This is the designation for a lead directing double of a No Trump contract asking for a Minor suit lead, developed by Dr. John Wyatt Fisher, Jr. M.D. of Dallas, Texas, United States. He was born July 7, 1925, and died August 14, 2009, in Dallas, Texas, United States. He published a regular bridge column in Medical Opinion and Review, and was the inventor of the Fisher Double. He also served as President of the Dallas Bridge Association.

The concept of the Fisher Double is that the opponent, who is not on lead, doubles for the lead of a certain suit, either Clubs or Diamonds.

     

Club Lead

After a 1 No Trump or even a 2 No Trump opening bid by the opponents has been made, and there has been no suit bid made, and the final contract is a game contract in No Trump, then a double of the final contract requests a Club lead.

South   West   North   East   Meaning
1 NT               Range is generally 15 to 17 points, but the range can be either weak or strong. Values for game bids are adjusted.
    Pass   3 NT       North promises game values and denies a 4-card Major suit. No other suit bid has been employed.
            Double   East, who is not on lead, doubles for a Club lead. This is the Fisher Double since the Stayman conventional method was not employed.

Diamond Lead

If Stayman, or any other suit bid has been made, then a double of the final No Trump game contract requests a Diamond lead.

 
North
spades J965
hearts AQ5
diamonds KJ2
clubs 653
 
West
spades 10732
hearts 1062
diamonds 854
clubs J87
 
East
spades A8
hearts 9843
diamonds AQ10
clubs Q1092
 
South
spades KQ4
hearts KJ7
diamonds 9763
clubs AK4
 
     
South   West   North   East   Meaning
1 NT               Range is generally 15 to 17 points, but the range can be either weak or strong. Values for game bids are adjusted.
    Pass   2 clubs       Stayman asking for a 4-card Major suit.
            Pass    
2 diamonds   Pass           Denial bid regarding a 4-card Major suit.
        3 NT       North holds game values and raises to game in No Trump.
            Double   Fisher Double asking for a Diamond lead since Stayman was employed by the opponents during the auction and was not doubled by partner.

The Fisher Double requests a Diamond Lead if the Stayman conventional method was employed, and was not doubled by partner. It is only under these circumstances that a Diamond lead is requested if the opponents reach a final game contract of No Trump.

As the student of bridge can recognize South loses three tricks in Diamonds, one loser in Spades, and also one loser in Clubs. By proper defense, if East leads a Club on the second trick, then East-West will also win a second Club trick, thereby defeating the contract by two tricks.

Note: West could have doubled in rotation following the 2diamonds bid by South, but did not, meaning that no Diamond lead would have been requested if North had become declarer and is on lead. Such a double is a lead-directing lead, not a Fisher Double, and the final contract does not need to be a game contract.

Note: Some partnerships agree that a double made in such an auction is a Fisher Double even if North-South had made any other bid besides a Stayman-esque bid only if the final contract is a game contract in No Trump.

Note: Some partnerships have also agreed that the lead must be a Diamond lead even if the Stayman conventional method has not been employed. A double by the opponent not on lead equals a Fisher Double whether or not Clubs have been bid by the opponents during the auction. See below.

Note: Several partnerships always use the double to request a Diamond lead.

Source: Doubles of Strongly Bid 3 No Trump Contracts
From
Doubles for Takeout, Penalties and Profit, p.208
By Robert B. Ewen, 1973

Dr. John W. Fisher has devised a lead-directing double that applies when the opponents open the bidding with 1 NT and subsequently play in 3 No Trump. If they have not used a Stayman 2 Clubs response, a double of the final contract requests a Club lead. If they have used a Stayman, a double of the final contract requests a Diamond lead. The main advantage of this convention is that the opening leader knows exactly what is expected of him, so there is no possibility of ambiguity. The disadvantages are that after the auction 1 No Trump / 3 No Trump, the Lightner Double can be used regardless of what suit you want led and is therefore preferable with a capable partner who will judge correctly most of the time; and the Fisher Double implies that doubles of Stayman 2 Clubs bids should be used as lead-directional, which is not a recommended procedure.

 

 

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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