Hand 1. Matchpoints, vul vs non-vul, you open 1S in second seat with:
AQ986 T8 AT6 K98
LHO overcalls 2H which is passed to you. What's your call?

Hand 2. Matchpoints, vul vs non-vul, you open 1C in first seat with:
KQ8 9 964 KQJ952
(apologies to those who wouldn't open the hand...)
LHO preempts 3H which is passed to you. What's your call?

Panelist Hand 1 Hand 2 Comments
Chao Double Double
Chechelashvili Double Double Not that I am happy in reopening second, but pass is almost a guarantee of below average result.
Coufal Double Double For Hand 2, I need to explain why the 9 of diamonds looked like an ace. Once I chose to open, I'm not going to explain the +150 for 3H down 3.
Crawford Pass Pass It may be right to reopen, but that is unlikely since pard would prefer 3NT to dbl for penalties at this vul.
Doughman Double Pass
Feldman Double Pass Hand 1: Automatic, I always reopen at the 2 level with something close to the right shape, especially when its hearts or a minor. Hand 2: I'd pass, although in some partnerships I play we reopen on these types of hand and it doesn't guarantee any extra high cards, but doesn't feel right at these colors. often we're probably turning a plus into a minus (or a minus into a bigger minus, maybe they even missed game) by reopening as pard will just bid 3nt at these colors with the semi-penalty passes he rates to have. double could work out well if pard has the right hand (either long spades or smattering that makes 3nt roll that he didn't want to bid it with the first time).
Fertig Double Pass Hand 1: Seems more good than bad things can happen if I re-open. Hand2: Seems automatic to pass. No defense, and we're probably not making much.
Hartman Double Double Fully aware that we may be looking at 800 either direction. If we're not playing negative doubles, this is an easy pass.
Hoersch Double Pass Hand 1: I don't have the perfect pattern for this action, with my doubleton heart, but if partner bids, I have my values. And (if the reason the auction has gone the way it has and partner plans to pass the double) my defense is more than she can expect. Hand 2: This hand is too close, and here I am even surer that partner will be passing the double. I'm not sure I will like my result when dummy hits the table with two or three aces to make up for his lack of trump support. Our most likely game would be 3NT, but partner can see the vulnerability as well as I can, and she's the one looking at the heart stoppers, so she should have bid it instead of putting pressure on me. Partner can have the soundest penalty pass imaginable, and the opponents may still make a game. It's MPs, and if no one can make a game, how can it be bad if our side goes plus -- although undoubled??
Johnson Double Pass Hand 1: I have defense, heart shortness and support (kind of) for the unbid suits. Hand 2: This one is tougher. We are supposed to re-open with a double, but it looks as though our opening bid has done its job (I would have opened this too!). The vulnerability leads me to believe that passing might be the best course of action. Unless partner has JUST hearts (a "bonanza" penalty double), I would think partner would have bid 3NT for plus 600 or so, instead of trying for plus 300 or 500 with a good hand and hearts. I have no Aces and very little defense and offense. For the context of this hand I make passing 60%, but for partnership trust, I make doubling 50%. I pass with apologies ready for partner. I suspect that RHO has a pretty good hand, but is short in hearts, if we are beating this, just going plus might be a good score as many may not open my hand (I got my lead director in anyway - LOL!), and the opponents might have a better place to play, or be 1 level lower. The 3H bidder can see the vulnerability just as well as I can, he KNOWS he is missing whatever cards he is missing. If I had a 4th spade and a 6th club I MIGHT chance 3S, but my hand is so unremarkable, that passing just "feels" right.
McCay Double Pass
Michaels Double Pass
Roeder Double Double Either you are playing negative doubles or are not. We have had this theme on two hands in situations we have had at the table. (YES Rick, YOU were my partner on both these hands! --DZ :-) My belief is that if you have honor doubleton (Qx, Kx or Ax) it is unlikely that pard has a penalty pass. Other than that, you have an obligation not to pass. The only time you would not reopen with double is when your offense to defense ratio is high. On the 2nd problem, your offense to defense ratio is high, but it does not feel right to venture a 2nd time with a minimum at the 4 level with 4 clubs.
Strauch, J. Double Double Hand 1: Routine and automatic. Hand 2: I assume partner's double would be negative. This one is riskier, but you have to compete, as well as protect a penalty pass.
Wright Double Pass
Wrona Double Double Not crazy about the 2nd one but I want partner to be able to count on me to reopen.

Hand 1 (my hand repeated for convenience: AQ986 T8 AT6 K98). I passed for fear of what I thought was a probable -200 (not that I have never heard of what a re-opening double is) and was rewarded with a zero when they made exactly 2H and we were cold for game. Partner's hand:
T Q95 KJ87542 A4
LHO's hand:
K3 AKJ76432 -- Q32
RHO's hand:
J7652 -- Q93 JT765

The nearly unanimous vote for Double has convinced me that I should have re-opened. However I'm still glad at least one panelist agreed with passing!

Hand 2 (my hand repeated for convenience: KQ8 9 964 KQJ952). The panel was evenly divided between doubling and passing, hmm, maybe this means it's a better problem than the first one! I strongly suspected that RHO (who didn't bid) had the best hand at table and 3H (whether it makes or not) was not the best place for them to play (very similar reasoning as Steve's). I therefore passed and was pretty confident that I did the right thing. And I did. Partner's hand:
A542 KJ82 32 643
LHO's hand:
6 AQT7643 Q87 87
RHO's hand:
JT973 4 AKJT5 AT

We can't make anything, and 3H goes down one. They have 10 tricks available in Diamonds. If I re-open partner has a clear 3S bid and even if he passes, changing +50 to +100 is still not how you win, even at matchpoints, is it? I'm not a believer in that you HAVE to re-open WHENEVER you have shortness in their suit...