laws of rubber bridge - American Contract Bridge League

laws of rubber bridge - American Contract Bridge League
LAWS
OF
RUBBER
BRIDGE
2014 Authorized Edition
The International Code
Laws of
Rubber Bridge
2014
North American Edition
As Promulgated in the
Western Hemisphere by the
American Contract Bridge League
Effective April 2014
Published by
American Contract Bridge League
www.acbl.org
Distributed by
Baron Barclay Bridge Supply
Copyright © 2014 in the
Western Hemisphere
by
All rights reserved. Inquiries should be addressed to:
American Contract Bridge League
6575 Windchase Blvd
Horn Lake MS 38637
www.acbl.org
ISBN: 0-94385509-8
ii
Acknowledgments
The Laws of Rubber Bridge 2014 was an ACBL Laws
Commission initiative. The efforts of Alvin Levy, chairman of the ACBL Rubber Bridge Laws drafting committee, along with the guidance of Roger Stern who
was also instrumental in guiding the 1993 version working with the late Edgar Kaplan, and the collaboration
of the Card Committee of the Portland Club are gratefully acknowledged.
Preface
The American Edition of the first International Laws
of Contract Bridge was promulgated by the Whist Club
of New York, in collaboration with the Card Committee
of the Portland Club of London and the Commission
Française Du Bridge of Paris in 1932 and revised in 1935.
Harold S. Vanderbilt chaired the Committee on Laws of
the Whist Club and Ely Culbertson chaired the advisory American Cooperating Committee. In 1943, the code
was replaced in America by a code promulgated jointly by the Whist Club and the American Contract Bridge
League. In 1947, by mutual agreement, the American
Contract Bridge League became the sole promulgating
body, and in 1948 issued a revised code. The next revised
codes came in 1963, 1981 and 1993.
The Laws of Rubber Bridge 2014 replace the 1993
Laws of Contract Bridge. The American Edition of the
Laws of Duplicate is also promulgated by the American
Contract Bridge League. The two codes are nearly identical, so far as the nature of their respective games makes
it possible.
iii
Promulgating Bodies
of the 2014 Laws
The Laws Commission of the
American Contract Bridge League
Chip Martel, Chairman
Adam Wildavsky, Vice-Chairman
Peter Boyd
Jeffrey Polisner
Chris Compton
Eric Rodwell
Alan Falk
Rebecca Rogers
Mike Flader
Aaron Silverstein
Ron Gerard
Matt Smith
Robb Gordon
Roger Stern
Matt Koltnow
Howard Weinstein
Alvin Levy
Drafting Committee for the
Laws of Rubber Bridge 2014
(formally called Laws of Contract Bridge)
Alvin Levy, chairman
Roger Stern
In collaboration with the Portland Club
Approved by the World Bridge Federation
iv
The Scope of the Laws
The Laws are designed to define correct procedure
and to provide an adequate remedy whenever a player accidentally, carelessly or inadvertently disturbs the
proper course of the game, or gains an unintentional
but nevertheless unfair advantage. An offending player should be ready to graciously accept any penalty set
forth in these Laws or any adjustment or decision of an
Arbiter.
These Laws do not deal with dishonorable practices
where ostracism is the ultimate remedy.
The Proprieties
The object of the Proprieties is to familiarize players
with the customs and etiquette of the game, generally
accepted over many years; and to enlighten those who
might otherwise fail to appreciate when or how they are
improperly conveying information to their partners, or
are acting on the basis of improper information.
1. General Principles
These Laws cannot cover every situation that might
arise, nor can they produce equity in every situation covered. Occasionally the players themselves must redress
damage. The guiding principle: the side that commits an
irregularity bears an obligation not to gain directly from
the infraction1.
1 For example, South, declarer at 3NT, will have nine tricks available if the club
suit — six cards headed by the ace, king and queen in dummy opposite declarer’s singleton — divides favorably, and the six missing clubs are in fact split
evenly, 3-3, between East and West. However, West, who holds three clubs
heading by the jack, shows out on the third round of clubs, revoking. Thus,
declarer wins only three club tricks instead of six, for a total of six tricks instead
of nine. The established revoke is later discovered, so one penalty trick is transferred after play ends. But declarer is still down two. Here, East-West gained
two tricks as a direct consequence of their infraction. The players should adjudicate this result, scoring the deal as 3NT making three. Note that declarer is
not given a penalty trick in addition; the object is to restore equity, to restore
the result likely to have occurred had the infraction not been committed.
v
To infringe a Law intentionally is a serious breach of
ethics, even if there is a prescribed penalty that one is
willing to pay. The offence may be the more serious when
no penalty is prescribed.
There is no obligation to draw attention to an inadvertent infraction of Law committed by one’s own side.
However, a player should not attempt to conceal such an
infraction, as by committing a second revoke, concealing a
card involved in a revoke or mixing the cards prematurely.
It is proper to warn partner against infringing a Law of
the game: for example, against revoking or against calling, leading or playing out of turn.
2. Communication Between Partners
Communication between partners during the auction
and play should be effected only by means of the calls
and plays themselves, not through the manner in which
they are made nor through extraneous remarks and gestures, nor through questions asked of the opponents and
explanations given to them. Calls should be made in a
uniform tone without special emphasis or inflection and
without undue hesitation or haste. Unless a player has an
immediate need to know, he should refrain from asking
questions about an opponent’s call until the auction is
over, and if partner is on lead, until partner has led. Plays
should be made without emphasis, gesture or mannerism and so far as possible at a uniform rate.
Inadvertently varying the tempo or manner in which
a call or play is made does not in itself constitute a violation of propriety, but inferences from such variation may
properly be drawn only by an opponent, and at his own
risk. It is improper to attempt to mislead an opponent
by means of a remark or a gesture, through the haste
or hesitancy of a call or play (such as a hesitation with
a singleton) or by the manner in which the call or play
is made.
Any player may properly attempt to deceive an opponent through a call or play (so long as the deception is
not protected by concealed partnership understanding).
It is entirely proper to make all calls and plays in unvarying tempo and manner in order to avoid giving information to the opponents.
vi
When a player has available to him improper information from his partner’s remark, question, explanation,
gesture, mannerism, special emphasis, inflection, haste
or hesitation, he should carefully avoid taking any advantage that might accrue to his side.
3. Conduct and Etiquette
A player should maintain at all times a courteous attitude toward his partner and opponents. He should
carefully avoid any remark or action that might cause
annoyance or embarrassment to another player or might
interfere with the enjoyment of the game. Every player
should follow uniform and correct procedure in calling
and playing, since any departure from correct standards
may disrupt the orderly progress of the game.
As a matter of courtesy, a player should refrain from:
A. paying insufficient attention to the game (as when
a player obviously takes no interest in his hand or
frequently requests a review of the auction).
B. making gratuitous comments during the play as to
the auction or the adequacy of the contract.
C. detaching a card from his hand before it is his turn
to play.
D. arranging completed tricks in a disorderly manner,
thereby making it difficult to determine the sequence of plays.
E. making a claim or a concession of tricks if there is
any doubt as to the outcome of the deal.
F. prolonging play unnecessarily for the purpose of
disconcerting the other players.
Furthermore, the following are considered breaches
of propriety:
G. using different designations for the same call.
H. indicating approval or disapproval of a call or play.
I. indicating the expectation or intention of winning
or losing a trick that has not been completed.
J. commenting or behaving during the auction or play
so as to call attention to a significant occurrence, or
to the state of the score or to the number of tricks
still required for success.
K. showing an obvious lack of further interest in the
vii
deal (as by folding one’s cards).
L. looking intently at any other player during the auction or play or at another player’s hand as for the
purpose of seeing his cards or of observing the
place from which he draws a card (but it is not improper to act on information acquired by inadvertently seeing an opponent’s card).
M. varying the normal tempo of bidding or play for the
purpose of disconcerting another player.
N. mixing the cards before the result of the deal has
been agreed upon.
4. Partnership Agreements
It is improper to convey information by means of a call
or play based on special partnership agreement, whether
explicit or implicit, unless such information is fully and
freely available to the opponents.
It is not improper for a player to violate an announced
partnership agreement, so long as his partner is unaware
of the violation (but habitual violations within a partnership may create implicit agreements, which must be
disclosed). No player has the obligation to disclose to
the opponents that he has violated an announced agreement. If the opponents are subsequently damaged, as
through drawing a false inference from such violation,
they are not entitled to redress.
When explaining the significance of partner’s call or
play in reply to an opponent’s inquiry, a player should
disclose all special information conveyed to him through
partnership agreement or partnership experience, but
he need not disclose inferences drawn from his general
bridge knowledge and experience. It is improper for a
player whose partner has given a mistaken explanation
to correct the error immediately or to indicate in any
manner that a mistake has been made. He must not take
advantage of the unauthorized information so obtained.
5. Spectators
A spectator, including a member of the table not
playing, must not display any reaction to bidding or play
while a deal is in progress (as by shifting his attention
viii
from one player’s hand to another’s). He must not in any
way disturb a player. During the hand, he must refrain
from mannerisms or remarks of any kind (including conversation with a player). He may not call attention to any
irregularity or mistake, nor speak on any question of fact
or Law except by request of the players.
ix
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements and Preface .......................................iii
Promulgating Bodies of the Laws of Rubber Bridge 2014 ...iv
The Scope of the Laws .................................................................v
The Proprieties ................................................................................v
1. General Principles .................................................................v
2. Communication Between Partners ..............................vi
3. Conduct and Etiquette ....................................................vii
4. Partnership Agreements ................................................viii
5. Spectators ...........................................................................viii
PART I – Definitions .............................................................1
PART II – Preliminaries .....................................................3
Law 1 – The Players — The Deck ..........................................3
Law 2 – Rank of Cards ............................................................3
Law 3 – The Draw .....................................................................3
PART III – The Deal ............................................................4
Law 4 – The Shuffle .................................................................4
Law 5 – The Cut ........................................................................4
Law 6 – New Cut — New Shuffle ........................................5
Law 7 – Change of Deck ........................................................5
Law 8 – The Deal ......................................................................5
Law 9 – Rotation of the Turn to Deal ................................6
Law 10 – Redeal ........................................................................6
Law 11 – Missing Card ..............................................................7
Law 12 – Surplus Card .............................................................7
PART IV – General Laws Governing Irregularities 8
Law 13 – Procedure Following an Irregularity ...............8
x
Law 14 – Assessment of a Penalty ......................................8
Law 15 – Waiver or Forfeiture of a Penalty .....................8
Law 16 – Unauthorized Information ..................................8
PART V – The Auction ......................................................9
Correct Procedure .........................................................................9
Law 17 – Duration of the Auction ........................................9
Law 18 – Bids .............................................................................10
Law 19 – Doubles and Redoubles .....................................10
Law 20 – Review and Explanation ....................................10
Law 21 – Call Based on Misinformation ............................11
Law 22 – Procedure After the Auction Is Closed ..........11
Irregularities ....................................................................................11
Law 23 – Awareness of Potential Damage ......................11
Law 24 – Card Exposed or Led During the Auction...12
Law 25 – Legal and Illegal Changes of Call ..................12
Law 26 – Change of Call — Lead Penalties ...................12
Law 27 – Insufficient Bid .......................................................13
Call Out of Rotation ....................................................................14
Law 28 – Calls Considered to Be in Rotation ...............14
Law 29 – Procedure After a Call Out of Rotation ........14
Law 30 – Pass Out of Rotation ...........................................15
Law 31 – Bid Out of Rotation ...............................................15
Law 32 – Double or Redouble Out of Rotation ............16
Law 33 – Simultaneous Calls ...............................................16
Law 34 – Retention of the Right to Call .........................17
Inadmissible Calls ...........................................................................17
Law 35 – Inadmissible Call Condoned ..............................17
Law 36 – Inadmissible Double or Redouble .....................17
xi
Law 37 – B
id, Double or Redouble in Violation
of the Obligation to Pass ..................................18
Law 38 – Bid of More Than Seven ....................................18
Law 39 – Call After the Auction is Closed .....................18
Law 40 – Partnership Agreements ...................................18
PART VI – The Play ..................................................................19
Correct Procedure ........................................................................19
Law 41 – Opening Lead, Review, Questions ...................19
Law 42 – Dummy’s Rights ..................................................20
Law 43 – Dummy’s Limitations .........................................20
Law 44 – Sequence and Procedure of Play ..................20
Law 45 – Card Played ............................................................21
Law 46 – P
artial Designation of a Card to
be Played from Dummy’s Hand ....................22
Law 47 – Retraction of a Card Played ............................22
Penalty Card ..................................................................................22
Law 48 – Exposure of Declarer’s Cards .........................22
Law 49 – Exposure of a Defender’s Cards .....................23
Law 50 – Disposition of a Penalty Card .........................23
Law 51 – Two or More Penalty Cards ...............................24
Law 52 – Failure to Lead or Play a Penalty Card ........24
Lead Out of Turn ..........................................................................25
Law 53 – Lead Out of Turn Accepted .............................25
Law 54 – Opening Lead Out of Turn ...............................25
Law 55 – Declarer’s Lead Out of Turn .............................26
Law 56 – Defender’s Lead Out of Turn ...........................26
Irregular Leads and Plays ........................................................26
Law 57 – Premature Lead or Play by a Defender .......26
Law 58 – Simultaneous Leads or Plays ..........................27
xii
Law 59 – Inability to Lead or Play as Required ..........27
Law 60 – Play After an Illegal Play ...................................27
The Revoke ....................................................................................28
Law 61 – Failure to Follow Suit —
Inquiries Concerning a Revoke .......................28
Law 62 – Correction of a Revoke .....................................28
Law 63 – Establishment of a Revoke ..............................29
Law 64 – P
rocedure After Establishment
of a Revoke ............................................................29
Tricks ..............................................................................................30
Law 65 – Collection and Arrangement of Tricks .......30
Law 66 – Inspection of Tricks ............................................30
Law 67 – T
rick Either Appropriated in
Error or Defective ................................................31
Claims and Concessions ...........................................................32
Law 68 – Declarer’s Claim or Concession of Tricks....32
Law 69 – P
rocedure Following
Declarer’s Claim or Concession ....................32
Law 70 – D
efender’s Claim or
Concession of Tricks...........................................33
Law 71 – Concession Withdrawn ......................................34
PART VII – The Score ............................................................34
Law 72 – Points Earned .......................................................34
Law 73 – Partscore — Game ..............................................35
Law 74 – The Rubber ............................................................35
Law 75 – Method of Scoring ..............................................35
Law 76 – Responsibility for the Score ...........................36
Law 77 – Transferred Tricks ................................................36
Law 78 – Correction of the Score .....................................36
Law 79 – Deals Played with an Incorrect Deck ...........37
xiii
Law 80 – Incomplete Rubber ............................................37
Law 81 – Scoring Table .........................................................37
Appendices ...................................................................................40
Appendix 1 – Optional Alert Procedure ........................40
Appendix 2 – Optional Skip Bid Procedure ................40
Appendix 3 – Optional Face Down Opening Lead ....40
Appendix 4 – Chicago or Four-Deal Bridge ..................41
PART VIII – Alternative Club Laws ...............................44
Club Law 13, 14 and 16 ..........................................................45
Club Laws 21, 23, 25 and 27 ................................................46
Club Laws 29, 30, 31, 32, 36,
37, 38, 40, 47 and 55 ............................................................47
Club Laws 64 and 69 ...........................................................47
Club Law 70 .............................................................................49
Club Appeals Committees ......................................................49
Rules for Club Procedure ........................................................49
xiv
PART I – Definitions
Arbiter:
An independent person who applies and
interprets these laws following an irregularity. He may be
appointed at a club where Rubber Bridge is played. See
Alternative Club Laws.
Auction: 1. The process of determining the contract by
means of successive calls. 2. The aggregate of calls made.
Bid: A declaration, naming both a level from one to seven
and a denomination. The final bid, undoubled, doubled or
redoubled, becomes the Contract.
Call: Any bid, double, redouble or pass.2
Contract: The undertaking by declarer’s side to win, at
the denomination named, at least the number tricks in
excess of six specified in the final bid whether undoubled, doubled or redoubled.
Deal: 1. The distribution of the deck to form the hands
of the four players. 2. The cards so distributed as a unit,
including the auction and play thereof.
Deck: The 52 playing cards with which the game of Rubber Bridge is played.
Declarer: The player who, for the side that makes the
final bid, first bid the denomination named in the final
bid. He becomes declarer when a legal opening lead is
made (see Law 54C when the opening lead is made out
of turn).
Defender: An opponent of declarer.
Denomination: The suit or no-trump specified in a bid.
Double: A call over an opponent’s bid which, if followed
by three passes, would increase the scoring value of fulfilled or defeated contracts (see Law 19).
Dummy: 1. Declarer’s partner. 2. Declarer’s partner’s
cards, once they are spread on the table after the opening lead.
Follow suit: Play a card of the suit that has been led.
Game: A unit in scoring denoting 100 or more trick points
scored on one deal, or accumulated over two or more
deals (see Laws 72 and 73).
Grand Slam: A contract to win 13 tricks.
2
Sometimes a call is meant to convey a message other than a
willingness to play in the denomination and/or level named or
last named.
Hand: The cards originally dealt to a player, or the remaining portion thereof.
Honor: Any ace, king, queen, jack or ten.
Honors: The holding of at least four of the top five trumps
or all four aces in a no-trump contract.
Irregularity: A deviation from the correct procedures set
forth in these Laws.
LHO: Left-hand opponent.
Lead: The first card played to a trick.
Opening lead: The card led to the first trick.
Opponent: A player of the other side.
Overtrick: Each trick won by declarer’s side in excess of
the contract.
Partner: The player with whom one plays as a side against
the other two players.
Partscore: 90 or fewer trick points.
Pass: A call specifying that a player does not, at that turn,
elect to bid, double or redouble.
Penalty: Any loss of trick(s) or obligation or restriction
imposed for an irregularity as set forth in these Laws.
Penalty Card: A card prematurely exposed by a defender, which is either a major or a minor penalty card as
specified in Law 50.
Play: 1. The contribution of a card from one’s hand to a
trick, including the first card, which is the lead. 2. The
aggregate of plays made. 3. The period during which
the cards are played, starting immediately after the
final pass.
RHO: Right-hand opponent.
Redeal: A second or subsequent deal to replace a
faulty deal.
Revoke: The failure to follow suit or failure to lead or play,
when able, a card or suit required by Law or specified
by an opponent when exercising a penalty option as set
forth in these Laws.
Redouble: A call over an opponent’s double which, if followed by three passes, would increase the scoring value
of fulfilled or defeated contracts (see Law 19).
Rotation: The clockwise order in which the right to deal,
to call or to play progresses.
Rubber: The scoring period that ends when one side has
scored two games.
2
Side: Two players who constitute a partnership against
the other two players.
Slam: A contract to win 12 tricks (called small slam) or 13
tricks (called grand slam).
Suit: One of four groups of cards in the deck, each group
comprising 13 cards and having a characteristic symbol:
spades (♠), hearts (♥), diamonds (♦), clubs (♣).
Trick: The unit by which the outcome of the contract
is determined, regularly consisting of four cards, one
contributed by each player in rotation, beginning with
the lead.
Trump: Each card of the suit, if any, named in the contract.
Undertrick: Each trick by which declarer’s side falls short
of fulfilling the contract.
Vulnerable: The status of a side that has won a game
and is therefore exposed to greater undertrick penalties
and entitled to greater premium scores as described in
Law 81.
PART II – Preliminaries
Law 1 – The Players — The Deck
Rubber Bridge is played by four players with a deck of
52 cards of identical back design and color, consisting of
13 cards in each of four suits. Two decks should be used,
of which only one is in play at any time, and each deck
should be clearly distinguishable from the other in back
design or color.
Law 2 – Rank of Cards
The suits rank downward in the order spades (♠),
hearts (♥), diamonds (♦), clubs (♣). The cards of each
suit rank in descending order: ace, king, queen, jack, 10,
9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
Law 3 – The Draw
Before every rubber, each player draws a card from
a deck shuffled and spread face down on the table.
A card should not be exposed until all the players
have drawn.
3
Unless it is otherwise agreed, the two players who
draw the highest cards play as partners against the other
two players. When cards of the same rank are drawn, the
rank of suit determines which is higher.
The player with the highest card deals first and has the
right to choose his seat and the deck with which he will
deal. He may consult his partner, but having announced
his decision must abide by it. His partner sits opposite
him. The opponents then occupy the two remaining
seats as they wish, and having made their selection must
abide by it.
A player must draw again if he draws more than one
card, or one of the four cards at either end of the deck, or
a card adjoining one drawn by another player, or a card
from the other deck.
PART III – The Deal
Law 4 – The Shuffle
Before the first deal of a rubber, the player to the dealer’s left should shuffle the deck thoroughly3, without exposing the face of any card, in full view of the players and
to their satisfaction. Thereafter, as each player deals, the
dealer’s partner shuffles the other deck for the next deal
and places the deck face down on his right.
A deck properly prepared should not be disturbed until the dealer picks it up for his deal, at which time he is
entitled to the final shuffle.
No player other than the dealer and the player designated to prepare the deck may shuffle.
Law 5 – The Cut
The deck must be cut immediately before it is dealt.
The dealer presents the deck to his RHO, who lifts off a
portion and places it on the table toward the dealer. Each
portion must contain at least four cards. The dealer completes the cut by placing what was originally the bottom
portion upon the other portion.
No player other than the dealer’s RHO may cut the deck.
3
It is recommended that the deck be shuffled at least five times.
4
Law 6 – New Cut — New Shuffle
There must be a new cut if any player demands one
before the first card is dealt. In this case, the dealer’s
RHO cuts again.
There must be a new shuffle, followed by a cut:
if any player demands one before the dealer has picked
up the deck for his deal. In this case, the player designated to prepare the deck shuffles again.
A. if any player demands one after the dealer has
picked up the deck but before the first card is dealt.
In this case, only the dealer shuffles.
B. if a card is turned face up in shuffling. In this case,
the player who was shuffling shuffles again.
C. if a card is turned face up in cutting. In this case,
only the dealer shuffles.
D. if there is a redeal.4
Law 7 – Change of Deck
The two decks are used alternately, unless there is
a redeal.4
A deck containing a card so damaged or marked that
it may be identified from its back must be replaced5 if attention is drawn to the imperfection before the last card
of the current deal has been dealt.
A deck originally belonging to a side must be restored
on demand of any player before the last card of the current deal has been dealt.5
Law 8 – The Deal
The dealer distributes the cards face down, one at a
time in rotation into four separate hands of 13 cards each,
the first card to the player on his left and the last card to
himself. If he deals two cards simultaneously or consecutively to the same player, or fails to deal a card to a player,
he may rectify the error, provided he does so immediately and to the satisfaction of the other players.4
The dealer must not allow the face of any card to be
seen while he is dealing.4
4
5
See Law 10.
See Law 8.
5
Players should not look at the face of any card until
the deal is completed. A player who violates this provision forfeits those rights to a change of deck (Law 7) or
redeal (Law 10).
Law 9 – Rotation of the Turn to Deal
The turn to deal passes in rotation unless there is a redeal.
If a player deals out of turn, and attention is not drawn
to the error before the last card has been dealt, the deal
stands as though it had been in turn. The player who
dealt the cards is the dealer (he makes the first call). The
player who missed his turn to deal has no redress and the
rotation continues as though the deal had been in turn,
unless a redeal is required under Law 10, in which case
the deal reverts back to the correct player.
Law 10 – Redeal
A redeal cancels the faulty deal; the same dealer deals
again unless he was dealing out of turn (see Law 9); the
same deck is used, unless it has been replaced as provided in Law 7, and the cards are shuffled and cut anew as
provided in Laws 4 and 5.
There must be a redeal:
A. if, before the last card has been dealt, it is discovered that
1. a card has been turned face up in dealing or is
face up in the deck or elsewhere (see Law 8), or
2. the cards have not been dealt correctly (see Law
8), or
3. a player is dealing out of turn (see Law 9) or is
dealing with a deck that was not shuffled or not
cut (see Law 8).
B. if, before the first call has been made, it is discovered that a player has picked up another player’s
hand and has seen a card in it.
C. if, before play has been completed, it is discovered that
1. the deck did not conform in every respect to the
requirements of Law 1, including any case in which
a missing card cannot be found after due search, or
2. one player has picked up too many cards, another
too few, or
6
3. two or more players on opposing sides have allowed any cards from their hands to be mixed together.
Law 11 – Missing Card
When a player has too few cards and a redeal is not
required by Law 10C, the deal stands as correct, and:
A. if he has played more than one card to a previous
trick, Law 67 applies.
B. if a missing card is found elsewhere, not in a previous trick, that card is deemed to have belonged
continuously to the deficient hand and must be restored to that hand; it may become a penalty card,
as provided in Law 23 or Law 49, and failure to have
played it may constitute a revoke.
Law 12 – Surplus Card
When a player has too many cards and a redeal is not
required by Law 10C, the deal stands as correct, and:
A. if the offender has omitted to play to a trick, Law
67 applies.
B. if the offender has picked up a surplus card from
a previous trick, or from dummy, or from the other
deck, or elsewhere, such surplus card shall be restored to its proper place, and
1. if the surplus card is in the offender’s hand when
it is discovered, there is no penalty.
2. if the surplus card has been led or played, or had
been played to a previous trick, the offender must
substitute for it a card from his hand that he can
legally play to the trick, and, if possible, a card
of the same suit as the surplus card. The offending side may not thereby win a trick it had lost,
but it may lose a trick it had won. When attention is drawn to the offence before the lead to the
next trick, both members of the non-offending
side may, without penalty, withdraw a play made
subsequent to the offence and substitute any
legal play.
7
PART IV – General Laws
Governing Irregularities
Law 13 – P
rocedure Following an Irregularity
Club Law 13 on page 45
When an irregularity has occurred, any player — except dummy as specified in Law 42 and Law 43 — may
draw attention to it and give or obtain information as to
the Law applicable to it. The fact that a player draws attention to an irregularity committed by his side does not
affect the rights of the opponents.
After attention has been drawn to an irregularity, no
player should call or play until all questions in regard to
the assessment of a penalty have been determined. Premature correction of an irregularity on the part of the offender may subject him to further penalty (see Law 26).
Law 14 – A
ssessment of a Penalty
Club Law 14 on page 45
A penalty may not be imposed until the nature of the
irregularity to be penalized has been determined and the
applicable penalty has been clearly stated, but a penalty
once paid, or any decision agreed and acted upon by the
players, stands and should not, except by agreement of
all four players, be corrected even though at some later
time it is judged incorrect.
Law 15 – Waiver or Forfeiture of a Penalty
The right to penalize an offence is forfeited if:
A. both members of the non-offending side waive
the penalty;
B. a member of the non-offending side calls (Law 34)
or plays (Law 60) after an irregularity committed
by his RHO.
Law 16 – U
nauthorized Information
Club Law 16 on page 45
A player may be subject to penalty if information is conveyed from his partner other than by a legal call or play.
A. Regarding information obtained from partner: If a
8
player conveys information to his partner by means
of a remark, question, unmistakable hesitation or
unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture,
movement, mannerism or any other action that
suggests a call, lead or plan of play, is unauthorized. When the offending side has profited by use
of this unauthorized information, it should, in conformance with Proprieties 1, redress any damage
done to the non-offending side.
B. In addition, other forms of unauthorized information
are:
1. Withdrawn calls or plays as specified in the Laws,
where
a. for the non-offending side, all information arising from a withdrawn action is authorized, and
2. for the offending side, information arising from
its own withdrawn action and from subsequent
withdrawn actions of the non-offending side
is unauthorized.
Penalty Cards (see Law 50), where knowledge of the
sight of the penalty card is unauthorized for the partner
of the player who has the penalty card. It is authorized
information for the declarer.
A player on the offending side must not base any subsequent calls or plays on such unauthorized information.
If it is determined that this has been violated and the
non-offending side has been damaged, the result should
be adjusted to redress any damage done to the non-offending side.
PART V – The Auction
Correct Procedure
Law 17 – Duration of the Auction
The auction begins when the last card of a correct
deal has been placed on the table. The dealer makes
the first call, and thereafter each player calls in rotation.
When three passes in rotation have followed any call, the
auction is closed, unless Law 34 applies.
9
Law 18 – Bids
Each bid6 names both a level, from one to seven, and
a denomination. A bid supersedes the previous bid if it
names either a greater level or the same level in a higher denomination. A bid that fulfills these requirements is
sufficient; one that does not is insufficient. The denominations rank in descending order are, no-trump, spades,
hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
Methods other than verbal bidding, e.g., Bidding Boxes.
Law 19 – Doubles and Redoubles
A player may double only the last preceding bid, and
then only if it was made by an opponent and no calls
other than pass have intervened.
A player may redouble only the last preceding double,
and then only if it was made by an opponent and no calls
other than pass have intervened.
A player should not, in doubling or redoubling, state
the number of tricks or the denomination, but if he states
either or both incorrectly, he is deemed to have doubled
or redoubled the bid as it was made. The only correct
form is the single word “Double” or “Redouble.”
All doubles and redoubles are superseded by a subsequent legal bid. If there is no subsequent bid, scoring
values are increased as provided in Law 81.
Law 20 – Review and Explanation
A player may forthwith require that a call be repeated.
At his own turn to call during the auction, a player (unless
required by Law to pass) may require a restatement of
the auction in its entirety. A player may not ask for a partial restatement and may not halt the restatement before
it is complete.
After the final pass, declarer, before making any play, or
either defender, at his first turn to play, may require a restatement of the auction in its entirety.
A request to have calls restated should be responded
to only by an opponent (dummy or a player required by
Law to pass may so respond). All players, including dum6
Pass, double and redouble are calls, not bids.
10
my, should promptly correct errors in restatement.
A player may require an explanation of the partnership
understanding relating to any call made by an opponent,
but only at the player’s own turn to call or play. A request
for an explanation of a call should be responded to by the
partner of the player making the call (see Proprieties 4).
Law 21 – C
all Based on Misinformation
Club Law 21 on page 46
A player has no recourse if he has made a call on the
basis of his own misunderstanding.
Until the auction is closed, a player may, without penalty, change any call he may have made as a result of
misinformation given him by an opponent, provided his
partner has not subsequently called. If he elects to correct his call, his LHO may then, in turn and without penalty, change any subsequent call he may have made.
If it is too late to change a call, and it is determined
at the end of play that the offending side has gained advantage from the irregularity, an adjusted score should
be determined.
Law 22 – Procedure After the Auction Is Closed
After the auction is closed:
A. if no player has bid, the hands are abandoned and
the turn to deal passes in rotation.
B. if any player has bid, the final bid becomes the contract and play begins.
Irregularities
Law 23 – A
wareness of Potential Damage
Club Law 23 on page 46
When a penalty for an offense under the Law compels
the offender’s partner to pass, as for example, for an exposed card, a change of call, an insufficient bid, a call out
of rotation or an inadmissible call, and the offender could
have known at the time of his infraction that the enforced
pass would be likely to damage the non-offending side,
the offenders should redress the damage in accordance
with Proprieties 1.
11
Law 24 – Card Exposed or Led During the Auction
Whenever during the auction a player faces a card on
the table or holds a card so that it is possible for his partner to see its face, every such card must be left face up
on the table until the auction closes, and (penalty) if the
offender subsequently becomes a defender, every such
card is a penalty card (Law 50) and Law 16B2 may apply.
In addition:
A. if it is a single card below the rank of an honor and
not prematurely led, there is no further penalty.
B. if it is a single card of honor rank or any card prematurely led or if more than one card is so exposed,
(penalty) the offender’s partner must pass when
next it is his turn to call. Law 23 may apply.
Law 25 – Legal and Illegal Changes of Call
Club Law 25 on page 46
A player may substitute his intended call for an unintended call, but only if he does so, or attempts to
do so, without pause for thought. If legal, his last call
stands without penalty; if illegal, it is subject to the applicable Law.
When a call is substituted for a call made previously at
the same turn, and it is too late for Law 25A, then:
if the first call was illegal, the substitute call is cancelled
and the offender is subject to the applicable Laws.
if the first call was legal, the offender must either: allow
his first call to stand, and (penalty) his partner must pass
when next it is his turn to call, or make any other legal
call, and (penalty) his partner must pass whenever it is
his turn to call.
Laws 16B1 may apply. The offender’s partner will also
be subject to a lead penalty as provided in Law 26, if he
becomes a defender. Law 23 may apply to B1 and B2.
Law 26 – Change of Call — Lead Penalties
When a player makes a call and subsequently changes
it to another legal call (except as permitted under Law
24 and Law 27), Law 16B1 may apply and if he becomes
a defender:
A. if the changed call was in a suit, and the substituted
12
call did not repeat that suit, declarer may7 either require the offender’s partner to lead, or prohibit him
from leading, such suit when first the offender’s
partner has the lead (including the opening lead).
A prohibition continues for as long as offender’s
partner retains the lead. When the irregular call artificially relates to a denomination other than the
one actually named, “such suit” is the suit or suits
to which the call relates.
B. if the changed call was
1. in no-trump and the player’s (or the offender’s)
final call at that turn was not, or
2. pass, double or redouble, other than an out-of-rotation call repeated in turn in accordance with
Law 30A or Law 32B1, declarer may8 prohibit offender’s partner from leading any one specified
suit when first the offender’s partner has the lead
(including the opening lead). This prohibition
continues as long as offender’s partner retains
the lead.
Law 27 – I nsufficient Bid
Club Law 27 on page 47
Any insufficient bid may be accepted (treated as legal)
at the option of offender’s LHO and is accepted if that
opponent calls.
An insufficient bid made in rotation must be corrected
by the substitution of either a sufficient bid (not a double
or double) or a pass9, unless the irregular bid is accepted.
Law 16B1 may apply.
If the call substituted is:
A. the lowest sufficient bid in the same denomination,
and if the insufficient bid and sufficient bid are both
not artificial, the auction proceeds as though the ir7
Declarer makes the decision at the time that offender’s partner
first has the lead.
8 Declarer makes the decision at the time that offender’s partner
first has the lead.
9 The offender is entitled to select his final call at that turn after the applicable penalties have been stated, and any call he
has previously attempted to substitute is canceled, but the lead
penalties of Law 26 will apply if he becomes a defender.
13
regularity had not occurred.10
B. if except as in A. above, the insufficient bid is corrected with a legal call that has the same meaning
as or a more precise meaning than the insufficient
bid, the auction proceeds without penalty. If it is
found at the end of play that the replaced bid did
not conform to the regulation and/or the non-offending side was damaged, there should be redress
under Proprieties 1. [an example, 1C-1S-1H, if 1H is
replaced by Double (negative), then the bidding
proceeds without penalty]
C. any other sufficient bid or pass, (penalty) the offender’s partner must pass whenever it is his turn to
call (Law 23 may apply), and the lead penalties of
Law 26 may apply if he becomes a defender.
D. except as permitted in B. above, if the offender attempts to substitute a double or redouble it is cancelled; he must pass at that turn, and the offence is
subject to the penalty provided in 27C.
E. if a player makes an insufficient bid out of rotation,
Law 31 applies.
Call Out of Rotation
Law 28 – Calls Considered to be in Rotation
A call is considered to be in rotation:
A. when it is made without waiting for the RHO to
pass, if that opponent is required by Law to pass.
B. when it is made by the player whose turn it was to
call, before a penalty has been imposed for a call out
of rotation by an opponent. It waives any penalty for
the call out of rotation, and the auction proceeds as
though that opponent had not called at that turn.
Law 29 – P
rocedure After a Call Out of Rotation
Club Law 29 on page 47
After a call out of rotation, offender’s LHO11 either:
10 Offender’s partner must not base any subsequent calls or plays
on information gained from such a withdrawn bid.
11 He alone exercises the option, although any player may draw
attention to the irregularity.
14
A. m
akes any legal call. If he chooses to do so,
the call out of rotation stands as if it were legal (but if it is an inadmissible call, see Law
35), and the auction proceeds without penalty,
or
B. requires that the call out of rotation be cancelled.
The auction reverts to the player whose turn it was
to call. The offender may make any legal call in
proper turn subject to Laws 30, 31 and 32.
Information arising from withdrawn calls out of rotation and from subsequent withdrawn actions of the
non-offending side is unauthorized Information for the
offending side and authorized information for the non-offending side, and Law 16B1 applies.
Law 30 – Pass Out of Rotation
Club Law 30 on page 47
When a player has passed out of rotation:
A. before any player has bid or when it was the turn of
his RHO12 to call, (penalty) the offender must pass
when next it is his turn to call. Law 16B1 may apply.
B. after any player has bid and when it was the turn
of the offender’s partner to call, (penalty) the offender must pass whenever it is his turn to call. The
offender’s partner may make a sufficient bid or may
pass, but may not double or redouble at that turn.
Law 16B1 may apply.
Law 31 – Bid Out of Rotation
Club Law 31 on page 47
When a player has bid out of rotation:
A. at the turn of offender’s partner to call or before
any player has called when offender’s LHO was the
dealer, (penalty) the offender’s partner must pass
whenever it is his turn to call (Law 23 may apply),
and the lead penalties of Law 26 will apply if he
becomes a defender.
B. at the turn of the offender’s RHO13 to call,
12 After any player has bid, a call at the turn of offender’s LHO is
a change of call; Law 25 applies and not this section.
13 After any player has bid, a call at the turn of offender’s LHO is
a change of call; Law 25 applies and not this section.
15
1. if RHO passes, the bid out of rotation must be
repeated, and there is no penalty (if the bid out
of rotation was insufficient, it must be corrected
as provided in Law 27).
2. if RHO makes a legal14 bid, double or redouble, the
offender may in turn make any legal call. If such
call repeats the denomination of the bid out of rotation, (penalty) the offender’s partner must pass
when next it is his turn to call (Law 23 may apply).
If the substituted call does not repeat the denomination, (penalty) the offender’s partner must pass
whenever it is his turn to call (Law 23 may apply),
and the lead penalties of Law 26 will apply if he
becomes a defender, and Law 16B1 may apply.
Law 32 – Double or Redouble Out of Rotation
Club Law 32 on page 47
When a player has doubled or redoubled out of rotation:
A. if it was the offender’s partner’s turn to call, (penalty) the offender’s partner must pass whenever it
is his turn to call (Law 23 may apply). The offender may not thereafter, in turn, double or redouble
the same bid he doubled out of turn, and the lead
penalties of Law 26B will apply if he becomes a defender. Law 16B1 may apply.
B. if it was the turn of offender’s RHO15 to call,
1. if offender’s RHO passes, the double or redouble
out of rotation must be repeated and there is no
penalty.
2. if offender’s RHO bids, the offender may in turn make
any legal call, and (penalty) the offender’s partner
must pass when next it is his turn to call (Law 23 may
apply), and the lead penalties of Law 26B will apply if
he becomes a defender. Law 16B1 may apply.
Law 33 – Simultaneous Calls
A call made simultaneously with one made by the player
14 An illegal call by that opponent may be penalized in the usual
way, after which this subsection, B2, applies.
15 After any player has called, a call at offender’s LHO’s turn is a
change of call; Law 25 applies and not this section.
16
whose turn it was to call is deemed to be a subsequent call.
Law 34 – Retention of the Right to Call
When a call has been followed by three passes, the
auction does not end when one of those passes was out
of rotation, thereby depriving a player of his right to call
at that turn. The auction reverts to the player who missed
his turn. All subsequent passes are cancelled and the auction proceeds as though there had been no irregularity.
Inadmissible Calls
Law 35 – Inadmissible Call Condoned
When, after an inadmissible call specified below,
offender’s LHO makes a call before a penalty has been
assessed, there is no penalty for the offence (the lead
penalties of Law 26 do not apply). If the inadmissible
call was:
A. a double or redouble not permitted by Law 19, that
call and all subsequent calls are cancelled. The auction reverts to the player whose turn it is to call and
proceeds as though there had been no irregularity.
Law 36 applies.
B. a bid, double or redouble by a player required by
Law to pass, that call and subsequent legal calls
stand, but if the offender was required to pass for
the remainder of the auction, he must still pass at
subsequent turns. Law 37 applies.
C. a bid of more than seven, that call and all subsequent calls are cancelled. The offender must substitute a pass, and the auction proceeds as through
there had been no irregularity. Law 38 applies.
D. a call after the auction is closed, that call and all
subsequent calls are cancelled. Law 39 applies.
Law 36 – I nadmissible Double or Redouble
Club Law 36 on page 47
Any double or redouble not permitted by Law 19 is
cancelled. The offender must substitute a legal call, and
(penalty) the offender’s partner must pass whenever
it is his turn to call (Law 23 may apply), and the lead
penalties of Law 26B will apply if he becomes a defender.
17
Law 16B1 may apply.
If offender’s LHO calls before the correction of an
inadmissible double or redouble the inadmissible call
and all subsequent calls are cancelled. The auction
reverts to the player whose turn it was to call and proceeds
as though there had been no irregularity. The lead
restrictions of Law 26 do not apply.
Law 37 – B
id, Double or Redouble in Violation of the
Obligation to Pass
Club Law 37 on page 47
A bid, double or redouble by a player who is required
by Law to pass is cancelled, and (penalty) both members
of the offending side must pass during the remainder of
the auction (Law 23 may apply), and the lead penalties of
Law 26 will apply if they become defenders.
Law 38 – Bid of More than Seven
Club Law 38 on page 47
No contract of more than seven is ever permissible.
A bid of more than seven by any player is cancelled, and
(penalty) both members of the offending side must pass
during the remainder of the auction (Law 23 may apply), and the lead penalties of Law 26 will apply if they
become defenders.
Law 39 – Call After the Auction is Closed
A call after the auction is closed is cancelled, and:
A. if it is a pass by a defender or any call by declarer
or dummy, there is no penalty.
B. if it is a bid, double or redouble by a defender, the
lead penalties of Law 26 may apply.
Law 40 – P
artnership Agreements
Club Law 40 on page 47
A player may make any call or play (including an intentionally misleading call — such as a psychic bid — or
a call or play that departs from commonly accepted or
previously announced practice) without prior announcement, provided that it is not based on a partnership understanding. But a player may not make use of a bidding
18
or play agreement unless:
A. his side has disclosed its use of such a call or play
beforehand, or
B. it has been agreed beforehand that the use of partnership understandings be disclosed at the time
they are used. His partner must then disclose it. In
this case, partner’s disclosure must be confined to
an indication that a partnership understanding has
been used; he should not offer any explanation unless requested to do so. By agreement, restrictions
may be placed on the use of special partnership
understandings.
PART VI – The Play
Correct Procedure
Law 41 – Opening Lead, Review, Questions
After the auction closes16, presumed (see Law 54C)
declarer’s LHO makes the opening lead. After the opening lead, dummy spreads his hand in front of him on the
table, face up, sorted into suits, the cards in order of rank
in columns pointing lengthwise toward declarer, with
trumps, if any, to dummy’s right. Declarer plays both his
hand and that of dummy.
Declarer, before making any play, or either defender,
at his first turn to play, may require a restatement of the
auction in its entirety.
After it is too late to have previous calls restated, declarer or either defender is entitled to be informed what
the contract is and whether, but not by whom, it was
doubled or redoubled.
Either defender may require an explanation of the
partnership understanding relating to any call made by
an opponent (see Proprieties 4), but only at that defender’s own turn to play. Declarer may at any time require an
explanation of the partnership understanding relating to
any call or play made by a defender.
16 After the final pass, either defender has the right to ask if it is
his opening lead.
19
Law 42 – Dummy’s Rights
Dummy is entitled to give information as to fact or
Law but may not initiate the discussion, and provided he
has not forfeited his rights (see Law 43), he may also:
A. ask declarer (but not a defender), when he has failed
to follow suit, whether he has a card of the suit led.
B. try to prevent any irregularity17 by declarer.
C. draw attention to any irregularity, but only after
play is concluded.
Law 43 – Dummy’s Limitations
Dummy may not participate in the play (except to
play the cards of dummy’s hand as directed by declarer) or make any comment on the bidding, play or score
of the current deal. If he does so, Law 16A may apply.
During play dummy may not call attention to an irregularity once it has occurred.
Dummy forfeits the rights provided in Law 42 if he
exchanges hands with declarer, leaves his seat to watch
declarer play or, on his own initiative, looks at the face of
a card in either defender’s hand. If, thereafter:
A. he is the first to draw attention to a defender’s irregularity, declarer may not enforce any penalty for the offence.
B. he warns declarer not to lead from the wrong hand,
(penalty) either defender may choose the hand
from which declarer shall lead.
C. he is the first to ask declarer if a play from declarer’s
hand constitutes a revoke, declarer must substitute
a correct card if his play was a revoke, and (penalty)
unless Law 64D applies, one trick is transferred to
the defending side.
Law 44 – Sequence and Procedure of Play
The player who leads to a trick may play any card in
his hand.18 After the lead, each other player in turn plays
a card, and the four cards so played constitute a trick.
17
He may, for example, warn declarer against leading from the
wrong hand.
18 Unless he is subject to restriction after an irregularity committed by his side.
20
In playing to a trick, each player must follow suit if
possible. This obligation takes precedence over all other requirements of these Laws. If unable to follow suit, a
player may play any card.18
A trick containing a trump is won by the player who
has contributed to it the highest trump. A trick that does
not contain a trump is won by the player who has contributed to it the highest card of the suit led. The player
who has won the trick leads to the next trick.
Law 45 – Card Played
Each player except dummy should play a card by detaching it from his hand and placing it face up on the
table, where other players can easily reach and see it.
Dummy, if instructed by declarer to do so, may play from
his hand a card named or designated by declarer
A card must be played:
A. if it is a defender’s card held so that it is possible for
his partner to see its face.
B. if it is a card from declarer’s hand that declarer
holds face up, touching or nearly touching the table, or maintains in such a position as to indicate
that it has been played.
C. if it is a card in dummy deliberately touched by declarer except for the purpose of arranging dummy’s
cards or of reaching a card above or below the card
or cards touched.
D. if the player who holds the card names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play.
A player may, without penalty, change an inadvertent designation if he does so without pause for
thought, but if an opponent has, in turn played a
card that was legal before the change of designation, that opponent may, without penalty, withdraw
any card so played and substitute another.
E. if it is a penalty card, subject to Law 50.
A card may not be withdrawn except as provided in
Law 47.
21
Law 46 – P
artial Designation of a Card to be Played
from Dummy
When declarer instructs dummy to play a card from
dummy’s hand, as permitted by Law 45, but names only a
suit or only the rank of the card, or the equivalent, without
fully specifying the card to be played, declarer must complete his partial designation. Dummy must not play a card
before declarer has completed his partial designation.
If dummy places in the played position a card that declarer did not name, the card must be withdrawn if attention is drawn to it before each side has played to the next
trick, and the defender may withdraw and return to his
hand a card played after the error but before attention
was drawn to it. If declarer’s RHO changes his play, declarer may withdraw a card he had subsequently played
to that trick.
Law 47 – Retraction of a Card Played
Club Law 47 on page 47
A card once played may be withdrawn only:
A. to comply with a penalty, or to correct an illegal
play or to correct the simultaneous play of two or
more cards (see Law 58); if a defender’s card that
has been exposed is withdrawn under this sub-section, it becomes a penalty card (see Law 50), or
B. after a change of designation as permitted by Law 45D, or
C. after an opponent’s change of play, to substitute a
card for one played19, or
D. to correct a play after misinformation by an opponent. A lead out of turn may be retracted without
penalty if the leader was mistakenly informed by an
opponent that it was his turn to lead.
Penalty Card
Law 48 – Exposure of Declarer’s Cards
Declarer is not subject to penalty for exposing a card,
and no card of declarer’s or dummy’s ever becomes a
penalty card. Declarer is not required to play any card
19 The offending side must not base any subsequent plays on information gained from such a withdrawn play.
22
dropped accidentally.
When declarer faces his cards after an opening lead out
of turn, Law 54 applies. When declarer faces his cards at
any other time, he may be deemed to have made a claim
or concession of tricks, in which case Law 68 applies.
Law 49 – Exposure of a Defender’s Cards
Whenever a defender faces a card on the table, holds
a card so that it is possible for his partner to see its face or
names a card as being in his hand before he is entitled to
do so in the normal course of play or application of the Law,
(penalty) each such card becomes a penalty card (Law 50).20
Law 50 – Disposition of a Penalty Card
A defender’s card is a penalty card when prematurely
exposed. It must be left face up on the table until it is
played or until an alternate penalty has been selected.
Law 16B2 may apply.
A single card below the rank of an honor and exposed
inadvertently (as in playing two cards to a trick or in
dropping a card accidentally) becomes a minor penalty
card. Any penalty card of honor rank or any card exposed
through deliberate play (as in leading out of turn or in
revoking and then correcting) becomes a major penalty
card; when one defender has two or more penalty cards,
all such cards become major penalty cards.
When a defender has a minor penalty card, he may not
play any other card of the same suit below the rank of an
honor until he has first played the penalty card. (However,
he is entitled to play an honor card instead of the minor
penalty card.) There is no further penalty, but the offender’s partner must not base any subsequent play on information gained through seeing the penalty card.
When a defender has a major penalty card, such card
must be played at the first legal opportunity, whether in
leading, following suit, discarding or trumping. If a defender has two or more penalty cards that can legally
be played, declarer may designate which is to be played.
20Exposure
of a card or cards by a defender who is making a claim
or concession of tricks is subject to Law 70.
23
The obligation to follow suit or to comply with a lead or
play penalty takes precedence over the obligation to play
a penalty card, but the penalty card must still be left face
up on the table and played at the next legal opportunity.
When a defender has the lead while his partner has
a major penalty card, declarer may choose to impose a
lead penalty at this point; he may require that defender
to lead the suit of the penalty card or may prohibit that
defender from leading that suit (a prohibition continues
for as long as he retains the leads). If declarer does impose a lead penalty, the penalty card is picked up at once.
If declarer does not, the defender may lead any card, but
the penalty card remains a penalty card. The defender
may not lead until declarer has indicated his choice.
Law 51 – Two or More Penalty Cards
When a defender has two or more penalty cards in
one suit, and declarer requires21 or prohibits the lead of
that suit, the defender may pick up every penalty card in
that suit and may make any legal play to the trick.
When a defender has penalty cards in more than one
suit, declarer may prohibit the defender’s partner from
leading every such suit or require22 him to lead one such
suit, and the defender then picks up every penalty card in
the suit required or the suit(s) prohibited by declarer and
may make any legal play to the trick.
Law 52 – Failure to Lead or Play a Penalty Card
When a defender is required by Law 50 to play a penalty card but instead plays another card, he must leave
the illegally played card face up on the table and:
A. declarer may accept the defender’s lead or play
and must do so if he has thereafter played from his
or dummy’s hand, and the unplayed penalty card
remains a penalty card, or
B. declarer may require the defender to substitute the
penalty card for the card illegally played, in which
case the illegally played card becomes a major penalty card.
21
If a player is unable to lead as required, see Law 59.
24
Lead Out of Turn
Law 53 – Lead Out of Turn Accepted
Any lead out of turn, other than at trick 13, may be
treated by an opponent as a correct lead. It becomes
a correct lead if an either opponent, without consultation, accepts it by making a statement to that effect or if
that opponent next to play plays a card to the lead out
of turn.22
However, the player whose turn it was to lead — unless he is the offender’s partner — may make his proper
lead subsequent to the infraction without his card being
treated as played to the lead out of turn. The proper lead
stands, and all cards played in error to this trick are withdrawn, subject to Law 16.
Law 54 – Opening Lead Out of Turn
When a defender makes the opening lead out of turn:
A. declarer may accept the irregular lead as provided in Law 53. Dummy’s hand is spread in accordance with Law 41, and the second card to the
trick is played from declarer’s hand, but if declarer
first plays to the trick from dummy’s hand, dummy’s card may not be withdrawn except to correct
a revoke.
B. declarer must accept the irregular lead if he could
have seen any of dummy’s cards (except cards exposed during the auction, subject to Law 24). He
is deemed to have accepted the lead out of turn
if he begins to spread his hand as though he were
dummy and in so doing exposes one or more cards;
declarer must spread his entire hand, and dummy
becomes declarer.23
C. declarer may accept the irregular lead by spreading his hand and becoming dummy; his partner becomes the declarer.
22
When such a play is made by a defender who is not next to
play after the irregular lead, Law 57 applies. A lead out of turn
at trick 13 cannot be accepted and the play reverts back to the
proper leader.
23 If cards are so exposed from both declarer’s and dummy’s hands,
the player who was regularly to become declarer remains declarer.
25
D. d
eclarer may require the defender to retract his irregular lead (except as provided in B. above), and
then Law 56 applies.
Law 55 – D
eclarer’s Lead Out of Turn
Club Law 55 on page 47
When declarer leads out of turn from his or dummy’s hand:
A. either defender, without consultation, may accept that
lead as provided in Law 53, or
B. either defender, without consultation, may require declarer to retract that lead. Then,
1. if it was a defender’s turn to lead, declarer restores
the card led in error to his or dummy’s hand without
penalty.
2. if declarer has led from the wrong hand when it was
his turn to lead from his or dummy’s hand, he withdraws the card led in error and he must lead a card
from the correct hand.
If declarer adopts a line of play that could have been based
on information obtained through his infraction, the offenders
should adjust the score to redress the damage.
Law 56 – Defender’s Lead Out of Turn
When a defender leads out of turn:
A. declarer may accept that lead as provided in Law 53.
B. declarer may require the defender to retract that lead;
the card illegally led becomes a major penalty card
(see Law 50 — note that lead penalties are provided).
Irregular Leads and Plays
Law 57 – Premature Lead or Play by a Defender
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, (penalty) declarer may:
A. require offender’s partner to play his highest card
of the suit led, or
B. require offender’s partner to play his lowest card of
the suit led, or
C. prohibit offender’s partner from playing any card of
one different suit specified by declarer.
26
Declarer must select one of these options, and if the
offender’s partner cannot comply with the penalty selected, he may play any card, as provided in Law 59.
When, as a result of the application of the penalty, the
offender’s partner wins the current trick, he leads to the
next trick, and any card led or played out of turn by the
other defender becomes a major penalty card (Law 50).
A defender is not subject to penalty for playing before
his partner if declarer has played from both hands, but a
singleton or one of two or more equal cards in dummy is
not considered automatically played unless dummy has
played one such card.
Law 58 – Simultaneous Leads or Plays
A lead or play made simultaneously with another player’s legal lead or play is deemed to be subsequent to it.
If a defender leads or plays two or more cards simultaneously, and if only one such card is visible, he must
play that card; if more than one card is exposed, he must
designate the card he proposes to play, and each other
card exposed becomes a penalty card (Law 50).
If declarer leads or plays two or more cards simultaneously from either hand, he must designate the card he
proposes to play and must restore any other card to the
correct hand. If declarer withdraws a visible card and a
defender has already played to that card, such defender
may, without penalty, withdraw his card and substitute
another (see footnote to Law 47).
If the error remains undiscovered until both sides have
played to the next trick, Law 67 applies.
Law 59 – Inability to Lead or Play as Required
A player may play any otherwise legal card if he is unable to lead or play as required to comply with a penalty,
whether because he holds no card of the required suit, or
because he has only cards of a suit he is prohibited from
leading or because he is obliged to follow suit.
Law 60 – Play After an Illegal Play
A play by a member of the non-offending side after
his RHO has played out of turn and before a penalty has
27
been imposed forfeits the rights to penalize the offence.
The illegal play is treated as though it were in turn (but
Law 53 applies to the player whose turn it was). If the offending side had a previous obligation to play a penalty
card or to comply with a lead or play penalty, the obligation remains at future turns.
When a defender plays after declarer has been required to retract his lead out of turn from either hand
but before declarer has led from the correct hand, the
defender’s card becomes a penalty card (Law 50).
A play by a member of the offending side before a
penalty had been imposed does not affect the rights of
the opponents and may itself be subject to penalty.
The Revoke
Law 61 – F
ailure to Follow Suit
— Inquiries Concerning a Revoke
Failure to follow suit in accordance with Law 44 or
failure to lead or play, when able, a card or suit required
by Law or specified by an opponent in accordance with a
penalty constitutes a revoke. Any player may ask a player
who has failed to follow suit whether he has a card of
the suit led and may demand that an opponent correct
his revoke, except that dummy24 may ask of declarer, but
not of a defender. (A claim of revoke does not warrant inspection of quitted tricks, except as permitted in Law 66.)
Law 62 – Correction of a Revoke
A player must correct his revoke if he becomes aware of
it before it becomes established (see Law 63). To correct a
revoke, the offender withdraws the card he played in revoking and follows suit with any card. A card so withdrawn becomes a major penalty card (Law 50) if it was played from a
defender’s unfaced hand. The card may be replaced without
penalty if it was played from declarer’s or dummy’s hand25
or if it was a defender’s faced card. Each member of the
non-offending side may, without penalty, withdraw any card
he may have played after the revoke but before attention
24
Unless he has forfeited his rights, as specified by Law 43.
Subject to Law 43. A claim of revoke does not warrant inspection of quitted tricks, except as permitted in Law 67.
25
28
was drawn to it (see footnote to Law 47). After a non-offender so withdraws a card, the hand of the offending side
next in rotation may withdraw a played card, which becomes
a major penalty card if played from a defender’s hand.
On the 12th trick, a revoke, even if established, must be
corrected if discovered before the cards have been mixed
together. If the revoke was committed by a defender before
his partner has played to the 12th trick, and if offender’s
partner holds cards of more than one suit, (penalty) declarer may then require the offender’s partner to play to that
trick either of the two cards he could legally have played.
Law 63 – Establishment of a Revoke
A revoke becomes established when the offender or his
partner leads or plays (whether legally or illegally) to the following trick, or names or otherwise designates a card to be
so played or makes a claim or concession of tricks orally or
by facing his hand. The revoke may then no longer be corrected (except for a revoke on the 12th trick — see Law 62),
and the trick on which the revoke occurred stands as played.
Law 64 – Procedure After Establishment of a Revoke
Club Law 64 on page 48
When a revoke has become established,
A. if the offending player26 won the trick on which the
revoke occurred, (penalty) that trick and one of
any subsequent tricks won by the offending side
are transferred27 to the non-offending side (if no
subsequent trick was won by the offending side,
only the revoke trick is transferred).
B. if the offender’s partner won the trick on which the
revoke occurred, (penalty) that trick is transferred28
to the non-offending side.
C. if the non-offending side won the trick on which the
revoke occurred, and if the offending side won any
trick after the revoke, (penalty) the first such trick
is transferred27 to the non-offending side.
26
If declarer revokes but wins the trick on which the revoke occurred in dummy, 64B applies.
27 For the scoring of transferred tricks see Law 77.
28 See Law 78 if calls have been made on a subsequent deal
29
D. there is no trick penalty for the established revoke
1. if the offending side did not win either the trick
on which the revoke occurred or any subsequent
trick, or
2. if the revoke was a subsequent revoke in the same
suit by the same player, or
3. if the revoke was made in failing to play any card
faced on, or belonging to a hand faced on, the
table, including a card from dummy’s hand, or
4. if attention was first drawn to the revoke after all
players had abandoned their hands and permitted the cards to be mixed together, or
5. If the revoke was on the 12th trick (see Law 62).
When any established revoke, including one not
subject to penalty, causes damage to the non-offending side insufficiently compensated by the Law, the
offending side should transfer additional tricks so as to
restore equity.
Tricks
Law 65 – Collection and Arrangement of Tricks
The cards constituting each completed trick are collected by a member of the side that won the trick and
are then turned face down on the table. Each trick shall
be identifiable as such, and all tricks taken by a side shall
be arranged in sequence in front of declarer or of one
defender, as the case may be, in such a manner that each
side can determine the number of tricks it has won and
the order in which they were taken.
Law 66 – Inspection of Tricks
Declarer or either defender may, until a member of
his side has led or played to the following trick, inspect
a trick and inquire what card each player has played to
it. Thereafter, until play ceases, quitted tricks may be inspected only to account for a missing or surplus card.
After play ceases, the tricks and unplayed cards may be
inspected to settle an allegation of a revoke, of honors or
of the number of tricks won or lost. If, after an allegation
has been made, a player on one side makes verification
of the allegation impossible, as by mixing the cards or
30
merging the tricks, the issue must be decided in favor of
the other side.
Law 67 – Trick Either Appropriated in Error or Defective
A trick appropriated by the wrong side must, upon
demand, be restored to the side that has in fact won it.28
A trick containing more or fewer than four cards is
defective. When one player is found, during play, to have
fewer or more cards than all of the other players, the previous tricks should be forthwith examined, face down; if
a defective trick is discovered, the player with a correspondingly incorrect number of cards is held responsible.
The defective trick is inspected face up and
A. until the responsible player has played to a subsequent trick, the defective trick is rectified as follows:
1. if the offender has failed to play a card to the defective trick, he adds to that trick a card he can legally
play.
2. if the offender has played more than one card to
the defective trick, he withdraws all but one card,
leaving a card he can legally play.
3. the non-offending side may, without penalty, withdraw any cards played after the irregularity and
before attention was drawn to it (see footnote to
Law 47), but the offending side may not withdraw
cards that constitute legal plays, and any cards
they withdraw may become penalty cards (Law 50).
B. after the responsible player has played to a subsequent trick, the ownership of the defective trick
cannot be changed and
1. if the offender has failed to play a card to the defective trick, he forthwith faces and adds a card
to that trick, if possible one he could legally have
played to it.
2. if the offender has played more than one card
to the defective trick, he withdraws all but one
card, leaving the highest card he could legally
have played to that trick. A withdrawn card may
become a penalty card (Law 50); such a card is
deemed to have belonged continuously to the of28
See Law 78 if calls have been made on a subsequent deal.
31
fender’s hand and failure to have played it to an
earlier trick may constitute a revoke.
Claims and Concessions
Law 68 – Declarer’s Claim or Concession of Tricks
Declarer makes a claim or a concession whenever he announces that he will win or lose one or more of the remaining
tricks, or suggests that play be curtailed or faces his hand.
Declarer should not make a claim or concession if there is
any doubt as to the number of tricks to be won or lost.
Law 69 – Procedure Following Declarer’s Claim or Concession
Club Law 69 on page 48
When declarer has made a claim or a concession, play is
temporarily suspended and declarer must place and leave
his hand face up on the table and forthwith make a comprehensive statement as to his proposed plan of play, including
the order in which he will play the remaining cards.
Declarer’s claim or concession is allowed, and the deal
is scored accordingly if both defenders agree to it. The
claim or concession must be allowed if either defender
has permitted any of his remaining cards to be mixed
with another player’s cards; otherwise, if either defender
disputes declarer’s claim or concession, it is not allowed.
Then, play continues.
When his claim or concession is not allowed, declarer
must play on, leaving his hand face up on the table. At any
time either defender may face his hand for inspection by his
partner, and declarer may not impose a penalty for any irregularity committed by a defender whose hand is so faced.
The objective of subsequent play is to achieve a result
as equitable as possible to both sides, but any doubtful
point must be resolved in favor of the defenders. Declarer
may not make any play inconsistent with the statement
he may have made at the time of his claim or concession.
If he failed to make any appropriate statement at that
time, his choice of plays is restricted thereby:
A. if declarer made no relevant statement, he may not
finesse29 in any suit unless an opponent failed to
29
For these purposes, a finesse is a play the success of which
32
follow in that suit before the claim or concession or
would subsequently fail to follow in that suit on any
conceivable sequence of plays.
B. if declarer may have been unaware at the time of
his claim or concession that a trump remained in a
defender’s hand, either defender may require him
to draw or not to draw the outstanding trump.
C. if declarer did not, in his statement, mention an unusual plan of play, he may adopt only a routine line of play.
D. if declarer’s statement did not include the order of
play when leading a suit, it may be assumed from
the top down unless it is obvious that declarer intended otherwise.
If declarer attempts to make a play prohibited under
this Law, either defender may accept the play or, provided neither defender has subsequently played, require
declarer to withdraw the card so played and substitute
another that conforms to his obligations.
Law 70 – Defender’s Claim or Concession of Tricks
Club Law 70 on page 49
A defender makes a concession when he agrees to
declarer’s claim or when he announces that he will lose
one or more of the remaining tricks. A defender makes
a claim when he announces that he will win one or more
of the remaining tricks or when he shows any or all of his
cards for this purpose. If
A. t he claim pertains only to an uncompleted trick currently in progress, play proceeds normally; cards exposed
or otherwise revealed by the defender in making his
claim do not become penalty cards, but Law 16 (Unauthorized Information), may apply to a claimer’s partner.
B. the claim pertains to subsequent tricks, play is temporarily suspended; the claimer must place and leave
his hand face up on the table and make a comprehensive statement as to his proposed plan of defense.
The claim is allowed and the deal scored accordingly
if declarer agrees to it. If declarer disputes the claim,
the defenders must play on with the claimer’s hand
depends on finding one defender rather than the other with or
without a particular card.
33
face up on the table. Those cards do not become
penalty cards. However, declarer may prohibit claimer’s partner from making any play that could be suggested to him by seeing the faced cards.
Law 71 – Concession Withdrawn
A concession may be withdrawn
A. if a player concedes a trick his side has in fact won,
or if declarer concedes defeat of a contract he has
already fulfilled or if a defender concedes fulfillment of a contract his side has already defeated. (If
the score has been entered, see Law 78.)
B. if a trick that has been conceded cannot be lost
by any probable sequence of play of the remaining
cards and if attention is drawn to the fact before
the cards have been mixed together.
C. if a defender concedes one or more tricks and his
partner immediately objects, but Law 16 may apply.
PART VII – The Score
Law 72 – Points Earned
The result of each deal played is recorded in points,
which fall into two classes:
A. T
rick Points. Only declarer’s side can earn trick
points and only by fulfilling the contract. Only the
value of tricks named in the contract may be scored
as trick points (see Law 81). Trick points mark the
progression of the rubber toward its completion.
B. Premium Points. Either side or both sides may earn
premium points. Declarer’s side earns premium
points by winning one or more overtricks, by fulfilling a doubled or redoubled contract, by bidding and
making a slam, by holding scorable honors in either
of their hands or by winning the final game of a rubber.30 The defenders earn premium points by defeating the contract (undertrick penalty) or by holding
scorable honors in either of their hands. (see Law 81)
30
See Law 80 for incomplete rubber.
34
Each side’s premium points are added to its trick
points at the conclusion of the rubber.
Law 73 – Partscore — Game
The basic units of trick points are partscore and game.
A partscore is recorded for declarer’s side whenever declarer fulfills a contract for which the trick points are less
than 100 points. Game is won by that side which is the first
to have scored 100 or more trick points either in a single
deal or by addition of two or more partscores made separately. No partscore made by either side in the course of
one game is carried forward into the next game.
Law 74 – The Rubber
A rubber ends when a side has won two games. At the
conclusion of the rubber, the winners of two games are
credited with a premium score of 500 points if the other
side has won a game or with 700 points if the other side
has not won a game. The trick points and the premium
points scored by each side in the course of the rubber
are then added. The side with the larger combined total
wins the rubber, and the difference between the two totals represents the margin of victory computed in points.
Law 75 – Method of Scoring
The score of each deal must be recorded, and it is
preferable that a member of each side should keep score.
Scores are entered in two adjacent columns separated
by a vertical line. Each scorer enters points earned by
his side in the left-hand column and points earned by his
opponents in the right-hand column.
Each side has a trick-point score and a premium-point
score, separated by a horizontal line intersecting the vertical line. All trick-point scores are entered, as they are
earned, in descending order below the horizontal line
(below the line). All premium-point scores are entered,
as they are earned, in ascending order above the horizontal line.
Whenever a game is won, another horizontal line is
drawn under all trick-point scores recorded for either
side, in order to mark completion of the game. Subse35
quent trick-point scores are entered below that line.
Law 76 – Responsibility for the Score
When the play of a deal is completed, all four players
are equally responsible for ascertaining that the number
of tricks won by each side is correctly determined and
that all scores are promptly and correctly entered.
Honors may be claimed until the next hand has been
dealt or the rubber has been completed and scored –
whichever comes sooner.
Law 77 – Transferred Tricks
A trick transferred through a revoke penalty is reckoned for all scoring purposes as though it had been won
in play by the side to which it had been awarded.31
Law 78 – Correction of the Score
When it is acknowledged by a majority of the players
that a scoring error was made in recording an agreed-upon result (e.g., failure to enter honors or incorrect computation of score), the error must be corrected if discovered before the net score of the rubber has been agreed
to. However, except with the consent of all four players,
an erroneous agreement as to the number of tricks won
by each side may not be corrected after all players have
called on the next deal.
In case of disagreement between two scores kept,
the recollection of the majority of the players as to the
facts governs.
31
Declarer plays in 3♥ and takes eight tricks. A revoke by a defender is found to have been established, with the penalty determined to be two tricks. Two tricks are transferred from the
offenders to declarer, who therefore has 10 tricks. Since he bid
only 3♥, he scores 90 trick points, which count toward game,
and 30 premium points for the overtrick.
36
Law 79 – Deals Played with an Incorrect Deck
Scores recorded for deals played with an incorrect deck
are not subject to change by reason of the discovery of the
imperfection after the cards have been mixed together.
Law 80 – Incomplete Rubber
When, for any reason, a rubber is not finished, the
score is computed as follows: If only one game has been
completed, the winners of that game are credited with
300 points; if only one side has a partscore or partscores
in a game not completed, that side is credited with 100
points; the trick points and premium points of each side
are then added, and the side with the greater number of
points wins the difference between the two totals.
Law 81 – Scoring Table
TRICK SCORE
Scored below the line by declarer’s side, if contract
is fulfilled:
IF TRUMPS ARE
♣
♦
♥
♠
Undoubled
20
20
30
30
Doubled
40
40
60
60
Redoubled
80
80
120
120
For each trick over six,
bid and made
AT A NO
TRUMP CONTRACT
Un
doubled
Doubled
Redoubled
For the first trick over
six, bid and made
40
80
160
For each additional trick
over six, bid and made
30
60
120
37
The first side to score 100 points below the line, in one
or more deals, wins a game. When a game is won, both
sides start without trick score toward the next game.
First side to win two games wins the rubber points
PREMIUM SCORE
Scored above the line by declarer’s side.
For winning the rubber, if opponents have won no game
700
For winning the rubber, if opponents have won one game
500
For having won the only game in an unfinished rubber
300
For having the only partscore in an unfinished game
100
For making any doubled contract
50
For making any redoubled contract
100
SLAMS
For making a SLAM
NOT
VULNERABLE
VULNERABLE
Small Slam (12 tricks) bid
and made
500
750
Grand Slam (all 13 tricks)
bid and made
1000
1500
NOT
VULNERABLE
VULNERABLE
Trick Value
Trick Value
OVERTRICKS
For each OVERTRICK (tricks
in excess of contract)
Undoubled
Doubled
100
200
Redoubled
200
400
38
HONORS
Scored above the line by either side:
Scored above the line by either side
For holding four of the five trump
honors (A, K, Q, J, 10) in one hand
100
For holding all five trump honors
(A, K, Q, J, 10) in one hand
150
For holding all four aces in one hand
at a no trump contract
150
UNDERTRICK PENALTIES
Not Vulnerable
For first undertrick
For each additional
undertrick
Bonus for the fourth and
each subsequent undertrick
Undoubled
Doubled
Redoubled
50
100
200
50
200
400
0
100
200
Vulnerable
Undoubled
Doubled
Redoubled
For first undertrick
100
200
400
For each additional
undertrick
100
300
600
39
Appendices
Most players will find the Laws and the Proprieties
sufficient for their needs. Some, however, may wish to
adopt procedures to reduce the risk that, unintentionally, extraneous information is given to partner, or proper
information is withheld from opponents. Optional procedures, very similar to those successfully used in Duplicate
Bridge, are set out in Appendices: 1 (Alert procedure); 2
(Skip Bid procedure) and; 3 (face down opening lead).
Note that these Appendices are not part of the Laws or
the Proprieties of Rubber Bridge.
Appendix 1 – Optional Alert Procedure
By agreement, the Alert procedure may be used.
Then, the partner of a player who makes a call to which
the partnership attaches a special, unusual meaning, one
with which the opponents may not be familiar, is required
to say “Alert.” No explanation should be volunteered. After the Alert, either opponent may, at his own turn to call,
inquire as to the special meaning.
A partnership that does not want to be Alerted should
so request, and this request should be honored.
Appendix 2 – Optional Skip Bid Procedure
By agreement, the “Stop” or “Skip Bid” procedure
may be used. Then, whenever a player opens the bidding
at the two level or higher or makes a bid higher than necessary to overcall the last preceding bid, he announces
“Stop” or “Skip Bid” (the players specify the form to be
used) before making the bid.
After this announcement, the opponent next to speak
is required to hesitate for approximately 10 seconds before making any call.
Appendix 3 – Optional Face Down Opening Lead
By agreement, it may be specified that opening leads
be made face down. If an opening lead is determined to
be out of turn (before being faced), the leader returns
the card to his hand without penalty.
When the face-down lead will be legal, dummy delays spreading his hand. Opening leader’s partner asks
40
any questions concerning the auction, including a review.
Then, the lead is faced (opening leader may not withdraw it), dummy is faced and play proceeds normally.
Appendix 4 – Chicago or Four-Deal Bridge
Four-deal Bridge is a form of Rubber Bridge much
played in clubs and well suited to home play. Long rubbers are avoided; extra players need wait no longer than
the time (typically 20 minutes) required to complete four
deals. The game is also called club bridge or Chicago (for
the city in which it originated).
A. Basic Rules
The Laws of Rubber Bridge are followed, except as
modified by the following rules.
B. The Rubber
A rubber consists of a series of four deals that have
been bid and played. If a deal is passed out, the same
player deals again and the deal passed out does not
count as one of the four deals. A fifth deal is void if attention is drawn to it at any time before there has been
a new cut for partners or the game has terminated; if the
error is not discovered in time for correction, the score
stands as recorded. A sixth or subsequent deal is unconditionally void, and no score for such a deal is ever permissible.
In case fewer than four deals are played, the score
shall stand for the incomplete series and the fourth deal
need not be played unless attention is drawn to the error
before there has been a new cut for partners or the game
has terminated.
When the players are pivoting32, the fact that the
players have taken their proper seats for the next rubber
shall be considered a cut for partners.
C. Vulnerability
Vulnerability is not determined by previous scores but
by the following schedule:
32 In a pivot game, partnerships for each rubber follow a fixed
rotation.
41
First deal: neither side vulnerable.
Second and third deals: dealer’s side vulnerable, the
other side not vulnerable. By mutual agreement, the vulnerability on the second and third deals may be switched.
Fourth deal: both sides vulnerable.
D. Premiums
For making or completing a game (100 or more trick
points), a side receives a premium of 300 points if on
that deal it is not vulnerable or 500 points if on that
deal it is vulnerable. There is no additional premium for
winning two or more games, each game premium being
scored separately.
E. The Score
As a reminder of vulnerability in four-deal bridge, two
intersecting diagonal lines should be drawn near the top
of the score pad, as follows: The numeral “1” should be
inserted in that one of the four angles thus formed that
faces the first dealer. After play of the first deal is completed, “2” is inserted in the next angle in clockwise rotation, facing the dealer of the second deal. The numerals
“3” and “4” are subsequently inserted at the start of the
third and fourth deals, respectively, each in the angle facing the current dealer.
A correctly numbered diagram is conclusive as to vulnerability. There is no redress for a bid influenced by the
scorer’s failure to draw the diagram or for an error or
omission in inserting a numeral or numerals in the diagram. Such error or omission should, upon discovery, be
immediately corrected and the deal or deals should be
scored or rescored as though the diagram and the number or numbers thereon had been property inserted.
F. Partscores
A partscore or scores made previously may be combined with a partscore made in the current deal to complete a game of 100 or more trick points. The game premium is determined by the vulnerability on that deal of
the side that completes the game. When a side makes
or completes a game, no previous partscore of either
42
side may thereafter be counted toward game. A side that
makes a partscore in the fourth deal, if the partscore is
not sufficient to complete a game, receives a premium
of 100 points. This premium is scored whether or not the
same side or the other side has an uncompleted partscore.
There is no separate premium for making a partscore
in any other circumstance.
G. Deal out of Turn
When a player deals out of turn, and there is no right
to a redeal, the player who should have dealt retains his
right to call first, but such right is lost if it is not claimed
before the actual dealer calls. If the actual dealer calls
before attention is drawn to the deal out of turn, each
player thereafter calls in rotation. Vulnerability and scoring values are determined by the position of the player
who should have dealt, regardless of which players actually dealt or called first. Neither the rotation of the deal
nor the scoring is affected by a deal out of turn. The next
dealer is the player who would have dealt next if the deal
had been in turn.
H. Optional Rules and Customs
The following practices, not required, have proved acceptable in some clubs and games:
1. Since the essence of the game is speed, if a deal
is passed out, the deck that has been shuffled for
the next deal should be used by the same dealer.
2. T
he net score of a rubber should be translated into even hundreds (according to American
custom) by crediting as 100 points any fraction
thereof amounting to 50 or more points: e.g., 750
points count as 800; 740 points count as 700.
3. N
o two players may play a second consecutive
rubber as partners at the same table. If two players draw each other again, the player who has
drawn the highest card should play with the player who has drawn the third-highest, against the
other two players.
43
4. To avoid confusion as to how many deals have
been played, each deal should be scored, even if
there is no net advantage to either side (for example, when one side is entitled to 100 points for
undertrick penalties and the other side is entitled
to 100 points for honors). In a result that completes a game, premiums for overtricks, game,
slam or making a doubled contract should be
combined with the trick score to produce one total, which is entered below the line (for example,
if a side makes 2ª doubled and vulnerable with
an overtrick, 870 should be scored below the
line, not 120 below the line and 50, 500 and 200
above the line).
PART VIII – Alternative Club Laws
When bridge is played at a club, it is often practicable to designate an impartial and experienced person as
“Arbiter” for the game. The Arbiter interprets and applies
the Laws after an irregularity occurs and generally assumes the role assigned to the “Director” in Duplicate
Bridge. When such an Arbiter is available, certain Laws
may be modified so as to produce greater equity. The
“Club Laws” prescribe a somewhat different procedure
after attention is drawn to an irregularity, and there is
a different disposition for disputed claims. The principal
changes, however, lie in the authority given to the Arbiter, after specified types of irregularity, to “adjust the
score” of a deal once play is over. In adjusting a score, the
Arbiter assigns a new result, the result he judges would
likely have been achieved had the irregularity not occurred. The Arbiter should resolve any substantial doubt
in favor of the non-offending side.
The Alternative Club Laws are in force only upon advance agreement by the players or in accordance with
the standing and published policy of a club. Any game
may play under these Club Laws, so long as an Arbiter is nominated in advance; when there are more than
four members of a table, a non-playing member may act
as Arbiter.
44
Club Law 13
The Arbiter must be called as soon as attention is
drawn to an irregularity. Calling the Arbiter does not forfeit any rights to which a player may otherwise be entitled. Any player, including dummy subject to restrictions under Law 42 and Law 43, may draw attention to
an irregularity and call the Arbiter. The fact that a player
draws attention to an irregularity committed by his side
does not affect the rights of the opponents.
No player should call or play until the Arbiter has determined and explained all matters in regard to the irregularity. Premature correction of an irregularity on the
part of an offender may subject him to further penalty.
Club Law 14
The Arbiter assesses penalties when applicable. When
these Club Laws provide an option among penalties, the
Arbiter explains the options available.
The Arbiter may assign an adjusted score, but only
when the Club Laws empower him to do so or when the
Laws provides no indemnity to the non-offending side
for the particular type of violation of Law or propriety
committed by an opponent. The Arbiter may not assign
an adjusted score on the ground that the penalty provided in the Laws is unduly severe or unduly advantageous
to either side.
Club Law 16
Regular Law 16 stands with the following addition:
If attention is drawn to an offence and the Arbiter is
called, the Arbiter should direct that the auction or play
continue, and assign an adjusted score at the end of play
if he considers that the result could have been affected
by the unauthorized information.
A player may announce that he may summon the Arbiter after the play. If an opponent disagrees that unauthorized information might have been conveyed, the
Arbiter should be called immediately. However, a player
does not lose his right to call the Arbiter after play has
ended even if no announcement is made earlier. The Arbiter should award an adjusted score after play ends to
45
redress damage caused to the non-offending side.
If the Arbiter determines that an offense has been committed and the non-offending side has been damaged, the
result should be adjusted to redress any such damage.
Club Law 21
Regular Law 21 stands with the following addition:
When it is determined that misinformation has been
given the Arbiter should be called. If it is too late to
change a call or play, the Arbiter should allow play to
continue. Regardless of when the Arbiter is called, at the
end of play if the Arbiter determines that the non-offending side was damaged due to the irregularity he should
award an adjusted score.
Club Law 23
Regular Law 23 stands with the following addition:
When the penalty for an irregularity would compel
the offender’s partner to pass, and when the Arbiter
deems that this enforced pass will necessarily33 damage
the non-offending side, the Arbiter may assign an adjusted score.
Club Law 25
Regular Law 25 stands with the following addition:
Club Law 23 may apply.
Club Law 27
Regular Law 27 stands with the following addition
to 27A:
If the insufficient bid conveyed such substantial information as to damage the non-offending side, the Arbiter
may assign an adjusted score, and in regular Law 27B:
the Arbiter should be called before the auction con33
The score should not be adjusted merely because the penalty
happened to result in good fortune for the offending side. The
word “necessarily” restricts score adjustment to those instances
in which the offender could have known at the time of his infraction that it would be to his side’s advantage to require partner
to pass.
46
tinues. The Arbiter will then decide if the replaced bid
conforms to the Law. Further, at the end of play, the
Arbiter can adjust the score if he determines that the
outcome would have been different without some
added information.
Club Laws 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, 37 and 38
Regular Laws 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, 37 and 38 stand with
the following addition: Club Laws 16 and 23 may apply.
Club Law 40
Regular Law 40 stands with the following addition:
If the Arbiter decides that a side has been damaged
through its opponents’ failure to explain the meaning of
a call or play, he may award an adjusted score.
Club Law 47
Regular Law 47 stands with the following addition:
If a card retracted under Law 47C and 47D gave substantial information to the offending side, the Arbiter
may award an adjusted score.
Club Law 55
Regular Law 55 stands with the following addition:
If the Arbiter determines that declarer adopted a line
of play that could have been based on information obtained through his infraction, he should assign an adjusted score to redress the damage.
Club Law 64
Regular Law 64 stands, except that:
When after any established revoke, including those not
subject to penalty, the Arbiter deems that equity has not
been restored to the non-offending side, he should assign an adjusted score.
Club Law 69
Regular Law 69 stands with the following additions:
If either defender disputes declarer’s claim or conces47
sion, the Arbiter must be called to adjudicate the result
of the deal.
The Arbiter should adjudicate the result of the deal
as equitably as possible to both sides, but any doubtful
point should be resolved in favor of the defenders. He
should proceed as follows:
A. He should require the declarer to repeat the statement he made at the time of his claim. The Arbiter
should then require all players to put their cards
face up on the table and should hear the defenders’
objections to the claim.
B. When a trump is outstanding, he should award a
trick to the defenders if
1. in making his claim declarer made no statement
about that trump, and
2. it is at all likely that declarer was unaware, at the
time of his claim, that a trump remained in a defender’s hand, and
3. a trick could be lost to that trump by any normal
play (an inferior or careless play can be normal,
but not an irrational play).
C. He should not accept from declarer any proposed
line of play inconsistent with his statement. If declarer did not make an appropriate announcement
at the time of his original claim, the Arbiter should
not accept from declarer any unusual line of play or
any proposed play that requires a finesse34 in a suit,
unless an opponent failed to follow in that suit before the claim or concession or would subsequently
fail to follow in that suit on an conceivable line of
play. If declarer’s statement did not include the order of play when leading a suit, it may be assumed
from the top down.
Club Law 70
Regular Law 70 stands with the following addition:
It declarer disputes a defender’s claim of concession,
the Arbiter must be called to adjudicate the result of the
34 For these purposes, a finesse is a play the success of which
depends on finding one defender rather than the other with or
without a particular card
48
deal. He does so as equitably as possible to both sides,
but should award to the declarer any trick that the defenders could lose by normal play (an inferior or careless
play can be normal, but not an irrational play).
Club Appeals Committee
Whenever possible, a club should establish an Appeals Committee to review decisions of the Arbiter, and
any game may designate a committee to which appeals
may be taken. If such a procedure has been agreed to or
published in advance, any player may appeal any decision by the Arbiter. The Appeals Committee exercises all
powers assigned by these Laws to the Arbiter and may
overrule any of his decisions.
When an Arbiter’s decision is overruled on appeal,
only the scoring of the particular deal is affected; subsequent scores stand as recorded. If the committee’s
decision results in fulfillment of a contract originally recorded as defeated or defeat of a contract recorded as
fulfilled, then,
A. for a contract now fulfilled: in addition to the other
trick score and premium score, declarer’s side receives a premium of 100 points for a partscore that
would not then have increased the below-the-line
score to 100; and for any other contract, declarer’s
side receives a premium according to vulnerability —
300 points if declarer’s side was non-vulnerable, 400
points if declarer’s was vulnerable and the defenders
not and 500 points if both sides were vulnerable.
B. for a contract now defeated, when the original scoring
resulted in a game: in addition to the other premium
score, the defenders receive a premium of 100 points
if they alone had scored a partscore in that game,
plus a premium of 500 points if declarer’s side originally won two of two games, or 200 points if the
defenders’ side originally won two of three games.
Rules for Club Procedure
The following rules, governing membership in new
49
and existing tables, have proven satisfactory in club use
over a long period of years.
A. Definitions
Member: An applicant who has acquired the right to
play at a table either immediately or in his turn.
Complete Table: A table with six members.
Incomplete Table: A table with four or five members.
Cut In: Assert the right to become a member of
an incomplete table or to become a member of a
complete table at such time as it may become incomplete.
B. Time Limit on Right to Play
A
n applicant may not play in a rubber unless he has
become a member of a table before a card is duly
drawn for the selection of players or partners.
C. Newly Formed Tables
our to six applicants may form a table. If there are more
F
than six applicants, the six highest-ranking ones become
members. The four highest-ranking members play the
first rubber. Those who have not played, ranked in their
order of entry into the room, take precedence over
those who have played; the latter rank equally, except
that players leaving existing tables to join the new table
rank lowest. Precedence between those of equal rank is
determined by drawing cards, the player who draws the
highest-ranking card having precedence.
D. Cutting In
n application establishes membership in a table eiA
ther forthwith or (if the table is complete) as soon as
a vacancy occurs, unless applications in excess of the
number required to complete a table are made at the
same time, in which case precedence between applicants is established by drawing cards, as provided in
the preceding rule.
50
E. Going Out
fter each rubber, place must be made for any memA
ber who did not play that last rubber by the member
who has played the greatest number of consecutive
rubbers at that table. Cards are drawn for precedence
if necessary. A member who has left another existing
table must draw cards for his first rubber with the
member who would otherwise have played. A player
who breaks up a game by leaving three players at a
table may not compete against them for entry at another table until each of them has played at least one
rubber.
F. Membership Limited to One Table
o one may be a member of more than one table at
N
the same time, unless a member consents, on request,
to make a fourth at another table and announces his
intention of returning to his former table as soon as
his place at the new table can be filled. Failure to announce such intention results in loss of membership at
his former table.
51
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www.acbl.org
ISBN 0-94385509-8
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