A stripe tailed ape double is a strategic double of an opposing game contract. The doubler actually expects that the opponents can make a slam, but hopes they'll settle for the smaller score of the doubled game contract.

Should the opponents redouble the contract, conventional wisdom recommends running like a "stripe-tailed ape" to a sacrificial contract.

Examples of the scoring difference between a doubled game contract (making an overtrick) versus a small slam:

Contract Vulnerable Result Score
5/-X Not vul. Made 6 650
6/ Not vul. Made 6 920

5/-X Vul. Made 6 950
6/ Vul. Made 6 1370

4/-X Not vul. Made 6 790
5/-X Not vul. Made 6 750
6/ Not vul. Made 6 980

4/-X Vul. Made 6 1190
5/-X Vul. Made 6 1050
6/ Vul. Made 6 1430


Example

The following deal comes from a team game during the 1997 ACBL Fall Nationals. It was originally reported by Phillip Alder, 1 now the New York Times bridge columnist.

Vul: None Dummy
T8543
QJT7542
West6East
K972--AQ6
--K
QJ72SouthK9543
KJ932SJ8754
HA9863
DAT8
CAQT6


At one table, the bidding proceeded as follows:

West

Dbl.
5
   North

4
6
   East

4
Dbl
   South
1
5
All Pass


6 made for +1210 for North-South. At the other table, East-West did not compete over 5, choosing instead to make a stripe-tailed ape double. Losing only -750 in 5-X was worth a 10-IMP swing.


Origins

The late American expert and bidding theorist John Lowenthal is credited with devising the stripe-tailed ape double.


References

1 Alder, Phillip (1997, November 05). Amherst Firecracker. Gadsden Times, p. B5.

See also

  • Lightner Double
    A lead-directing double of an enemy slam contract.

  • Negative Double
    A conventional double used by responder after opener starts the bidding with one-of-a-suit and the next player makes a suit overcall.

  • Optional Double
    A conventional double made after an opponent has opened the bidding with a preempt.

  • Responsive Double
    A conventional double used when partner makes a takeout double and the next player raises his partner's suit.

  • Snapdragon Double
    A conventional double by fourth seat after the first three players bid three different suits.

  • SOS Redouble
    A conventional redouble that asks partner to bid a new suit.

  • Support Double
    A conventional double used by opener after partner makes a suit response and the next player overcalls.

    Takeout Double
    A conventional double that asks partner to bid one of the unbid suits.

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