A penalty double is a double which is made with the purpose of increasing the taking, hoping that partner will pass it.

[1] Normally, the following doubles are for penalty:

  • after making any penalty double (or a penalty pass), all later doubles are for penalty;
  • on a natural notrump bid;
  • after we have found our fit;
  • after any natural notrump bid by our side;
  • after we preempted;
  • after making a lead-directing double;
  • when the partner has accurately limited his hand (such as 1-(/)-1-(/)-2-(3)).
  • when it is made late in the auction;
  • when all suits have been shown, or when there is only one suit not shown.


  1. [1]
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penalty double - takeout double - negative double - responsive double
support double - maximal double - Lightner double - lead-directing double
optional double

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