Queensland Bridge Association - Laws Q & A

Law Questions and Answers
(* updated August 2017)

22. The presumed Declarer knows that his partner's response to Blackwood cannot be correct. Must he advise the opponents of this before the opening lead is faced?

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No. The opponents are not entitled to information deduced from the player's own hand eg that the player has 3 aces so partner cannot have two. Law 40 A3: A player may make any call or play without prior announcement provided that such call or play is not based on an undisclosed partnership understanding (see Law 40C1).

23. Must a board always be cancelled if it is discovered after the auction has begun that one player has 14 cards and another 12? *

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No. When the Director determines that a player's hand originally contained more than 13 cards with another player holding fewer, and a player with an incorrect hand has made a call: if the Director judges that the deal can be corrected and played, then the deal may be so played with no change of call. At the end of play the director may award an adjusted score. Otherwise when a call has been made with an incorrect number of cards, the Director shall award an adjusted score [see Law 12C1(b)] and may penalize an offender.

24. A defender leads to the next trick before his partner has played to the current trick. May declarer require the offender's partner to play the highest card of the suit led to the current trick? *

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Yes, this is one of declarer's 3 options. It is important to bear in mind that the options refer to the suit led to the current, incomplete trick and have nothing to do with the prematurely led card that is now sitting on the table as a major penalty card.
Law 57A: When a defender leads to the next trick before his partner has played to the current trick, or plays out of turn before his partner has played, the card so led or played becomes a major penalty card, and declarer selects one of the following options. He may:
1. require offender's partner to play the highest card he holds of the suit led, or
2. require offender's partner to play the lowest card he holds of the suit led, or
3. require offender's partner to play a card of another suit specified by declarer.
4. forbid offender's partner to play a card of another suit specified by declarer.

25. Is an established revoke on the twelfth trick rectified the same way as any other established revoke?

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No. Law 62D1: On the twelfth trick, a revoke, even if established, must be corrected if discovered before all four hands have been returned to the board. See also Law 64B6.

26. West has been asked to explain his partner's call but has forgotten its meaning. What may the director do?

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In this specific circumstance only, when there is a systemic agreement but it has been forgotten, the director may remove the forgetful one so that the person who made the call may give the systemic agreement. This method is not to be used when there is no agreement or to confirm that a given explanation is correct.

27. Is an agreement to open 1NT with 4441 shape hands and 15-18 HCP permitted under QBA Green System classification?

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No, a Green 1NT should be a balanced hand. This does not preclude individual assessment of some hands, e.g. a hand with a singleton honour or a weak longer suit. The subsequent bidding methods however, should not be able to identify such hand types.

28. North is on lead. She accidentally pulls two cards from her hand and puts them both on the table face up and visible. May she now choose which card he wishes to play regardless of her original intention?

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Yes. Law 58B2: If a player leads or plays two or more cards simultaneously:
2. If more than one card is visible, the player designates the card he proposes to play; when he is a defender, each other card exposed becomes a penalty card (see Law 50).

29. A player has not discussed the meaning of a call with a new partner and RHO opponent has requested an explanation. Must he say how he intends to interpret the call?

Show Answer (+/-)

No, in fact he should not do this. There are some subtleties to this situation. A player may not hide behind a literally correct response of "undiscussed" when he must surely know the meaning of the call through mutual experience or awareness.
On the other hand there may be genuine uncertainty eg 1NT (X) 2D. It would be wrong to say "I'm taking it to be natural" when the player simply doesn't know and it could just as likely be a transfer to hearts. Obviously he will have to guess one way or the other at his turn to call but "guesses" are not necessarily "the system".

30. A player fails to play a Major Penalty card at the first legal opportunity. May declarer accept the new card rather than the Major Penalty Card?

Show Answer (+/-)

Yes, in which case the major penalty card remains on the table. Law 52B1:
(a) If a defender has led or played another card when required by law to play a penalty card, declarer may accept such lead or play.
(b) Declarer must accept such lead or play if he has thereafter played from his own hand or dummy.
(c) If the played card is accepted under either (a) or (b) any unplayed penalty card remains a penalty card.



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