The Negative Double - Facts sheet 10

The Negative Double
When the Opponent Overcalls over Partner's 1 in a suit Opening bid Responder may be forced to pass with 6-10 points when he can not raise Partner's suit, or bid a new suit at the 1-level or bid 1NT (as this requires a stopper in the Enemy suit).
In such cases the Negative Double can be used.

This shows
either 6-10 points & 4+cards in the unbid major suit(s)

or 11+ points & exactly 4 cards in the unbid major suit(s)
When both major suits have been bid, the Negative Double promises at least 4-4 in the minors.

For example :

  1. 1♦ - (1♠) - DBL = 6-10 pts & 4+ hearts or 11+pts & exactly 4 hearts

  2. 1♥ - (2♣) - DBL = 6-10 pts & 4+ spades or 11+pts & exactly 4 spades

  3. 1♦ - (2♣) - DBL = 6-10 pts & 4+cards in both majors or 11+pts & exactly 4-4 in both majors

  4. 1♥ - (1♠) - DBL = 6-10 pts & 4+cards in both minors or 11+pts & exactly 4-4 in both minors
A special case arises after Opponent's Overcall of 1♥
  1. 1♣ - (1♥) - DBL = 6+ points & exactly 4 spades

  2. 1♣ - (1♥) - 1♠ = 6+ points & 5+ spades


Opener's replies
Opener assumes that Partner holds 6-10 points and 4 cards only in the inferred major (or minor) suit(s).
With 4-card trump support Opener replies as if Responder had bid 1 in the inferred suit.
For example :

  1. 1♦ - (1♠) - DBL - (Pass) - 2♥ = 13-15 points & 4-card heart support

  2. 1♦ - (1♠) - DBL - (Pass) - 3♥ = 16-18 points & 4-card heart support

  3. 1♦ - (1♠) - DBL - (Pass) - 4♥ = 19-21 points & 4-card heart support
Knowing that Opener is assuming Responder has 10 points maximum, Responder must bid aggressively (where appropriately) after Opener's reply.

Without a 4-card trump fit Opener bids naturally, showing next time round delayed 3 cards support for Responder inferred suit.