Dear Dr. Robert,
If Gee doubles you in a contract, should you automatically redouble, applying the extended Bones Principle, and would that then be alertable?
—Greedy Gus, Galt’s Gulch, USA
No you should absolutely not automatically redouble just because G doubled you, but you should be on the alert for the situations in which it is most advisable. Consider the disadvantages of a forced Bones Principle redouble. For one, it is very difficult to play the hand when you don’t know who has what, as is the case when Gee has entered the bidding. Many a trick has been lost by opponents who thought they knew where the cards were, only to have the planned line of play go up in smoke as Gerard had one of his, shall we say, “less than conventional” doubles. The Bones Principle redouble also tends to frighten Gerard’s partners into leaving. You can’t keep piling up the IMPs if the game doesn’t continue now can you? Better to win 8 IMPs per hand in which you are doubled than 12 IMPs once. Nonetheless, there are situations in which judicious use of the blue card can be most profitable against Gerard. It is high time to redouble when:
- You have issued a Bones double to Gerard, only to see your (apparently inexperienced partner) pull it and be doubled by Gerard. You must protect the equity that you have just lost on the board because of your partner’s poorly timed flight of brilliancy.
- Gerard doubles in front of you when you were about to bid more anyway. Need I comment further?
- Gerard was in spec discussing my editor during the previous hand. You know that his blood is now boiling until he goes on a cig break, and he may tend to be a little too quick to double, at which time you should take full advantage.
- On the last hand. It’s now or never, hombre.