Queensland Bridge Association - Laws Q & A

Law Questions and Answers
(* updated August 2017)

8. Must declarer play a card that has been detached from his hand just because an opponent has seen its face?

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No. Law 45C2: Declarer must play a card from his hand if it is (a) held face up, touching or nearly touching the table; or (b) maintained in such a position as to indicate that it has been played.

9. South is the presumed declarer however North tells East that it is his opening lead. East faces the D4. May South accept East's lead?

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No. Law 47E1: A lead out of turn (or play of a card) may be retracted without further rectification if the player was mistakenly informed by an opponent that it was his turn to lead or play. A lead or play may not be accepted by his LHO in these circumstances.

10. Declarer calls for "Queen" from dummy but there are two Queens. May either defender say which Queen is to be played?

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No. Except when declarer's different intention is incontrovertible, Law 46B3 applies. If declarer designates a rank but not a suit
(a) In leading, declarer is deemed to have continued the suit in which dummy won the preceding trick provided there is a card of the designated rank in that suit.
(b) In all other cases declarer must play a card from dummy of the designated rank if he can legally do so; but if there are two or more such cards that can be legally played declarer must designate which is intended.

11. A player sitting North in a matchpointed Mitchell movement accidentally learns that East on Board 7 holds the SAK. Can this board still be played at his table?

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Yes, by arrowswitching the board so that North holds the East hand. Law 16C2(a): If the Director considers that the information could interfere with normal play he may, before any call has been made: (a) adjust the players' positions at the table, if the type of contest and scoring permit, so that the player with information about one hand will hold that hand.

12. A player writes "3" then crosses it out and writes 1S. Is this OK?

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"3" is not a bid and therefore 1S is permitted. There is unauthorised information to partner possibly that the player looked to have been considering opening at the 3 level. Law 18A: A bid designates a number of odd tricks (tricks in excess of six), from one to seven, and a denomination. (Pass, double and redouble are calls but not bids.)

13. A player has clearly thought about his call for some time before passing. Does his partner have to pass? *

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No. Law 73D1: It is desirable, though not always required, for players to maintain steady tempo and unvarying manner. However, players should be particularly careful when variations may work to the benefit of their side. Otherwise, unintentionally to vary the tempo or manner in which a call or play is made is not an infraction. Inferences from such variations are authorised only to the opponents, who may act upon the information at their own risk. Law 16B1(a) and 73C also need to be considered: Any extraneous information from partner that might suggest a call or play is unauthorised. This includes remarks, a question, replies to questions, unexpected alerts or failure to alert, unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement or mannerism. (a) A player may not choose a call or play that is demonstrably suggested over another by unauthorised information if the other call or play is a logical alternative.
73C: When a player has available to him unauthorized information from his partner, such as from a remark, question, explanation, gesture, mannerism, undue emphasis, inflection, haste or hesitation, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, he must carefully avoid taking any advantage from that unauthorized information.

14. Both defenders have a major penalty card and one is to lead to the next trick. Must he lead his major penalty card?

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No. Law 50D1(b): (b) The obligation to follow suit, or to comply with a lead or play restriction, takes precedence over the obligation to play a major penalty card, but the penalty card must still be left face up on the table and played at the next legal opportunity.



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