Is there any way to rescue yourself after making a terrible bid? I didn’t think so on this board from an OK Bridge Internet game. I was sitting North, with West dealing and North-South vulnerable:

                     NORTH
                    ♠️ K
                    ♥️ A K 10 7
                    ♦️ 10 7 6 4 3 2
                    ♣️ Q 7


WEST                                          EAST
♠️ Q J 10 9 7 6                         ♠️ A 2
♥️ Q 4 3                                    ♥️ J 9 5 2
♦️ Q J 9                                    ♦️ 5
♣️ 2                                           ♣️ A K 10 8 5 3


                     SOUTH
                    ♠️ 8 5 4 3
                    ♥️ 8 6
                    ♦️ A K 8
                    ♣️ J 9 6 4

The bidding proceeded as follows:

West            North           East          South
2♠️             DBL              Pass         3♣️
All Pass

Opening lead: ♠️10 (?)

I took a big chance with the double, hoping partner had four hearts. It’s always a dangerous bid with a doubleton in one of the suits you are advertising. When partner replied 3♣️, I had to bet he had at least five clubs.

You can imagine what happened. East wisely passed rather than give me an opportunity for escape, and we went down five for -500.

Partner said I should have saved in 3♦️, which would have made. I thought that in order to double and bid again I would need at least 17 high-card points. But leave partner at 3♣️? You can see the problem I created.

With unfavorable vulnerability, bad distribution and questionable values,  I should have passed 2♠️ in the first place.

The time to make a takeout double with a doubleton in one of the suits where you supposedly have strength is when you hold a powerhouse hand you plan to “correct” with clearer description on a second bid. To make the kind of double I did, is, in Swinburne’s language, “a thorn for peril and a snare for sin.”

I deserved no less.

Verdict: Having initially sinned with the double, I should have rebid 3♦️ and taken my chances with the misinformation I was conveying.