Saturday, March 05, 2005 7:49 PM

Hand Evaluation - The 3rd Case




            Action doubles have been around since the 1970’s . These are D.S.I.P. doubles as you want partner to take some action rather than blindly pass when they own the hand . All doubles in Bridge apply in 3 cases . You own the hand , nobody owns the hand ( competing)  & the 3rd case is where they own the hand.  In other words “do something intelligent partner” when its their hand from the bidding. These “action doubles” were defined as a double where the partner was not generally expected to bid again since they own the auction. In the old days , the pre-empters were supposed to have a trump stuck but not anymore.


            The 3rd case of D.S.I.P. doubles to avoid pseudo sacrifices were attempted years ago by a convoluted system called doubles/undoubles. One hand would double in any position saying they had no defensive tricks but worse still they forced the issue by an obligation to double when they were sacrificing. This turned out to be totally unworkable so it eventually fell into disuse except at the slam level. The 3rd case of D.S.I.P. doubles is different from this undouble theory. Yes , it is their hand but the double shows defense  measured in transferable quick tricks. The double means I want to take a single handed sacrifice , but I want to transfer the final decision to you. A much saner approach as it takes out insurance against pseudo sacrifices.


            Sometimes you enter their 2/1 or Jacoby auction with an exceptional distributional hand. They reach their game contract so you double. It is their hand , so thinking you can beat it in your own hand is silly. Your double is not lead directing nor a trump stack penalty double. The double means partner I want to create some action by bidding again . However, just in case it is a horrible mistake on my part , I am giving you the option to nix my request. I do have some defense , if you wish to convert.  Do not forget that it is their hand though. A double by partner of the bidder when its obviously their hand , suggests a sacrifice but with some doubts as I have defense also. You make the final decision.  




 P-X-P-?     Partner has ♠x Kxxxx J10x ♣Axxx  so she want to suggest a 5 sacrifice,  rather than actually do it. This is not the old double/undouble but similar as you want to bid again . Sacrifices are no longer single handed.


            Playing with Tom Gandolfo against Peter Jones & Stan Cabay , we were not vul vrs vulnerable. Stan opened 1 , I overcalled 2 with ♠Q KJ1098x Axx ♣Axx  , Jones doubled. Tom passed , Stan bid 2 which brought about a vul 4 by them. I made a 3rd case D.S.I.P. double ( they own the hand) . I assume they can make their 4 game so a nv sacrifice might be OK. I do not want to bid single handedly so I take out insurance by doubling.  I want to transfer the decision to partner who may hold ♠J1098 of spades or something similar & nix the request. Tom held ♠xxx xxxx J10x ♣Qxxx so bid 5 which got doubled & I went for 300. Our partners made +650 , so +8 IMPS did not hurt our cause.


            These doubles sometimes need you to trust the opponents and have vulnerability conditions in your favour.




  X    .        They are vul & competent players . I have shown 9 or more cards in the minors , so I want to sacrifice nv ( I can not have trump ) . You nix the bidding request because you have two trump tricks !! This hand was from the Bermuda bowl , the Italian bid 5♣ as a solo effort to sacrifice. –500 when 4 was unmakeable because partner had two trump tricks. Take out insurance by doubling seems to be better.


            At the slam level doubles/undoubles are in effect. These slams must be voluntary bid so very obvious to the table that they own the hand & have bid their slam to make. These doubles do not apply when they have been “pushed” to their slam by our competitive bidding. A double in that situation has the old fashioned meaning of I have a trump trick so do not bid partner. The D.S.I.P.. double at the slam level in 3rd case bidding is an “undouble” saying I have no defensive tricks so I am transferring the decision to sacrifice to you.  I am forcing the issue ,since you have been at the table it can not be penalty nor lead directing.


This double is an excellent tool to prevent pseudo sacrifices when the opponents voluntary bid a slam after partner has bid a suit or you both have.  In slams , it is folly to make a trump stack penalty double of a voluntary bid slam by the opponents. This assumption allows you to use D.S.I.P. theory similar to the double/undouble convention. Partner makes a bid of spades on the auction and you have ♠xxxxx void xxxx ♣xxxx ,  the opponents bid 6 . You make a D.S.I.P. double asking partners permission to sacrifice. Partner holds KQJ of hearts so says thanks but no thanks. It is here the D.S.I.P. & Double/Undouble theory merge.


There was a hand in Salt Lake City where the Canadian pair took a pseudo sacrifice in 6♠ doubled opposite a vul minor slam. The result was duplicated at the other table as the Italian pair also took out insurance by bidding.  One hand was ♠xxxx Axxxxx xx ♣x   , the other ♠AKQxx xx xxx ♣xxx . The Canadians found their spade fit early so when 6♣ was voluntary reached by the opponents ,  one partner made a single handed decision to sacrifice. D.S.I.P. theory was invented as a “transfer”  to avoid single handed decisions. In these kind of “obvious sacrificing” auctions , there is an obligation to double the slam if you want to sacrifice to tell partner to not count on him for any defensive tricks. Hence , a pass must show a defensive trick or better. Around to the AKQxx hand in the balancing spot so warned that partner may have a defensive trick,  he simply passes. There is no obligation to double their slam for penalty unless he has no defensive tricks himself.