Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:40 AM

Hand Evaluation - Pass & Double




            When the opponents make a conventional bid or a takeout double after your side has opened ,  how do you define a pass followed by a double?. The reflex action when you want to start a penalty double sequence is to double their conventional bid or redouble. A pass & double should be D.S.I.P.  saying I want to compete somewhere or you can convert with their suit as I have some values.



              P-P-X                10xx Axx xx ♣KQxxx


They are vul , you are not with partner opening 1 & they make a T/O double. You play 1NT as a transfer to clubs so how do you show an old fashioned good 1NT bid just under a redouble ? This is the pass and D.S.I.P. double sequence. ♠xx xxx Axxx ♣KQxx  1-X-P-2



            On these auctions , opener will like her hand if she is short in their suit & make a D.S.I.P. double herself or bid to compete. If she has their suit or a defensive hand she will pass as you have shown nothing as responder. A double by responder now caters to that eventuality. If responder bids at the one level & subsequently doubles , it also obviously D.S.I.P. as you did not redouble or choose a double over their conventional bid.


            A direct double of a conventional bid or a redouble should setup forcing pass theory for one round. If you have values but not strong enough to turn on forcing pass theory , you should choose the pass & subsequent double route. ♠xx AQxxx Kxxx ♣xx  1-2NT-P-3♣  

P-P-X     You are not quite strong enough to

double2NT going in,  which should setup a forcing auction. The pass & D.S.I.P. double should not get you into too much trouble. A direct double of 3♣ by partner is D.S.I.P. opposite a passing partner so what is she supposed to do with a good hand with clubs ? She waits for your D.S.I.P. double or pass. Just like negative double theory , protect partners penalty double.


            The opponents interfering over your NT brings out the concept of pass followed by a double. If you want to double them for penalty,  you should double immediately to broadcast your intent. Passing first & waiting until they have found their spot brings out the D.S.I.P. double. 1NT-2♣*-P-2  

P-2-X-P   is scattered values saying

lets compete somewhere unless you have a partnership agreement that this sequence is penalty. When you play a double as systemic ( eg Stayman) , a pass & double is penalty on one vulnerability – they are vul , you are not. On all other vulnerabilities , the double is D.S.I.P. so just leap to your 3NT game with their suit.


            What if they open an systemic bid like 2 as 4-4-4-1 11-15 HCP , or a precision 2♣ or a Flannery 2 ? In these auctions , balancing with a double does not exist. You should have your methods of entering the auction over these bids discussed so a pass & a subsequent double is penalty. Tonight playing with a tormentee the auction went vul vrs not 2( Flannery ) pass by my partner , 2 by them so around to my partner who doubled. I held x Qxxx K10xxx ♣10xx so what do you do ? This one is easy as you have 5 HCP’s but RHO did not even attempt a game try. You have a stiff spade so the spades around the table are 4-5-3-1 or 4-4-4-1 . I passed , we collected our 1100 as they were playing in partners 5 card suit with 18 HCP’s.