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Bridge can be as bad as NASA for confusing acronyms and lingo! Welcome to the Jargon Jungle - a glossary of bridge terms designed to help you hack your way through to a better understanding of the game of bridge. Just click on the first letter of the word you wish to find! Each letter of the alphabet reloads the page.
Also, if you would like to suggest a term not presently included on the list, or see a correction that needs to be made, please drop us a note.
Declarer: The player, in the partnership which won
a contract, who plays both his hand and the dummy hand.
Basically it shows 5 cards in each of the 2 suits. When
doubling to show a one-suited hand, you should have the equivalent of an
opening bid and a good suit. After the double, partner should bid 2 clubs,
which is alertable, and simply means: partner bid your suit.) For more
information, visit (NEED WORKING ARCHIVE LINK).
Balancing Double/Balancing Bid: Making a bid in position where passing would end the bidding (ie: 1D-P-P-?). The requirements for balancing (with a double or otherwise) are always less than bidding in the middle of a live auction. The reason for this is that here the opponents have given up in a part score, so you can assume that your partner has some good cards. In a live auction they may be going to game and your partner may be totally bust (a really bad hand).
Business Double: - Same as a penalty double (i.e. I mean business).
Lead Directing Double: A double which asks partner to lead a specific suit. Often these will be doubles of artificial or Q-bids made by your right hand opponent. The most common would be a double of stayman (2C over 1NT) which says, "Partner, I have clubs". A double like this does not usually ask to compete in the auction, but may be made on something like KQTxx of clubs and not much else.
Lightner Double: Almost always used when opponents have bid to a slam. They are made by partner of opening leader and always ask for an unusual lead. Many times that player will be void in a suit. Very often it will specifically ask for the lead of dummy's first bid suit (doubler may have AQ of suit, or K with outside A, or be void).
Negative Double: Used after partner bids and opponents overcall - shows 4 cards in the unbid major.
Optional double: Simply means a double that can be passed, or not, by partner. In a sense, all doubles are optional, but some more so than others.
Penalty Double: Used when you think you can set (prevent them from making) opponents contract.
Responsive Double: A specialized bid for more advanced players which allows partnerships to decide whether to compete for part score, go to game, or defend.
Support Double: - A specialized bid for more advanced players. Used when you have opened the bidding and partner has responded, and your right hand opponent has bid. A double at this point shows 3 cards in partners suit (ie: 1D-P-1S-2C-X). To bid 2S would show 4 spades (and no extra values beyond opening hand). To pass or bid anything else would deny having as many as 3 spades.
Takeout Double: - Used after opponents bid to
indicate support in unbid suits.
Doubleton: Having two cards in a suit.
With a good hand in support of opener (usually a limit raise, 10-12 HCP or better, and 3 or more trumps) responder bids 2C - an artificial bid. It asks partner to describe his hand. With less than opening HCP, opener bids 2D. With a legitimate opening HCP count, opener bids anything else.
Many people play reverse Drury, which simply reverses
responses (ie: with fewer points than usually required for an opening bid,
opener would rebid the opening suit and any other bid indicates a legitimate
opening HCP count).
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