D.S.I.P. Theory


            Give me that “old time religion” . I yearn for the days of Bridge where bidding was designed to mean something other than just disrupting the opponents bidding. Openers now mean nothing , overcalls at the one level or 2 level is just shooting dice & pre-empts are virtually suicidal. These bidders prey on the lack of methods designed to counter – act these “terrorist tactics” . Partnership Bridge takes a beating also. If partner gets “blown up” also it is deemed “collateral damage”. The following theory in an attempt by me to level the playing field.


In my Bridge experience , the worse partnership disasters are those that occur with confusion over penalty doubles. Bridge bidding is a language. A language that allows ambiguity i.e. two different meanings for the same word is confusing so often leads to misunderstandings. Same with the penalty double in Bridge . You can make a penalty double with a majority of HCP’s or a trump stack in their suit. How is partner to know the difference ? The answer is that he can not , so this often leads to disaster. Pulling doubles in competition  becomes a precarious gamble based on this ambiguity . If you do not pull doubles , they often make their doubled contract or you can make a vul game or slam but the penalty extracted nowhere compensates. Actually the advocates of trump stack doubles get annoyed when partner does make a penalty double based on HCP’s alone . I do not blame them , as these doubles should be pulled more often then not . What compounds the problem is that people compete more now so non trump stack doubles are being invented to combat this “invasion of privacy” .


            My answer to this dilemma is make all penalty doubles “trump stack” doubles or none of them in competitive auctions where forcing pass theory does not apply. With modern bidding using the “law of total tricks “ with the propensity to up the level when they have a good fit , I strongly feel that the trump stack double is the one to become  extinct when used as the initial action. It is far more useful to have the penalty double just based on HCP’s & convey the message of Do Something Intelligent Partner or D.S.I.P.  Trump stack penalty doubles only occur by converting partners double or doubles later in the auction. Bad decisions in competitive auctions are the norm . Confusion with penalty doubles certainly does not help. D.S.I.P. theory & Forcing Pass theory brings some much needed structure to all competitive auctions. Having duplication of value in their suit come down in the dummy is the most disappointing aspect of competitive bidding. Having a method to identify this duplication will have enormous benefit in competitive decisions. Present penalty doubles do not do the job adequately as there is ambiguity re duplication of value in their suit(s). The standard interpretation of a pass in competitive auctions (where you do not own the hand )  does not have the superb understanding of a forcing pass . A forcing pass simply means no duplication of value or quick losers in the enemy suit. However,  this understanding is limited to auctions where you obviously own the hand.


            In my mind anyway , the trump stack penalty double destroys the concept of competing. In a competitive auction after partner bids again, this 2nd bid introduces ambiguity. Is partner just competing on distribution or does she have values ? Maybe she is making an advance sacrifice against their “cold” +140 ?  Do you punish her by competing again possibly driving them to a makeable game or go for a set ? Do you pass & miss a game yourself when she did have extra values ? The answer is simple. Remove the trump stack double from competitive auctions as the initial double. The first double shows a good hand with quick tricks for defense. Eric Kokish calls them “transferable values” .


            Necessity is the mother of invention. One of the hands that got me seriously thinking how silly it is to consider all penalty doubles as “trump stack” doubles was a hand I had an argument with my ex partner Peter Jones a staunch proponent of all doubles should be of the “trump stack” variety. I sent the hand around to people whose views I respected so an answer came back from Gordon Campbell . He suggested that this particular double on our auction was a D.S.I.P. double therefore partner is encouraged to pull the double depending on his hand.  Ambiguous bids in Bridge can be interpreted the same as ambiguous words in a natural language. You can deduce the meaning of the bid or word  depending on the context” in which the word or bid was used. Gordon implied that the penalty double in this particular auction was a  DSIP double as opposed to a trump stack double. Another understanding that spurred me on to thinking that trump stack doubles had to go was the “green light” understanding. By failing to make a trump stack double in a competitive auction , this somehow gave partner permission to bid again . This is outright stupid & single handed. Most of the time the double just allowed declarer to make his contract or force partner to pull the double as he did not have exactly as advertised .You end up go for a number in your contract. This way of thinking is fine at the 5 level or higher because at these rarified levels you can have them beat in your own hand with their trump. D.S.I.P. theory converges with trump stack doubles at these very high levels.


            Another reason for eliminating the trump stack double is to rid Bridge of the “bidding cop” . This is the annoying partner who wants to punish bad bidders with his penalty doubles because he does not like the sound of the bidding in a competitive auction or just to announce his trump stack. Quite often this leads to disaster as they make the contract mainly because he is locating cards & trump. He makes a single handed decision for the partnership in competition without input from partner.  Trump stack penalty doubles are one the most single handed actions in Bridge so detracts from the partnership element of the game of Bridge.


Still another reason for eliminating trump stack doubles from your system is the IMP scale itself. The IMP scale taxes your big winnings so to speak. As an example , say your good bidding partners are in 2 making for +110 . The opponents bid & play badly in 4 at your table so you collect +300. You win 410 or  9 IMPS. Say you double them at your table and knowing the  trump situation they play it better for –500  or they just go for –800. The 800 added to your partners +110 is 910 or 14 IMPs which is only a gain of 5 IMPS. The 500 added to 110 is 610 or 12 IMPS. You are only gaining 3 or 5 IMPS for your trump stack penalty double !  Not worth it in my opinion for the advantage of playing DSIP doubles.


            Another reason for D.S.I.P. doubles is the variability & ambiguity of bids in Bridge including Q bids . Openers are getting lighter & lighter , so there is a huge variance in defensive values there. Overcalls vary quite drastically in strength as do takeout doubles , negative doubles , re-opening doubles,  responses & systemic toys. With this variability how can one partner judge that a trump stack penalty double is warranted ? If partner is minimum ,  they will probably make the contract . If he pulls he will not like your duplication of value therefore he gets doubled in his contract. D.S.I.P. theory lets the partnership decide by allowing partner to make a D.S.I.P. double with his good defensive hand so you can safely convert with your trump stack. No guessing or pulling of trump stack doubles required.  This treatment is good insurance against a doubled contract making. Instead of being afraid to make a trump stack double in case partner is light for his values you just pass thereby finding out by letting partner double with good defense. This part of D.S.I.P. theory is quite similar to negative double theory except partner is not obligated to double. D.S.I.P. theory prevents bad penalty doubles by trigger happy partners. Penalty doubles are shown by trapping & putting the green card on the table unless partner has made a non pass. D.S.I.P. doubles define your Q bids. You always double to show a good hand with no fit so Q bids can always show a fit for partners suit. D.S.I.P. doubles prevent rescuing the opponents from bad spots & allows your side more freedom to compete without partner punishing you by doubling the opponents. If she does make a trump stack double,  she is doing it at her own risk after you have just competed.


            Another justification for D.S.I.P. doubles is protecting against a tactic by opponents trying to steal your hand based on their good trump fit or just straight overbidding . They know the law of total tricks so they try to buy the contract when you have the preponderance of HCP’s . The weapon of choice against these tactics is the penalty double to tell your partner that you have the balance of power. These balance of power doubles are D.S.I.P.


            The 2Nd double in Bridge is defined as D.S.I.P. & not trump stack penalty. If partner makes a takeout double followed by a 2nd double he is just showing the upper range of his previous double , not a trump stack in the opponents suit. If he makes a negative double , doubles again it is not trump stack but showing a maximum for his previous bids. If you overcall followed by a double , it is not a trump stack but showing a good hand in the D.S.I.P. way. No ambiguity in these auctions as trump stack doubles do not exist as the initial action.


            Reading between the lines for the meaning of penalty doubles in a particular auction  is fine but ambiguity still leads to disasters. I decided to see if “trump stack doubles” can be completely eliminated from the bridge vocabulary in competitive auctions when used as the initial bid. I did some research & I discovered the most World Class players already hold this view . Garozzo in his system called Ambra has a very narrow definition of trump stack penalty doubles. These doubles are virtually extinct in his system. As much as I dislike testimonials to prove the validity of Bridge theory , I will make a few exceptions. The following is from the convention cards of world class players. MeckwellNegative X's at lower levels, Card-showing X's at more cramped” . Soloway-Hamman “Frequent non-PEN DBL;”  Shmurski-Puczynski  Frequent non-PEN DBL,”   and most of the others I examined  played non penalty type competitive doubles. The Bridge World has circumvented the issue for decades. Quoting one Master Solvers director “Doubles corrupt , and absolute doubles corrupt absolutely”. Panel members for years say “I like action doubles or they say if we play competitive doubles in this situation I double “ . Nobody ( until now) advocates throwing out trump stack doubles completely as the first bid in all actively competitive auctions where you do not own the hand. Eric Kokish feels that a double in high level competitive auctions should be interpreted just like a forcing pass when you do own the auction. My sentiments exactly. Pass – double inversion.


            The original inventers of Bridge had penalty doubles to show a trump stack in the opponents suit. Changing this concept in competition needs a constructive framework. Forcing pass theory has a special meaning of pass & double to conform to the situation where you own the auction with the opponents sacrificing.  Borrowing a page from forcing pass theory , we define D.S.I.P. theory to apply in all competitive auctions up to any level ( 5 level excluded)  where we do not own the hand. There is an added requirement in that it must be a “competitive” auction with both sides still bidding.  As in forcing pass theory , we can now redefine the meanings of double and pass. Also an attitude adjustment is needed to play D.S.I.P. double theory . Instead of never pulling my penalty doubles , the new theory says “please pull my penalty doubles” unless you have a reason to convert. This re-definition of a penalty double is the basis of D.S.I.P. theory . A double in competition is a far too useful & versatile a bid to waste as showing a trump stack in the opponents suit. In fact  , a D.S.I.P. double is equivalent to a forcing pass when you do own the auction. A D.S.I.P. doubles means , I prefer to bid again but I will abide by your decision partner.


            Since Bridge is played in a clockwise direction means that one partner may have to act before the other partner gets a chance to make a penalty double in a competitive auction. Quite often bad bidders are rescued by your own partner , who bids before you get a chance to make the correct choice of bids i.e. a penalty double. Similar to the framework of forcing pass theory ,  we have a new meaning for the penalty double in direct competition. The double means that you want to bid but you have defense so you defer the decision to partner in case he has a trump stack . This means partner can never “get in your way” if a penalty double was coming up. If partner was going to pull your penalty double anyway , he is allowed to bid . The pass is defined differently from forcing pass theory. The pass means I want to defend so I could possibly have a trump stack in their suit.. This way , as in forcing pass theory , both partners have input into the decision. This takes the single handed penalty double away from the partnership. Remember you can not have it both ways. Sometimes opponents bid badly in competitive auctions so you are looking at a juicy trump stack penalty double. Take your fix & put the green card on the table. Should D.S.I.P. theory even apply before the 5 level after game has been bid ? Yes it should because of the clockwise order of the game of Bridge. The D.S.I.P. double prevents pseudo sacrifices so that alone is worth its weight in gold.


            You must know Forcing Pass theory with the auctions that turn on forcing passes to use D.S.I.P.  theory effectively. You have to switch back & forth from the two “modes” depending on whether you own the auction or not in competitive auctions. Forcing pass theory takes precedence over D.S.I.P. theory. D.S.I.P. theory applies in the pass out chair also . You still have to ask partners permission with a double if you want to bid. He could have a trump stack over there which caused him to pass. Instead of the simplistic meaning of  a penalty double suggesting that the opponents can not make a hand & the scoring change accordingly , penalty doubles are redefined into two classes. Doubles when you own the hand & those made when you are competing. There is a 3rd doubling “mode” in the game of Bridge. This is where the auction dictates that the opponents own the hand or bid their contract to make. A double in these auctions is still D.S.I.P. saying I have defense but I would like to bid again as a sacrifice. This treatment is way better then the old “double/undouble” as the doubler should have them close to booked in quick tricks. Partner having a say in the proceedings may prevent pseudo sacrifices which is one of the worst Bridge calamities.


            D.S.I.P. doubles at high levels take over after the levels that negative doubles cover right up to and including 4. Always keep in mind though these D.S.I.P. doubles at this level still imply that we do not own the hand . If we do own the hand , of course , forcing pass theory is in effect and penalty doubles are used to discourage partner from further bidding. D.S.I.P. doubles are the default when forcing pass theory does not apply . Trump stack doubles are permitted only in tightly defined situations where we are not competing actively. Normally D.S.I.P. theory applies if the opponents have given us a chance to find a fit .If we have not had a chance to show a fit , A D.S.I.P. at high levels  or in non-fit situations are card showing as opposed to I want to bid in your suit. If we have shown a fit earlier , a double says I want to bid again no matter how high the level ( below the 5 level).


            Judging “duplication of value” is a huge part of Bridge . Splinters were invented to discover duplication of value and they are very successful. Duplication of value in the opponents trump suit is a disaster in competitive auctions . In order to have full weight to your singleton in their suit , partner must not have any values there. Without DSIP theory you just have to guess and if you are wrong disaster strikes as the double minus occurs. D.S.I.P. theory ,  by having the double show no duplication of value in the opponents suit & wanting to take offensive action  ,  allows partner to pass the double when he has values in their suit. No guess work at all. D.S.I.P. doubles can be thought of as “check back” doubles. Do you have duplication in their suit or not ? If not , you must bid in most cases. Another way of thinking D.S.I.P. doubles is that they are transfers. You transfer the penalty double decision to partner as you have announced your hand. Announcing your hand is & should be the basis of all penalty doubles.


            A D.S.I.P. double can be thought of as asking partners permission to make a bid . Like forcing pass theory, the D.S.I.P. double brings in a joint partnership decision to a penalty double. Trump stack doubles are single handed actions . D.S.I.P. doubles are not as you get partners approval to bid or convert for penalty. The worst platitude in Bridge was “do not pull my penalty doubles”. D.S.I.P. doubles are based on all penalty doubles are to pulled unless partner wants to convert for penalty. Since pulling doubles is a common practice playing this theory its best to use Lebensohl at high levels when doing so. Pulling the double to 4NT first forces partner to bid 5♣ and your bid shows little or no values. A direct pull means you think you can make the contract so slam is a possibility. Judgment is required in converting D.S.I.P. doubles for penalty. This judgment is a thorough understanding of that factors that make a hand good for defensive purposes. Like in negative double theory , you have an obligation to bid partners possible trump stack double. If you have the defensive tricks , by all means re-open with a double in competitive situations.


            D.S.I.P. theory is a tool to combat the opponents pre-empts. These  nuisance bids work better  then they should because they exploit the ambiguity of penalty doubles. Wrong decisions are made time after time because the ambiguity of trump stack vrs HCP’s doubles muddle the decision making process. Throwing out trump stack doubles in these auctions simplify matters. Negative doubles & D.S.I.P. doubles blend right up to the 5 level when dealing with pre-empts. There are no direct trump stack doubles of pre-empts at any level .


            D.S.I.P. doubles are a new tool . Depending on vulnerability conditions do not “hang’ partner by overusing the double. Give him some leeway. Free bids are an old concept which I feel have no merit in the modern game. With light distributional openers , you trap yourself by not bidding & informing partner the nature of your hand. I advocate just bidding so if you do have a genuine free bid , make a D.S.I.P. double later in the auction to convey your extra values. D.S.I.P. doubles are competitive doubles. The D.S.I.P. double means you are “serious” when you are competing. The corollary is that bidding again means that you have just paid your card fees so it is not conveying any messages to partner. The negative inference that you did not make a D.S.I.P. double gives you a lot of freedom in competitive auctions.


            When Bridge was invented , it was thought that a 2NT bid in competition would be useful to show a flat hand in the invitational HCP range . In modern bidding that meaning has virtually disappeared. 2NT is used as Lebensohl , scrambling , or a two suiter . Ok. How do you describe the old fashioned 2NT hand  ? The D.S.I.P. double replaces the 2NT bid if possible. D.S.I.P. & the good-bad 2NT convention is a good mix. When the opponents compete to the 2 level in the sandwich position , 2NT is useful to show the difference between competing & making invitational bids. The “good” is bidding directly & the “bad” is bidding 2NT.


            There are still auctions where the trump stack double applies. If your partner pre-empts with a weak 2 , 3 or 4 or a systemic toy like unusual 2NT or Michaels then trump stack penalty doubles still apply. This is especially so if partner of the pre-empt makes a systemic forcing bid saying “we own the hand”.  There is one exception to that statement though. When partner joins the party by supporting partners suit either by supporting the pre-empt directly or implied with a lead director , a double is now D.S.I.P.  Jump to games or pre-emptive jump raises are auctions where trump stack doubles still apply ( essentially they are pre-empts).  You do not want partners input into a D.S.I.P. decision as he has already done so. If the auction is clearly a misfit auction you probably would not make a D.S.I.P. double as there is no safe resting place. The forcing 1NT auctions is an exception to the misfit auction treatment. D.S.I.P. doubles apply in those auctions. When the opponents balance, I feel trump stack doubles still apply if the doubler is over the suit . Balancing is a gamble so there is definitely a win lose proposition. If you lose it can be very costly. Another situation where trump stack doubles still apply is trapping & exposing psyches. When you are stacked in the opponents suit it is best to pass and see if they get into hot water. When that happens there are doubles that are of the trump stack variety. D.S.I.P. doubles are defined only when you compete. When you drop out of the auction and subsequently double it is of the trump stack variety. D.S.I.P. doubles are competitive doubles defined when you are directly competing . Competitive doubles previously were defined for very narrow auctions ( just when you and opponents are raising each others suits ) . D.S.I.P. theory builds on competitive doubles. In a nutshell , D.S.I.P. doubles are competitive doubles where a double means you want to bid with defense , a direct bid says you want to compete without defense and pass just means I want to defend. There is no room for a trump stack double with these understandings until later in the auction..


            D.S.I.P. doubles apply with initial actions only in competitive auctions. What about subsequent doubles in a competitive auction after a few rounds of bidding ? These doubles are obviously penalty as you have already made a D.S.I.P. double or a bid and partner is aware of the situation. You do not make a 2nd D.S.I.P. double after you already have the information needed to make a penalty decision. Penalty doubles are still made in competitive situations but after partner has already contributed to the decision making process.


            The strong NT & defending against the weak or strong NT brings in D.S.I.P. theory. When the opponents overcall your strong NT ,  D.S.I.P. doubles are in effect. Negative doubles at the two level are not useful in my opinion. 2NT is usually used as a relay or transfer so what replaces that bid ? A D.S.I.P. double fills the gap nicely. I like penalty doubles to remain on one vulnerability – they are & we are not. As the strong NT is the corner stone of your system ,  it is important to know when Forcing Pass theory & D.S.I.P. theory applies. When your side doubles a weak NT or a strong NT and they run,  D.S.I.P. doubles apply. This is because partner quite often rescues the opponents before the original doubler can double them for penalty. A common D.S.I.P. theme.


            There is a situation when negative doubles turn into D.S.I.P. doubles . This occurs when the opponents pre-empt at the 3 level either in the direct or sandwich position. This D.S.I.P. double has a special name  “Thrump Doubles” as Marty Bergen invented the bid. The D.S.I.P. double just shows cards or a long suit so asks partner to bid 3NT with a stopper in their suit.


            Re-opening doubles are a class of D.S.I.P. doubles. If within the range covered by negative doubles , re-opening doubles are just hands that you would have otherwise left in a penalty double. In other words , you have cards and no fit with partner. Out of the negative double range , re-opening doubles are still D.S.I.P. as they just show defense and are not “take-out bids” per se. Even in NT auctions I play re-opening doubles as D.S.I.P. and the over/under rule applies.


            Expert players know that doubling the opponents freely bid slams is a bad strategy. If you are not in the auction ,  the double is lead directing. If you or your partner has been in the bidding &  you are not on lead your double is D.S.I.P. asking partners permission to sacrifice. This is only at the slam level so is similar to the old double/undouble that was in vogue years ago.


            D.S.I.P. doubles assist in your balancing auctions . After balancing , a double can help you compete or allow partner to convert for penalty if they re-enter the auction . Balancing is an art form & making a belated D.S.I.P. double can give partner an indication of the strength of your hand. . Penalty doubles still exist when partner makes a balancing double. This is just due to the nature of the beast that the bid shows shortness in their suit.


            Action doubles are a subset of D.S.I.P. doubles. These doubles want you to take some action even after you have may have pre-empted ! You do not want to sell out so you double to show that you have more defense than announced previously so partner take some action.


            D.S.I.P. doubles can occur after your competitive tools such as weak two’s , unusual NT and Michaels bids. If partner had a chance to make a forcing bid like 2NT and did not , D.S.I.P. doubles can apply. When partner is a passed hand and partners makes a pre-emptive weak 2 or higher , D.S.I.P. doubles apply.


            Systemic toys that you use to disturb their NT  , Michaels Q bids and Unusual NT can all benefit from D.S.I.P. theory. These bids vary depending on the vulnerability and since they announce suits and are variable in strength , D.S.I.P. doubles are necessary to announce the strength and competitive intentions. With the proper vulnerability a D.S.I.P. double can give partner the option to sacrifice or convert for penalty. This action is even applicable after they have reached 3NT after a strong NT opener by them. These bids and their T/O double bring out the concept of “pass & double” . In almost all these sequences except one defined by them being vulnerable and you not , the double is D.S.I.P.  You should announce your intentions by redoubling or doubling their systemic toy to turn on forcing pass theory for penalty doubles.


            Conventional doubles like  negative , support , responsive & maximal doubles are all “disciplined” or conventional D.S.I.P. doubles. They are not penalty but convey a specific meaning. D.S.I.P. doubles can blend in with negative doubles & support doubles for difficult hands . Finding a 5-3 major fit after a negative double is a difficult auction. D.S.I.P. doubles  are competitive doubles that can be used as “game try” doubles showing specifically 3 trump and limit raise values. This frees the Q bid that shows limit raise or better values to show 4 trump if limit raise values and 3 or more with “better” or forcing to game values.


            Do not forget that D.S.I.P. doubles do not necessarily show flat defensive hands. The double can be made on wild distributional hands as long as there are defensive tricks available. In order to get a feeling for the new concept of DSIP doubles , it is helpful to discuss them in the context of all competitive situations in bridge where a penalty double might occur.


·        Takeout Doubles

·        Opening Bids

·        Game Bids

·        Overcalls

·        Jump Overcalls

·        Sacrifices

·        Pre-empting

·        Q Bids

·        Belated Doubles



            Bridge was played for decades before HCP’s were invented. Culbertson advanced the idea of “honour tricks” or quick tricks for evaluating an opening hand. Even with HCP’s introduced , the notion of quick tricks never left the requirement for an opening bid. Defensive quick tricks and D.S.I.P. doubles are a good marriage. HCP’s get eliminated by distribution but quick tricks are eradicated way less often. What is the defensive requirement for a D.S.I.P. double ? I feel this requirement should me measured in quick tricks and if made by the opener or overcaller should be within ½ of a trick of booking their contract. If the double is by responder , the double should be maximum for their bid but measured in quick tricks.


This D.S.I.P. theory is not set in stone yet. My regular partners Tom Gandolfo , BJ Trelford & I are still working out treatments. Dr. Stan Cabay is assisting us in pointing out contradictions or asking pointed questions. Stan sent in some sample hands from the recent Cavendish tournament. We are building up an archive of hands that occur which re-enforce D.S.I.P. theory.


The name D.S.I.P. for these doubles I got from a Calgary bloke named Gordon Campbell. Many people have objected to the I in the acronym . Knowing that partners are mere humans do something intelligent may not always be the case. Some of us brainstormed to find alternative meanings for the “I”. What is in a name ? If I had a chance to rename these competitive doubles, I would call them check back doubles. You are checking back with partner to get the OK to compete again.


Trump stack penalty doubles have been around since the beginning of Bridge. Why rock the boat and subscribe to D.S.I.P. theory ? In a word, because it’s a better way to use the penalty double in competition. During the 1980’s and 1990’s experts were defining more and more auctions where trump stack doubles do not apply. Until D.S.I.P. theory , nobody took the final step of declaring trump stack penalty doubles extinct in competitive auctions as an initial action and coming up with a new meaning for the double & pass. Forcing pass theory works because both partners contribute to the final decision in forcing auctions. D.S.I.P. theory works for the same reason in competitive auctions. D.S.I.P. theory is a subset of Forcing Pass Theory but for auctions where forcing pass theory does not apply !  D.S.I.P. brings the partnership into the decision making process for penalty doubles. Wrong decisions in competition are “match breakers”. Double partial swings , double game swings , double slam swings & pseudo sacrifices are the big ticket items. Experts have been moving away from “trump stack doubles” for decades. I feel the time has come to put competitive doubles in a structure similar to forcing pass theory.  Having this structure  to assist in these auctions is a must have for established partnerships. Penalty doubles ( trump stack) , like the dinosaur , are becoming extinct as an initial action. Good riddance …


A disclaimer for all the D.S.I.P. theory above. The concept was invented for IMPS or very good fields in Match Points. D.S.I.P. theory and weak match point fields are not a good mix. Borrowing a page from the instructional books for dummies series , I have tried to simplify the theory in D.S.I.P. Doubles for Dummies .  The knock against D.S.I.P. doubles is that they are “transfer bids” . They transfer the blame to partner. This is true but you arm partner first with information based on defensive tricks and lack of HCP’s in their suit. Partner is better placed to make the final decision. If it does not work out , blame the card gods.


Converting to D.S.I.P. theory is not easy. Old habits are hard to break . In our Bridge “puppyhood” we remember many telephone numbers we have inflicted on the opponents because of single handed penalty doubles. However,  could you have got the same result by converting partners D.S.I.P. double ?  But you must realize , how many of these numbers were accumulated against good opponents in top level IMP games ? I would hazard a guess , not too many. These is no free lunch in Bridge. You must give up something to get something back . Justifying a new theory or converting to a new way of thinking needs to pass the test of time. So far in my partnership , there is no need to turn back the clock. 


Bob Crosby