Thursday, November 17, 2005 9:59 AM

Hand Evaluation - Anti-intuitive Doubles




            Our bidding philosophy is “shape before strength’ whenever possible. I bid my shape first , later on in the auction I bid my strength with a D.S.I.P. double. This action allows partner who has heard the bidding & is in a better position to make the decision , to  place the final contract. The double prevents two horrible Bridge faults . Bidding your hand again & pseudo sacrifices. If you have already described your distribution to partner , she now  knows with your D.S.I.P. double that you have both defense & distribution. The following hands demonstrate the power of the D.S.I.P. double.


IMPS nobody vul , in 3rd seat you open 1 with ♠x x AQ10xxx ♣AQ10xx , LHO overcalls 1 . Partner bids 2 , the opponent bids a pre-emptive 3 . You bid 4♣ , they bid 4 so around to you again. Playing with Tom & BJ this a simple decision. I have described my shape already , I have 1 + 1 = 3 defensive tricks so I double saying I would like to bid again. Partner has bid my stiff at the two level so she is in a way better position to place the final contract. The double being the most flexible bid in Bridge transfers the decision ( blame) to partner. This is a Bridge World problem & 15 of the so called expert panel bid 5♣. This is a silly single handed bid which is in effect bidding the same distribution & values that you have already shown the table. 4X could go for a terrible number as can 5 of your minor minor. Partner could hold 6 & 4 !! Partners pass was not forcing so why guess ?


Another hand which shows the single handed pseudo sacrifice. IMPS , you NV & they are vul. Partner opens 1 & the vul opponents double. You bid 2♣ with ♠x xx QJx ♣A10987xx , they bid 2 & 4 respectively so around to you again. Again an easy bid for me playing with BJ & Tom . I have  a maximum for my nonforcing 2♣ bid , so I double saying I want to bid again. Turns out partner has a penalty double of 4 but thought I might have virtually nothing for nv 2♣ bid. She happily passes so we pick up +500. The expert Bridge World panel bid 4NT saying pick a sacrifice ! Again a horrible single handed pseudo sacrifice. The wrong side of the table making the decision. Trusting the opponents all the time to make your decisions is not a winning proposition.


This hand shows how anti-intuitive D.S.I.P. doubles are. ♠x x A1098 ♣KQJ10xxx , the bidding goes



4-?                     This hand is a D.S.I.P. double !! You have defense & you would like to bid 5♣. Partner knows that you have distribution from your 3♣ bid. Partners hand could be ♠KQJ10 xxx xxx ♣Axx  or ♠xxx QJ10 KJxx ♣Axx . It was the latter so it is a double game swing. Partner with no wastage in spades pulls to 5♣ , you win a double game swing as 5♣ is cold.


I am convinced that the trump stack penalty double is the most single – handed Bridge bid ever devised. Catering to that bid also causes single handed actions. Take this example from the Bridge World. IMPS , you are vul & they are not. ♠x xx AJxxxx ♣AJ10x . They open 1 with partner vul overcalling 2 & they bid 4. Playing with my partners , I make a D.S.I.P. double as I can not have a trump stack on this particular auction as they announced they own their suit. The Bridge World panel bid 4NT for the minors ! This with a hand that is all defense with Aces . This bid is truly silly as 5 or 4X may be the best spot. Preserving the double to be absolutely penalty makes them do silly single handed actions. They base their own decisions on the opponents bidding rather than their own hands. It is worth it ?


D.S.I.P. doubles  do not leave home without them !!