Saturday, August 14, 2004 11:02 PM


D.S.I.P. Vrs Support Doubles




There is a misconception that if partner shows 5 of a major in competition,  support doubles do not exist. Nothing can be further from the truth. Support doubles & redoubles are part of the "law of total tricks" . You can evaluate the defensive and offensive potential  of your hand better if you know you have a 5-4 fit as opposed to a 5-3 fit.


The auction goes 1-1-1-X   ?   Axx Axx AQxx xxx & the opponents double shows a heart fit. Over opponents artificial doubles showing a fit , support redoubles should apply. You make a support redouble and the opponents jump to 4 and around to you again. You have 31/2 defensive tricks and you would not mind if partner bids 4 so you make a D.S.I.P. double. What if you have a huge hand similar to the old fashioned redouble ?  The pass & double shows that type of hand.


Support doubles should be used in tandem with negative doubles as sometimes partner has a 5 card suit for a negative double. You hold xx KQx AKxxx Q10x and open 1. They overcall 1 , partner doubles and RHO raises to 2 . A support double to show 3 good hearts and wanting to compete is probably a good idea. Tom & I had a hand a while back that shows this support double in action. I held x Axxxx K10xxx xx and with everyone vul Tom opened 1 and RHO overcalled 2♣ . I doubled and LHO bid 3♣  bringing  a D.S.I.P. double from Tom . I did not think we had game , so with my stiff in his suit I passed and collected +200 . Wrong ,  4 was cold for +620.  If we change the D.S.I.P. double to a support double after all negative doubles , reaching 4 is rather simple. This changing a D.S.I.P. double to a support double  is only for auctions where partner may have a 5 card major for his negative double. When the opponents make a take out double , support doubles are quite frequent.  1-X-1-2♣  X  is  3 card support . If RHO bids 1NT is the double support or penalty ?  I think the conventional support double is more common than the times we would have a penalty double of a freely bid 1NT from the opponents.


The opponents use a Q bid to show a limit raise or better quite often . Why not reserve the double of their Q bid as a support double ?  The Q bid is in effect just raising their suit anyway . 1-1-1-2  X    shows 3 card spade support and 2 always shows 4 card support. How about combining negative doubles with support doubles again ? If partners negative double can have a 5 card suit , we double to show a good 3 card suit.  1♣-1-X-2♣  ?   xx KQx J10x AKxxx.


Do not forget that conventional doubles like support doubles are just a disciplined form of a D.S.I.P. double.