Double Shot

A double shot is an action taken by one player, which is deemed a gambling action, after an opponent has committed an infraction. This action by the player seeks to use the infraction of the opponent as a safety net for any action executed by the player taking the action. This action is illustrated below.



  South   West   North
Pass   1   2   3 (1)
4 (2)   4 (3)   Pass (4)   Pass
5   ?

The explanations for those bids with the bracketed numbers are:

1. This signifies a limit raise by North of the Spade suit, bid by his partner South.
2. This signifies a weak raise by East for the overcalled suit by West.
3. This rebid by South, the opener, shows no slam interest, but rather that the partnership has a highly-possible game in Spades.
4. The Pass by West becomes a possible infraction because West hesitated before passing, possibly suggesting further action by East.

Now, the reasoning of South follows:

A. Player East made a Weak Raise in Clubs and is allowing West to make the final decision.
B. And therefore, East should not have been allowed to bid 5 Clubs after West's obvious hesitation.
C. Conclusion: an infraction has occurred, which favors the side of South-North.
D. Therefore, if player South (me) bids 6 Spades, and the contract makes, then South-North will achieve a possible top score.
E. On the other hand, if player South (me) were to bid 6 Spades, and the contract does not make, then the partnership of South-North is still safe because of the infraction, and the director will adjust the contract of 6 Spades back to 4 Spades, which still gives the partnership of South-North a good score.
F. South bids: 6 Spades.

When the contract of 6 Spades does not make, South calls the director, and asks the director to adjust the contract back to 4 Spades made, plus any overtricks.

The explanations are given by South: 1. the actual auction; 2. hesitation by West; 3. the possible "illegal" bid by East of 5 Clubs. South makes the request that the contract be adjusted to 4 Spades made and the appropriate score to be entered on the score sheet.

The director, however, is not fooled. The director realizes from the auction that South does not have a legitimate claim for bidding slam, since the auction reveals that no slam try had been attempted after East bid 4 Clubs. The conclusion of the director is that a bid by South of 6 Spades is a gamble-bid with the intent of creating a "risk-free" windfall result, which carries the designation of a double shot. Even if the director chooses to adjust the final contract to 4 Spades, the result of the original 6 Spades contract remains the final score and is entered on the score sheet.

The result is: the player, who risks a double shot, is not entitled to protection if and when the poor result is due to a risk-seeking action of the player taking the action, which is undertaken subsequently to the infraction of another player.

The guidelines and Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge, however, do require that the player, after an infraction by an opponent, that one is required to play "reasonable bridge for your ability". Owing to the fact that reasonable bridge actions occasionally work out poorly for the partnership, these actions deserve to be protected. In the above example, if South had bid 5 Spades, a "reasonable bridge action", then this action is protected and the director may / might / could adjust the score once the infraction of West is brought to the attention of the director.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.