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Engineers Ireland Bridge Club
Opening Lead Out Of Turn - Laws 50d, 53, 54

Opening Lead Out Of Turn - Laws 50D, 53 and 54

If the wrong defender makes an opening lead, the TD offers declarer the choice to accept the lead or treat the card as a major penalty card. All options should be explained before the choice is made, and declarer may not consult partner when choosing.

If declarer wishes to accept the lead, there are two choices:-

  • Lay his hand down as dummy and make partner the declarer instead. Play continues as normal.
  • Play the hand as declarer. Partner puts their hand down as dummy, and the second card of the first trick is played from declarer's hand.

Note - if declarer begins to spread their hand after the lead and exposes any card, they must accept the lead and become the dummy.

If declarer does not wish to accept the lead, s/he may treat the card led as a major penalty card.

  • Declarer can instruct the offender's partner to lead that suit or not to lead it until the partner loses the lead. If declarer gives either instruction,  the penalty card is picked up and ceases to be a penalty card. (But the offending side must not use the unauthorised information).
  • Otherwise the card is left face up as a major penalty card and must be played at the first legal opportunity. Until it is played, declarer continues to have the right to instruct or forbid the partner to lead that suit.

Copyright Michael O'Malley 2016