Wednesday, April 30, 2003 12:29 PM

Subject: D.S.I.P. Theory

A reply to a Stan Cabay e-mail on D.S.I.P. doubles for review purposes ..

Stan , below I got from the net discussing the criteria ( from Karen Walker ) . I have written quite a few e-mails on the subject  . What Karen Walker says below makes perfect sense to me and it gets re-enforced over and over again in practice. I think partnerships the caliber of the Pitbulls should be up to handling these type of  doubles .

“Two-way, re-negative, action, informative, D.S.I.P.   . . .

It sometimes seems as if modern bidding systems have fallen in love with non-penalty doubles -- and that there are as many different names for them as there are competitive situations.

These doubles are used to send specialized -- and sometimes very subtle -- messages in specific types of auctions. One that's growing in popularity, but can be particularly difficult to handle, is the cooperative or D.S.I.P. double.

A cooperative double shows uncertainty about whether to declare or defend; it tells partner you have good defense if he wants to pass, and good offense if he wants to bid. As such, it sends the potentially risky message of  "do the right thing, partner".

In practice, however, D.S.I.P. doubles are used successfully by many partnerships. They can help you solve many bidding problems, but only if both partners are clear on the exact conditions.

Even though the D.S.I.P.  double isn't technically a convention, it should be treated like one. Just as with any new convention, you should define the types of auctions where it applies, and avoid the temptation of using one in an undiscussed situation.

One recommendation is to limit the use of D.S.I.P. doubles to auctions where:

Doubler has previously limited his hand in such a way that he couldn't be positive of beating the contract and

Doubler's partner will know there's a safe alternative to passing -- because the partnership has already bid and raised a suit, or because doubler has shown a two-suiter or one very long suit. “

It is obviously not a “trump stack” double given the previous competitive bidding

A double of their game after making a variable strength overcall and partner has taken no action


Subject: Tactics - D.S.I.P.




    Tactical bidding by the opponents bring in the element of judgment with penalty doubles . O.K. I am going to get up on my soap box here because I feel very strongly about this . In rubber bridge quite a few ( all ? )  of your partners lack judgment in penalty double situations. For them a platitude like " you never pull my penalty doubles" will earn you money in the long run  i.e. you do not have to trust them to use judgment that they  do not have . For a good partnership to have this understanding that "you never pull penalty doubles" is down right insulting .  Sometimes partner wants penalty doubles to be pulled . These type of doubles are called Do Something Intelligent Partner  and require partner to be at the table as well as using good judgment . Rote rules or platitudes just do not cut it when you are playing with your regular partner at expert levels.


    An example hand was a hand that I had with my ex partner on pulling penalty doubles . Mr. Jones had KQ void AKxxx 10987xx and opened 1D and LHO bid 2D and I doubled showing one or both of the majors and a good hand . RHO bid 4H and with the forcing pass element on and  "being at the table" that I could not have hearts I doubled so that partner could do something. I do not have diamonds or hearts ( unless opponents are suicidal ) so I must have spades and clubs so it is an easy pull to 5C with Peters hand . 5C makes and 4H doubled makes the other direction . This is not a tough hand . Gordon Campbell summed it up best with a touch of humour when I gave him the hand for his opinion ..


"Accordingly, he must Dble with many hands (with even more extras than the initial Dble showed) which are not necessarily penalty-oriented but are of the "we-have-lots-of-stuff-but-I-don't-have-a-clear-action" type of double.

My coined terminology is the DSIP Double. (Do Something Intelligent Partner)

And yes, Partner should not play like Rueful Rabbit - and muse on the existence of there being 16 Hearts in the deal, while he gurgles on his ginger bikky.

He does have to be at the table.

He should listen to the Opponents, as well as Partner.

I get very worried when they are too confident. "


        Another hand that involves the frustration when partner is not at the table and leaves in penalty doubles when they should be pulled .

The opponents are vul and you are not and you have Q109xxx Jxxx void xxx . Partner is a passed hand and RHO opens 1D and you make a non vul tactical bid of 2S . The opponents make a negative double ,  partner passes and LHO bid 3D and LHO bids 3NT and partner doubles . O.K. partner is a passed hand and is not doubling just because he has 12 pts or so . Partner is doubling on spades and a diamond stopper and around 10 pts. Looking at your hand this means that the opponents have close to 30 pts for their 3NT doubled. Your bid shows 5-10 HCP and you are no where near your bid , Do you leave the double in ? Do something intelligent partner means just that . Pull to 4S at the speed of lightning . Partner had Axx Q10xx K1098 xx for the double and 4S doubled goes for 300 or 500 depending on the defense. Adherence to the platitude that you never pull partners double gets you minus 1150 and you lose the knockout match by 2 IMPS !

    O.K. I held a hand last night with Tom against the Bartons  that I think the D.S.I.P. rule applies .

I held Ax xx AK KJ1098xx  with everybody vul . I opened 1C and Tom bid a spade and RHO bid 2C alerted to be a two suiter in hearts and diamonds and shortness in clubs . I felt like leaping to 4C but I did not want to go past 3NT so I bid 3C . LHO bid 3D and around to me again . O.K. one last desperate attempt at 3NT so I bid 3H which LHO doubled and Tom bid 4C . RHO bid 4D . I wanted to bid 5C very badly but why take such a single handed action ? I have 4D booked in my own hand and I am short in his spade suit so why not put partner in the picture with a D.S.I.P. double .

If partner holds Jxxxx x xxx Axxx    4D makes and 5C makes

If partner holds KQxx Jxx xx xxxx        4D goes for 500 and 5C goes for 500

If partner holds Jxxx Jxx xx Axxx           4D makes and 5C goes 1 down

    Partner must use her judgment depending on the club holding on these type of auctions. Platitudes like not pulling partners penalty doubles do not apply here . Partner wants you to pull with the appropriate hand !!