Friday, February 04, 2005 3:04 AM

D.S.I.P. Re-opening Doubles




            Re-opening doubles in the balancing spot when the opponents have failed to respond are takeout doubles. Re-opening doubles in negative double auctions are D.S.I.P. doubles . What about re-opening doubles in “live” auctions where there has been bidding up to high levels beyond negative double range ?  The re-opening double should also be a D.S.I.P. double. You have defensive cards , no fit with partner and no trump stack. It does not necessarily show the unbid suits but “we have the balance of power” partner.


          You are vul and they are not . You hold AKxxx xx xx Kxxx and you respond a spade to partners 1 opening bid . LHO bids 3 so what do you do ? The most flexible bid is a D.S.I.P. double . Partner can convert for penalty , support your suit or do something intelligent. Do not bid 3 that is redundant and bidding 4♣ or passing is silly. A double is a flexible build that retains your options. You play negative doubles to 4, so a double is mandatory.


          You open 1 and LHO bids 4 and around to you again in the re-opening position KQJ10 xx AKxxx xx . You have a clear cut pass . If you double partner is going to make the wrong decision 99 times out of 100. She expects you to hold x Axxx AKxx KJxx for such a double . What if you held Axx AKx AKxx J10x and the same auction. You have too many HCP’s and no trump stack so you should double. Doubles at this level are not takeout per se but D.S.I.P. which means partner pass or bid depending on your holdings in their suit.


          INT by partner and you bid Stayman with x Axxx Kxxx Kxxx   and LHO bids 3 around to you again. Doubling with values in their suit for penalty is not recommended when you are “in front” of the suit. A double here should be D.S.I.P. and leaving all options open. With values in spades , bid 3NT and yes they wiggled out of a penalty double.


          Even with a 2/1 a re-opening double is D.S.I.P.  1-1-2♣-2 P-P-?   Axx xxx Jx AKJxx   You should double 2 as it can not be a trump stack when you are in front of the suit. Playing support doubles when the opponents bid in the sandwich position a re-opening double is always D.S.I.P. as partner may have a trump stack and convert. A double of a pre-empt in the sandwich position is a special D.S.I.P. double called a “thrump double” . 1-P-1-3  X     The double says bid 3NT with a spade stopper . A pass or a direct 3NT bid would show spades.


          Partner opens 1♣ and LHO overcalls 1 . You bid a heart with Kxx AKxxx xxx Jx and partner re-bids 2♣. RHO re-bids 2 so what now ? You have a D.S.I.P. double saying “partner my HCP’s are where you expect them” and I would like to compete to 3♣ but I have defense. The double can not be a trump stack unless you assume the opponents are suicidal when they bid and rebid a suit. If you do have a trump stack , hope partner re-opens with a double.


          When the opponents overcall and make a jump raise of their suit , a re-opening double is always D.S.I.P. You hold A10xxx Jxx J10x Ax and the auction goes 1♣-1-1-3  P-P-?  having this bid reserved for penalty is silly. The double is card showing saying I want to compete.


          A special case of a D.S.I.P. double is if the opponents make a jump rebid in their suit . How many times do you want to punish them when they have jumped in their suit ? A double should be D.S.I.P.

1-P-1-X 3-X    This double should be D.S.I.P. saying I have cards to compete but I do not know where.


          In summary a re-opening double or competitive double is never penalty no matter what the auction is. You are making a “card showing “ D.S.I.P. double. If you have their suit , bid 3NT or pass.