Saturday, June 25, 2005 7:09 AM

 D.S.I.P. - Take out




            Partner makes an overcall and then subsequently doubles . What does the double mean ? In the early days of Bridge , the answer was easy. The double now meant partner has some tolerence for the unbid suits so it is takeout. Some players like Peter Jones would play the double as a trump stack in their suit and penalty !  In this day and age of strong overcalls at the one level and two level  , the double as takeout has become extinct. Equal level conversion theory has also led to the demise of the double after overcalling being takeout. You would have already bent over backwards to make a takeout double initially if you had tolerance for the unbid suits. This is not a 2nd chance scenario where you are making up from your initial decision to overcall.


            A double after overcalling first just means I have lots of cards and is D.S.I.P.  The double takes on the D.S.I.P. meaning that I want to bid again in “my suit” but I am giving you the option of converting for penalty .  The D.S.I.P. double just means that I have defense and am further describing the strength of my overcall. It does not mean I have the unbid major and I want you to take it out. In fact , its just the opposite . It is very remote that I have tolerance for the unbid major or else I would have taken different action initially . A D.S.I.P. double is not a takeout double as it is promising “cards” not the unbid suits. If you do takeout a D.S.I.P. double to a new suit you are on your own as far as the suit is concerned but I can contribute help with HCP’s.


          A re-opening double in the pass out seat after an overcall is not for take-out. Again it just says I have cards and leaving the option open for penalty conversion of their contract. This style is just based on probability. We make strong overcalls as opposed to making off shape takeout doubles and we might have chosen to make a takeout double in the first instance. Having the double as now takeout puts the overcaller in a straight jacket and you miss many nice penalty conversions or miss an opportunity to get to game due to not describing the strength of your overcall. Bidding your suit again in the re-opening position is just that as you did not make a D.S.I.P. double.


          What if you double their game after making an overcall. Is it takeout , a trump stack penalty double or D.S.I.P. ??  Again the double should be D.S.I.P. as the opponents have jammed you out of the chance to show the strength of your overcall and you are asking partners permission to bid your suit.


          Here are some examples.


AKJxxx x KQxx Kx           1    and you overcall 1 , LHO bids 2 & partner passes and RHO bids 4.


          I have seen players single handily bid 4 here and hit partner with x QJ109 xxx QJ10xx . –500 your way instead of +800 your way . A double by you should be D.S.I.P. because you would not be bidding or doubling  with a trump stack in their suit. Partner will bid 4 or leave it in at her discretion. Say she had a hand too weak to bid 2 over 2 . Qxx xxx J109xx xx  is a hand that she will pull the double as cheap insurance and gets rewarded with +790 !!


          In IMPS , if you double a game after overcalling you want partner to do something intelligent which includes pulling your doubles.  x xx AKJx AKJ10xx    . Again you double 4 after overcalling 2♣ . 1-2♣-2-P  In other forms of Bridge you probably back in 4NT to say pick a minor. This is very single handed . Partner can have heart values , spade values , shortness in clubs and would love to play it in 4X . Why not pass the decision to partner with a double ? This is not a penalty double or you would have just quietly passed and just taken your plus. This is saying I want to bid 5♣ but because we are an established partnership , you can make the decision. A double of their major suit game does not mean you “forgot” to make a takeout double at a lower level . That is downright stupid ! The double should mean just the opposite. I overcalled with such a strong hand because  a flaw prevented me from making an original takeout double . Playing equal level conversion we can make off shape takeout doubles. The above auction should send a red flag message that I do not have the other major so D.S.I.P.