Having given you Pt 1. of Negative Doubles last week - here’s part 2! What do you do on the rare occasion when you DO have their suit? And you want to punish them for being over-aggressive? Say, you have this hand and hear the following auction:
1S - (2D) - ?
Now, because of negative doubles, if you try and double 2D, partner will assume - rightly - that you’ve got hearts and clubs. Now the auction is beginning to sound doomed to massive terminal mis-understandings. You'll keep trying to sign off in NT and before you know where you are you’ll be in 6NT missing the AK of hearts, partner starts blinking with rage and looks up “assassination” on the iPhone.
I expect a lot of you will think the only bid you have is 2NT, showing 11 - 12 HCP and a diamond stop or two. It’s true it would express the hand and partner can’t really complain about that can they? Can they? Hmmm. Let's say partner passes 2NT and it makes: you score 120. (70 + 50) How’s about, guys and gals, if I told you you could get a possible 500 out of this hand? Stop muttering “man’s mad ...” and have a look at this auction:
1S - (2D) - PASS! - (pass)
X! - (pass) - PASS! - (pass)
Yes, you PASS! their 2D bid. Then, assuming partner co-operates by making a re-opening Double, you simply PASS! again. Now you’ve converted the re-opening double into a penalty double. Three down, doubled not vulnerable is 500. Even two down vulnerable is 500 as well. (Three down is 800, but let’s not get over-excited here.)
The point to remember is to work together with partner to get the best result. Don’t try and do it all on your own. It’s a partnership game.