The Strong Double

         Some hands are too strong for a simple overcall. For example, suppose you hold:

AK9853    AK4    —    QT87

and your opponent opens 1. If you overcall 1, your partner will almost definitely pass, and you could easily miss game.
         The solution is the strong double. Here is the convention:

After the opponents open, a double followed by a second bid
shows a hand too strong for an overcall (at least 16 points).

For example, on the above hand you would double and then bid spades.


         The Procedure.      There are three steps in the bidding of a strong double:

                 1.     Make a double.

                 2.     Your partner, thinking the double is for takeout, will respond with an unbid suit.

                 3.     Make your second bid. This alerts partner to the fact that your double was not for takeout but was instead a strong double. (Takeout doubles and strong doubles are entirely different conventions.)


         The Second Bid.      Here are some example second bids:

(1) — Dbl — 2 2:      Shows 16+ Points and 5 spades.
  3: Shows 16+ Points and 5 clubs.
  2NT: 18+ HCP and a heart stopper.
         (too strong for a 1NT overcall)
  3:   16+ points and diamond support.
  2:   A cuebid shows a very strong hand
         (with 20 points or more).