Tuesday, August 03, 2004 12:13 AM

 D.S.I.P. Balancing




          I originally thought that  D.S.I.P. doubles  should not be made when the opponents balance. Penalty doubles seem to be a better way of handling balancers who are taking a risk.  Since Bridge is played in a clockwise direction , I think that view can be modified . We can have our cake and eat it too.  When the opponents balance and we are behind the bid suit ,  a double is penalty otherwise all doubles are D.S.I.P. For example



P-2-X is penalty .



 P-P-X   is  a D.S.I.P. double. 


Why double when you were willing to play 1NT and your trump are on side for declarer ? That’s seems to be a recipe for disaster. However by making a D.S.I.P. double, the contract  might get converted now that partner knows you have some defense. If not converted  , we scramble for a partial.


          Do not forget that the opponents are taking a risk by balancing. Do not rescue them . Your first inclination should be to transfer the decision to partner if you can not make a penalty double. Playing D.S.I.P. doubles this way is like old fashioned Bridge. If you think they can not make it & you are behind them , you double. Partners double just shows cards as she is in front of the balancer.


          The 1NT bidder can get on the act also . If the bid is made to the left of the NT opener and the auction gets passed around to the 1NT opener ,  a double shows shortness and is for takeout. If the balancer is to the right of the NT opener ,  the double is penalty ( depending on partnership agreement) . Same rules if partner opens a minor and you respond 1NT . If you are in front of the balancer or overcaller  , the double is D.S.I.P.


 ex 1-P-1NT-2♠

 P-P-X   the double here is D.S.I.P. showing a max . 



P-2-X is for penalty. 



 P-2-P-P  X    should be D.S.I.P. and not a trump stack as you are in front of the suit. The hands do not fit well if you do have their suit ,  so a pass hoping for a plus would appear to be the percentage action.


          Another standard balancing auction is 1-P-2-P  P-3♣-X  which should be for penalty because partner is behind the clubs. 1-P-2-P  P-X- P-3♣  P-P-X you are in front of the club bidder so the double is D.S.I.P.  This makes sense as it is an important part of D.S.I.P.  double  is asking permission to bid again . If you are in front of a suit you want to compete in your suit or have partner convert because the trump is sitting behind the balancer. Partner did not want to double directly because he was not sure how strong defensively you were.


          If the opponents make a balancing double and either partner redoubles all bets are off. All doubles are now penalty in front of or behind the bidder it does not matter. If partner did not redouble , a double can be D.S.I.P. if in front of the suit bid. These auctions are more difficult as its hard to determine who has the suit , the bidder or the take out doubler.


          What if we balance and they bid are there any D.S.I.P. doubles ? Yes if a competitive auction ensues. D.S.I.P. doubles come into play. The over/under rule should apply. If we double behind the suit it is penalty . Do not forget there are two types of D.S.I.P. doubles. If we have already found a fit , it means “I want to compete again” . If we have no fit , the double is just “cards” tending more to penalty. 2-P-P-2    P-P-3-X  is D.S.I.P.   P-P-3-P   P-P-X is penalty ( cards ). Trump stack penalty doubles do not apply in competitive auctions.


 Mike Gamble brought up an interesting observation. When the T/O doubler doubles initially and then backs into our auction with a suit , we should define that bid as a balance and the over/under rule should apply. If we are behind the suit , the double is penalty. We had this common auction.



P-2♠-?                 The double should be a trump stack penalty double.