Tuesday, May 18, 2004 5:48 PM

Hand Evaluation - Trapping & Exposing Psyches




            There are auctions where the Do Something Intelligent Partner means just pass . These are belated  single handed doubles by partner where he could have made a takeout double or negative double at a lower level. The double later in the auction does not mean he suddenly woke up & found that he had a takeout double. These are non competitive auctions but partner makes an out of the blue double. One if the principles of  D.S.I.P. doubles is that you have a safe resting spot from the bidding , another is there has to be an element of competition. In these auctions , there is no safe bail out spot nor were we competing. These are not co-operative doubles. You just pass.


            These auctions of course are the result of  the “tactical” or bad bidding by the opponents. The opponents are vul & open 1 spade . I have ♠KQJ109 AK xx Axxx so I would rather trap vul than rescue them by bidding. RHO has a legitimate spade opener so they land in 3 spades. I now double. This is not D.S.I.P. because partner can have zero HCP’s in this auction so no where to go. What if RHO has made a blatant 1 spade psyche with a diamond  escape suit ?  Partner puts him in 4 spades so I double. He now bails to 5 diamonds so its obvious to all that he psyched. My pass is forcing so I pass the decision to partner to do something intelligent which includes bidding 5 spades.


            Common psyches are over a weak two/ pre-empt or after a takeout double at the one level.  2-x-2-x  is exposing a spade psyche so not a D.S.I.P. double. Even at the one level,  the auction goes 1-x-1-x   you have ♠xx AKxxx xx ♣Kxxx so you double to expose the psyche. If RHO did not psyche , he is in deep trouble anyway.


            Balancing doubles of their strong 1NT contracts are D.S.I.P. doubles in the co-operative sense. Leave it in with some values so pull otherwise. If you do not have a suit to pull,  bid 2♣ so we canl start a scramble .  1♣ by RHO , you have a club opener yourself . They are vul so you would rather trap than bid.  The auction continues



 P-X-P-P     So that double shows the club trap. Tom & I play 2as a takeout to the majors in those auctions. What if you make a belated double in a “live” auction i.e. in an auction that has not ended yet ? 



1NT-X-P-?    This double shows the unbid suits of hearts & clubs. If you want to double the final contract for penalty you must wait until the auction is over. Who knows maybe their next bid is 3NT !


A direct double of a strong 1NT is a co-operative double rather than a penalty double that I have 1NT beat in my own hand.  My hand shows a strong NT also or a hand too strong too overcall ,  so do something intelligent partner  The double is not an order too pass as I need your judgment to determine whether 1NT is really going down . We could bid a vul game or whatever. You need a control or around 6 HCP’s to leave the double in.  If they run , lets assume it is our hand so a direct double of their run out suit is D.S.I.P. With a trump stack you must pass & wait for a re-opening double to convert. If I hit you with nothing initially , make an automatic bail to 2♣ to start a scramble if you do not have a long suit.



Negative Double theory has an element of trapping involved. If you had a chance to make a negative double earlier but  you did not , all subsequent doubles are penalty.



 X-3♣-X   is clearly penalty as partner bypassed a negative double in the first instance. Trapping vrs D.S.I.P. is an interpretive decision to make at the table. D.S.I.P. theory needs partnership understandings but it is logic based. It’s a way of having an agreement for all your penalty double agreements not covered by forcing pass theory. This is another reason why D.S.I.P. theory should be for experts only.  Judgment is required to read the context of the auction. Not always easy.