Alerting above 3NT on-line

According to the Sky Blue book 1.2.1 , you continue to alert bids and passes above 3NT, but not doubles and re-doubles. This appears to result in some inconsistencies. For example, my partner bids RKCB and the opponents overcall (or double), I am playing some method such as DOPI/ROPI. My bids / passes and doubles / re-doubles will show number of key cards; I am required to alert / explain the number of key cards if I pass or bid, but not if I double / re-double. At face to face I would not have to alert any of the bids
There are some exceptions noted (BB 4.B.4 c+d), but I don't believe that this falls in to any of those. If bids and passes are alertable above 3NT, it seems odd that doubles and re-doubles would not be

Am I mis-understanding the alerting, or are the on-line rules inconsistent ? Surely it would be simpler and therefore easier to remember, to have this consistent


  • I'd take the view that if x showed, say, 1 I'd tell the opponents.

  • The matter of which doubles above 3NT to alert was raised at a virtual L&E meeting in September. The expectation was that opponents would routinely ask about such doubles and there was reluctance to formulate another alerting regulation for this circumstance - so we were left with the existing face-to-face/Blue Book regulation.

    I don't think opponents or TD could object to an explanation being given without a question being asked.

    Some players are capable of providing a running commentary of their entire auction, while others will not announce 1NT and alert without explaining. Enforcement and regulation to achieve proper disclosure will continue to be difficult.

  • I don't buy the argument of 'reluctance to formulate another alerting regulation'. The Sky Blue book (1.2.1) has different alerting regulations for bids / passes and dbls / re-dbls. If you made them the same (alert everything above 3NT as you would below 3NT), it would actually simplify 1.2.1

    Of course in reality people are going to alert both (or neither), it just seems perverse that if the opponents don't ask they have been damaged if it was an unalerted pass, but not if it is an unalerted double

  • The reluctance is not an argument for current state of affairs, it is my attempt to explain what did (not) happen.

    Unless we make all doubles above 3NT alertable, we did not know where to draw the line between out-and-out-penalties (I have this off in my own hand, partner will pass) and suggesting-defending (anything else, including pass, would be encouraging)

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