auctions. The double conveys the following information:

1. The double strongly suggests and implies additional offense and strength which has not yet been conveyed in the competitive auction.
2. The double strongly suggests also the willingness to continue competing for the contract at a higher than normal level, such as at an almost game level.
3. The double strongly suggests also the agreement to consent to a sacrifice bid in the case that the opposing side has a greater advantage or better probability to make the bid partscore or even game contract.
4. The double strongly suggests also that greater consideration is given to the likelihood of the possible resulting scores for each action and/or the advance calculation thereof in deciding to continue to compete, sacrifice, or permit the active double to stand for penalty.

The following example shows how the active double can be effectively useful in a competitive auction.

West
QJxxxx
Ax
x
1098x
 
North
A
KQxxxx
KJ10x
xx
 
East
109xx
x
xxxx
AKxx
 
South
Kx
J10xx
AQxx
xxx
  Meaning
2               The general weak two preemptive bid for a holding with normally 5-11 points, a 6-card minimum suit, and no 5-card side suit or 4-card Major suit. (Note: any void is by partnership agreement.)
    3           Promises sufficient strength to bid on the three level and shows a 5-card plus Heart suit.
        3       Shows a minimum raise in Spades with about 5/6-9 points with distribution added. Does not promise game values. A raise to 4 Spades would be a risky gamble or possibly an advance save.
            4   Game bid with a calculated favorable percentage of success.
double               This is the active double.
    Pass   ??        

East must now decide, based on the accumulated information from the competitive auction, whether to pass, or sacrifice at 4 Spades, or calculate on the conveyed information from both partner and opponents, which option would result in the best score.

Possible Calculated Results for East-West
Vulnerablity: None
4 by N/S, made 4, doubled: minus 590
4 by N/S, down 1, doubled: plus 100
4 by N/S, down 2, doubled: plus 300
4 by E/W, made 4, not doubled: plus 420
4 by E/W, made 4, doubled: plus 590
4 by E/W, down 1, not doubled: minus 50
4 by E/W, down 1, doubled: minus 100
4 by E/W, down 2, doubled: minus 300

These are the calculations for all possible results for any contract, which East must consider based on the conveyed and implied information from the competitive 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.

 

 


     
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