Wednesday, November 16, 2005 6:08 AM

Hand Evaluation  - Definitions




            Thomas Bacon or was it Alexander Pope who said “Sir define your terms ! “ . A bid such as the double in Bridge takes on so many meanings “ depending on context” of the auction. We define all doubles in Bridge as falling into two classes . Doubles that are made when you own the auction & doubles made when you do not. Simple start.


            Penalty doubles made when you own the auction are defined under forcing pass theory. A double in forcing pass theory are either/or warning bids. They mean 1) I have a minimum so I am not interested in going to the next level so lets just take our plus. 2) I have duplication of value in their suit i.e. a trump stack double 3) I have a doubleton or more in their suit so I am warning you that we have quick losers in their suit ( high levels ) .


            All the remaining doubles ( penalty ) in Bridge are competitive doubles. Competitive , in the sense that we do not own the hand or are just competing to win the auction. We define all competitive doubles as D.S.I.P. doubles which generally means I have no duplication of value in their suit ( transferable values only ) , I have defense measured in quick tricks & I am asking permission to compete again. If you have their suit , you nix my request by converting for penalty. You also nix the request if the double put us in a bad position so that we must “bite the bullet”. A D.S.I.P. double is analogous to a partner of a successful splinter in that no duplication of value exists in their suit. 


            All other doubles conventional or otherwise can be thought of as a subset of D.S.I.P. doubles. The T/O double is a D.S.I.P. double as you do not know if you own the auction , you generally have nothing in their suit and you are asking partner to do something intelligent by biding something descriptive. Negative doubles are systemic D.S.I.P. doubles with unbid suit criteria as are responsive doubles , game try doubles , balancing doubles , re-opening doubles , Thrump doubles , undoubles , action doubles. The simple pass in a D.S.I.P. or negative double auction ,  can be a penalty double.


            Trump stacks doubles are even a special case of D.S.I.P. doubles under this broad definition as you do not necessarily “own the auction” . Trump stack doubles are only permitted at the 5 level & above or after partner has pre-empted in some way or by converting partners re-opening or D.S.I.P. double. Trump stack doubles are also allowed after the auction has been previously clarified with a D.S.I.P. double  .  At the 5 level , you double them in 5 with ♠xxxx xx KQJ10 ♣xxx so you certainly do not own the auction at his rarified level. At this level,  D.S.I.P. means partner just pass please.


            The last case of a D.S.I.P. double ( so called 3rd case )  is when they own the auction. This bid is an action double normally done when you are on the terrorist vulnerability or they have bid a vul slam. The double even made by a pre-empter is again asking permission to bid but when the opponents obviously own the auction , it is also asking permission to sacrifice. Partner only nixes the request when the opponents have an unpleasant surprise coming to them or we may just be limiting our losses J


            Honestly it all makes sense, even though we are still in the throes of field testing !!!