Friday, October 08, 2004 4:08 AM

Hand evaluation - Game Try Doubles




            D.S.I.P. doubles are competitive doubles . The double is defined as showing defense & wanting to bid again. A direct bid is just competing with a pass meaning I would rather defend. Taking a cue from Maximal Game try doubles , D.S.I.P. doubles in some instances can function as game try doubles. Have you ever heard partner lament “ well I bid again freely so why did you not bid game” .  This time , partner for competing had a nice hand with defense , so you made game. However , the last time he bid he was “just competing”  freely to push the opponents up so which hand does he hold this time  ? . Let the D.S.I.P. double suggest the difference in the two hands between just competing or serious game intentions. You can get to your game with a variety of hands with which you overcalled or balanced.


           The Maximal game try double uses the double by opener to suggest a game try if the opponents jam you out of your bidding room to make a natural game try bid. A D.S.I.P. double is more general so just shows a good competitive hand with defense. This gives the partnership information that can be utilized as a game try.  This understanding  frees the over worked Q bid to show limit raise or better to hands where partner has 4 trump with a good hand ( unless no interference of course ) . A limit raise hand  with only 3 trump can be described with a D.S.I.P. double in a competitive auction with two unbid suits. Of course 3 card support is more defensive than 4 card support so the Q bid with 4 card support helps in game try decisions. You lose a “responsive double” for the two unbid suits but I suggest a 2NT bid to describe these hands.


            Axxx Axx Q10xx ♣xx       With a heart opener & a spade overcall by partner,  this is an obvious 2 Q bid. Take away a spade and add some interference and I suggest a D.S.I.P. double or a “good bad 2NT” treatment .   1-1-2-?     Axx Axx Q10xxx ♣xx   doubling with this hand shows the limit raise values with 3 trump. A two spade bid is better defined  with the D.S.I.P. double in your repertoire as you will not be “heavy” with a simple raise. If you have 5-5 in the unbid suits so you want to make a responsive double , bid 2NT instead .    1-2♣-2-X    This double shows a 3♣ bid with 3 trump & limit raise values .  A 3 Q bid shows limit raise values or better with 4 trump.   Say you had ♠x KQxxx QJ10xx ♣xx  with the unbid two suits. Bid 2NT to describe these hands as a natural 2NT bid is virtually impossible in these auctions. To make 3NT you need a fit and a partner who  can double or Q bid. A western Q bid will get us to 3NT if it is there.


            Say you have a balancing auction where you might get to game . The auction goes 1 in third seat by the opponents, partner passes . Your RHO bids 1NT , partner balances 2♥ . Your RHO bids 3 so you hold this hand ♠A1098 Kxxx x ♣K10xx .  With 4 trump it is time to “punish the balancer” & bid 4 . What about with 3 trump with this hand ?  A1098 Kxx x ♣K10xxx  . A D.S.I.P. double is in order so the balancer looking at the vulnerable opponents passes with ♠xx Qxxxx AJ108 ♣Ax & the carnage ensues. Knowing partner only has 3 trump with his double helps in conversion for penalty decisions.


A simple overcall situation 1-1-2-?      Axx xx AQxx ♣1098x  make a D.S.I.P. double instead of Q bidding. With ♠Axxx xx AQxx ♣109x you should Q bid . This is the law of total tricks in action. Partner has ♠K109xx xx Kxx ♣AJx . plays a spade partial with the D.S.I.P. double but bids a vul game with the Q bid by partner. Hand evaluation has vastly improved for the overcaller  knowing that  4 trump is over there. Hard to bid hands are assisted with D.S.I.P. doubles. How many times have you had this

dilemma ? 1-2-2-?    xx Axx  K10xx ♣K10xx  or a whole range of invitational hands with 3 trump. You can not Q bid 3 to invite as you are in game so you bid a heavy 3 or worse jump to game which is supposed to be pre-emptive. You now can double to show your limit raise hand with 3 trump. Add another trump ♠xx Axxx K10xx ♣K10x , you have a 3 forcing to game bid.  Minor suit overcalls are assisted greatly with the D.S.I.P. double as Q bidding sometimes pushed the auction to 4 of a minor  ( beyond 3NT ) which may be too high. Knowing that partner has 4 trump will assist you in many competitive decisions if the opponents sacrifice or bid game.


            What if the opponents responds 1NT to your partners overcall ?  A D.S.I.P. double showing a limit raise with 3 trump makes a lot of sense as 1NTX could get converted. A Q bid showing 4 trump with a good hand should be standard.  A penalty double without a fit is a very rare hand indeed so not advisable unless to expose a psyche somewhere.  1-1-1NT-X   . The doubler holds ♠Kxx xx Axxx ♣KJ10x so his hand is described quite well  Converting for penalty can occur knowing partner has a fit for the overcall. With ♠Kxxx xx AxxKJ10x  Q bid 3as game is highly likely.


            If the opponents make a systemic pre-emptive jump raise to the 3 level its best to keep the double as responsive ( 3NT to play ) .  1-2-3-X  . Bidding game with a fit & a good hand is an obvious action. For the lower levels using D.S.I.P. doubles as game try doubles with 3 trump makes perfect sense to me .