Instead of describing the thrump double, the decision was made to quote the author. The following description is by Mr. Marty Bergen, (website), who invented and devised the thrump double and …

Source: www.bridgeguys.com

Marty Bergen
Marty Bergen

Instead of describing the thrump double, the decision was made to quote the author. The following description is by Mr. Marty Bergen, (website), who invented and devised the thrump double and its application. In case the visitor or bridge student would like to contact Mr. Marty Bergen, he/she can do so by visiting his website.

Thrump doubles, as described here, were invented by yours truly. While they certainly are different, experience has shown that they are essential at the three level.

What is a thrump double and why do we need them? The discussion of the bidding on this hand will clue you in.

Spade Suit Q7
Heart Suit Q2
Diamond Suit 1087
club suit AKQJ75

Once your partner has opened the bidding, you are thinking about 3 No Trump. In fact, I will bet that is the case regardless of which suit your partner opened. You will show your Club and points and hope partner bids No trump sooner or later.

Nice plan. Now suppose that your RHO jumps to 3Diamond Suit, 3Heart Suit, or 3Spade Suit before you are able to make your first bid. Are you going to give up on the 3 No Trump contract you were heading for? If you make the normal 4club suitbid, do you expect partner to provide the five tricks you will need to bring home 5club suit?

What is my suggestion? Make a negative double. However, instead of defining it as looking for the unbid Major(s), think of it as looking for THRee notrUMP. On most hands where partner has a stopper in the opponent’s suit, you would like him to bid 3 No Trump.

When is this needed? When the enemy’s natural jump overcall reaches 3Diamond Suit, we cannot necessarily show our suit without going past 3 No Trump. Here are the 10 auctions where the opponent has made a natural, preemptive jump overcall above 3club suit and below 3 No Trump.

Opener Opponent Opener Opponent Opener Opponent
1club suit 3Diamond Suit 1club suit 3Heart Suit 1club suit 3Spade Suit
1Diamond Suit 3Diamond Suit 1Diamond Suit 3Heart Suit 1Diamond Suit 3Spade Suit
1Heart Suit 3Diamond Suit 1Spade Suit 3Heart Suit 1Heart Suit 3Spade Suit
1Spade Suit 3Diamond Suit

Must you have a solid suit? Absolutely not. A Thrump Double would be totally appropriate after 1Heart Suit– (3Spade Suit) with:

Spade Suit 864
Heart Suit 65
Diamond Suit AQ754
club suit AQ2
Spade Suit 93
Heart Suit K7
Diamond Suit KQ10865
club suit KQ8
Spade Suit 63
Heart Suit A2
Diamond Suit 852
club suit AK10854

Now you are the responder after 1club suit– 3Heart Suit.

Spade Suit K3
Heart Suit 84
Diamond Suit AKQJ5
club suit J753

Double, hoping that partner bids 3 No Trump.

Spade Suit KQ863
Heart Suit KQ2
Diamond Suit
K7
club suit 985

Forget your Spades. You have Hearts stopped, so bid 3 No Trump.

Spade Suit AK
Heart Suit A64
Diamond Suit AK83
club suit J852

Once in a blue moon you will have a great hand with a stopper in the opponent’s suit. In that case, you can start with a Negative Double and then explore for slam.

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