DOPI bridge bidding convention

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People have invented conventions for practically every eventuality. The DOPI bridge bidding convention is not for dummies and has nothing to do with one of the seven dwarfs. It is, however, one of the most practical conventions to deal with a real problem that may come up from time to time.

The DOPI bridge bidding convention is intended to overcome opponents’ interference during the process of a Slam try by asking for Aces, especially using the Blackwood 4 No-Trump convention.

Let’s say, for example, that the North partner bid 4 No-Trump to ask for Aces. But before the South partner could give his/her reply, the East opponent interfered with a 5 ♥s bid. East-West wasn’t vulnerable and the East (or West) opponent had earlier during the auction indicated with a pre-emptive bid that he/she had a long ♥ suit. East-West probably figured to go Down in that contract by 1, 2 or 3 tricks but even if it were doubled, it would probably be a good sacrifice since a vulnerable Game by North-South would be much more than the Down points at risk – and certainly more than the intended Slam, against which East-West might not have much defense. Now North-South is stuck. Let’s say South had one Ace, but he can no longer bid 5 ♦s (the correct response to his partner’s Blackwood bid), because that bid has already been bypassed with the opponent’s interference bid of 5 ♥s.

The answer to the problem is the DOPI convention. If the responder to the 4 NT asking bid has 0 Aces, he/she doubles the interference 5 ♥s bid. If he/she has 1 Ace, he/she passes. (The responder is unlikely to have more than 1 Ace, but in some partnership agreements double means 0 or 2, and pass means 1 or 3.)

So it’s D(ouble)0, P(ass)I – that’s how you get the acronym-like term “DOPI” for the convention.

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