Quick summary

Tell your partner what to lead

Double the enemy's control finding cue bid or Blackwood response. Partner will lead it to you if he was awake.


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Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  0131  »

Lead directing double

Hey partner, lead this suit when you can !

When can you use Lead Directing Doubles ?

  • after a control seeking cue bid
  • after a coded 2club opening
  • after Stayman 2club

A double during the enemy's 'cue bidding for controls' sequence can be very useful. It tells your partner to lead this suit when he opens the play.

It can often result in getting the opponents down if you have a long strong suit, even if the enemy does have the controlling Ace. After all, they might also have a couple of other losers in this suit.

The deal below illustrates the power of this bid rather well, as there are two opportunities to make lead directing doubles.

Deal 1S 10 9 8 6 Deal: South
Vuln: none

South has 9 playing tricks and can open 2club. West can now double to show his partner what to lead.
However, the contract ends up in Souths's 6spade.
Does East have a chance to tell West about the much better and contract defeating lead of Diamonds ? Well yes. Can you see how ?

S Q 10 8 6 3
H A 4 2
D 2
S A 4           N S 3
H 9 7 2  W               E H J 5 4
D 9 7 D K Q J 10 8
C Q J 10 8 5 3           S C 9 7 6 4
  S K Q J 7 5 4  
H 6 5 2

After South's opening 2club bid, the sequence goes like this:

2club - X - p - p (note 1)
2spade - p - 3spade - p (note 2)
4club - p - 4diamond - X (note 3)
4NT - p - 5diamond - p (note 4)
6spade - all pass

  1. North passes after the double to indicate game interest after the double. A redouble shows 10 points with no help.
  2. North's hand is now much more valuable after South's 3spade. Game interest becomes Slam interest, so he bids slowly. A 4spade bid would show no interest in Slam.
  3. The club and diamond bids are both cue bids, showing first round control. The double is the key to this defence. It tells West, who will be on lead in this Spade contract, to lead diamonds.
  4. South should have been worried by the double, "trouble in Diamonds from West". With his 3 losers in diamonds, instead of Blackwood 4NT, he might have considered another cue bid in Clubs to check on second round controls. The answer would not have been good, and he might have bailed out at 5 Spades. As it is, the 6 contract can be defeated, but only with a diamond lead.




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