Friday, April 15, 2005 9:39 PM

Hand Evaluation – Trump Stack Doubles




            Critics of the D.S.I.P. double feel they have the license to bid on “anything” against D.S.I.P.  doubles as trump stack doubles are not permitted. This is straight ignorance on their part. In reality , its just the opposite. The D.S.I.P. structure allows more penalty doubles than the conventional way its just done differently by converting D.S.I.P. doubles.


            Trump stack doubles are single handed Bridge rather than partnership Bridge. I double so you do not pull my penalty doubles regardless of your distribution or trick taking potential. This quite often leads to numbers like –730 or –510 as they make their contract. Penalty doubles assist good players in handling their trump suit for another disaster.  D.S.I.P. doubles are partnership Bridge in action. Since partner doubles , he has the defensive strength to leave in a trump stack double converted by partner. In the sandwich position , we have them coming & going. In other words , the penalty can be extracted by either side converting.



             P-P-X-P       The 1NT bidder does not have hearts as he is “in front” of the heart suit. The spade bidder has hearts , since the 1NT hand is suitable defensively 2X is going to be an ugly spot for them.



               X-P-P-P     This time the 1NT bidder has hearts so converts partners takeout double for penalty. Partner has a good defensive hand as he doubled but I have hearts which is a recipe for disaster for them . This style prevents partner with a good hand bidding thereby spoiling my trump stack double which happens in single handed penalty double Bridge.


            Bridge is played in a clockwise direction. Either partner playing standard penalty doubles can bid with a good defensive hand in front of partner & ruin partners penalty double. This happens more often than not so bad bidders escape their fate. Not so , playing D.S.I.P. theory . In a competitive auction , partner wanting to bid again with a defensive hand , must double to ask permission to do so. If the other partner has a trump stack , he says permission denied by passing. Since either partner must double in order to bid again , we have them coming & going again. They can not escape as in “old fashioned” trump stack doubles.


            If you analyze all the successful trump stack doubles in Bridge , I would say that 90 % would have the same result by converting partners D.S.I.P. double. If you analyze all the unsuccessful doubles ( them making their doubled contract) , the odds are the other partner did not have the strength to make a D.S.I.P. double. D.S.I.P. theory does not exclude trump stack penalty doubles,  it just does the job differently.


            OK. the D.S.I.P. naysayers cry what about the hands that I have a juicy trump stack double but partner is not strong enough for a D.S.I.P. double ? This case has to exist due to terrible Bridge by the opponents. The opponents have set themselves up for a huge set when our partnership does not have enough defense to make a D.S.I.P. double in a competitive auction. In these cases you can not make anything anyway so you take your plus. The IMP scale reduces the reward for getting these types of gifts anyway.  You must be playing against pretty weak players to have this opportunity. D.S.I.P. theory does not hold for those players. Stick with single handed trump stack doubles playing against weak players .


            Do not forget that trump stack doubles still exist playing D.S.I.P. theory. In non competitive auctions an out of the blue double is penalty. If forcing pass theory applies , doubles are penalty. When either partner has taken pre-emptive action , a double is penalty. D.S.I.P. theory only applies in actively competitive situations.