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Takeout doubles


Your Right-Hand Opponent (RHO) opens 1♥ and you hold AKJx x QJxx KJ10x. What should we bid? First of all, it would be very sad to pass this hand, a beautiful 15 count with a singleton in hearts. We can not overcall 1S—we do not have 5 spades. We can not bid 1NT—we do not have a balanced hand. So what can we possibly do?

Takeout doubles solve this problem.

A takeout double is another convention that you will be adding to your tool box of artificial bids. It “takes out” the opponent’s suit from the available options and asks partner to bid their longest suit out of the other 3.

What Are the Exact Requirements?

  • Opening hand strength (12+ total points)

  • Shortness in opponent’s bid suit (at most 2)

  • At least 3 cards in each of the other suits

  • Higher level takeout doubles need more values

How do you respond to a takeout double?

  • In general, bid your longest suit (that is not opener’s suit). With a better hand, bid at a higher level.

  • If you do not have a suit (that is not opener’s suit) longer than 4 cards, you can bid NT.

  • 1-level = 0-7 points

  • 2-level = 8-10 points

  • 3-level = 11-12 points

  • game = 13+ points


Over (1D) - X - (P) - ?

Hand A) 109xxx Axx xxxx x

Bid 1S because we have only 5 points (1 length point) and spades is our longest suit.

Hand B) xx KQJ98x xx Kxx

Bid 3H because we have 11 points (do not forget length points) and hearts is our longest suit.

Hand C) AQJ9x x Axx KJxx

Bid 4S because we have 16 points and spades is our longest suit.


  1. Kxxx-Kxxx-Qxxx-x

  2. KQT9-Jx-AKxx-xxx

  3. KJx-QT9-AQJ-xxxx

Do you make a takeout double with these hands?

  1. No, too few points

  2. No, not enough hearts and too many clubs

  3. No, too many clubs

Strong Takeout Double Examples



Double, and if partner bids 1D, then bid 1S next. This shows 18+ points & 5+ spades

Notice that your length in the opponent’s suit does not matter and that you do not need support for all the other suits

Practice Quiz

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