Last week partner opened a minor (1C or 1D) and the opponents doubled. This week Partner opens a Major (1H or 1S) and the opponents double:
When partner bids, the magical quest for slam begins. But when the opponents DOUBLE, that quest is forever lost. Well, ok, maybe 99 times out of a 100 anyway… However everything is not totally lost as game, partscore or even a juicy penalty double are all still options. Partner has opened with at least (we hope!) 12 high card points (hcp). The doubler will have – most of the time - at least 12 HCP as well, so now out of the total of 40 HCP in the pack, 24 of them have been allocated, leaving just 16 of them between you and the opponent on your left.
It is now your job to tell partner whether a) you have any points and/or b) you have a fit. Remember you have to keep the bidding alive if at all possible in case partner has opened with 20 points. This is a possibility. This is why you respond with 6 HCP. ALWAYS.
1H - X - ?
The responses aren’t that much different from when partner opens a minor. As before, all your raises of partner’s suit are pre-emptive (or stretch raises) so you show a good raise (4 cards & 10+hcp) with 2NT (Truscott). All hands with no fit and 10+ HCP go through REDOUBLE (the blue one!). Otherwise you just bid as naturally as possible.
But do remember that you MUST bid with 6 points. This means that if you can’t bid at the 2 level you'll have to bid 1NT. You’ll bid 1NT with whatever hand you have and only 6 - 9 HCP. For instance:
You can't bid 2D as that promises 9 or 10 HCP, so the only bid you have is 1NT. I know it doesn't describe your hand but it does at least tell partner you have 6 - 9 HCP which may be the most valuable information partner needs! There’s a useful motto:
Help Your Partner Win at Bridge!
(There's a book of the same title…)