Aim to arrive by 7.15 to be seated for 7.25 for a 7.30 start. Remember if you arrive late, the whole movement will probably have to be adjusted to accommodate you.
With the exception of Table No 1 where the President will always sit North, a draw for North should take place when all four players are seated.
Please fill the sign-in sheet clearly putting down SURNAMES in every case.
Aim to bid and play in a timely manner. It should take approximately 7/8 minutes to bid and play each board. Please keep conversation to a minimum until you have finished playing all boards. Don’t analyse each hand as it finishes. If there is still time at the end of the round, when all the scoring has been done, then by all means have a post-mortem. If the Tournament Director calls the move, please move promptly, even if you haven’t had time for discussion. If a table is particularly slow, due to whatever reason, the Tournament Director may choose to hurry them along or even average a board if necessary. Please do not take this personally. Bear in mind that the TD has a difficult job and is trying to make the evening as enjoyable as possible for everyone.
Maintain a courteous attitude at all times
Greet your opponents as they/you arrive at the table
Compliment your opponents on good bidding or play
Do NOT argue or be disrespectful to your partner
And NEVER criticize your opponent’s bidding or play
Be careful not to gloat. Saying “Well done Partner” is one thing – high fiving is another thing altogether…!
When playing a Howell movement BOTH pairs should make sure that they are at the right table playing the right boards before starting.
Always count your cards before looking at them to make sure that you have 13
Always leave the boards open on the table during bidding in order that players can see at glance their vulnerability.
During the auction, use the bidding boxes. No comments about the bids are necessary except for requests for clarification from the opponents. If you have a question about a bid made eg. “is that weak or strong NT?”, the question must be directed to the PARTNER of the person bidding – NOT the bidder.
Try not to take too long over bids. Sometimes hesitations can give undue information to your partner. NEVER make a comment which clearly conveys information about your hand to your partner.
The use of bridge notes is not allowed.
The STOP card should be placed on the table by the bidder for about 10 seconds before any jump bid, including an opening bid (a bid where at least one level is being skipped – eg. 1 ♣ / STOP 2 ♥ or an opening bid of 2 ♠ or 3 ♥ . It is to alert your partner to the fact that you are jump bidding or jump shifting.
The ALERT card is used to indicate certain bids which are not natural. It should be taken from the box by the PARTNER of the person bidding, NOT the bidder and shown to both opponents. It is not strictly necessary to give an explanation unless asked but many people will volunteer one eg. “might be short” (for a phoney 1 ♣ opening) or “transfers” (when 2 ♦ over 1NT indicates a transfer to 2 ♥ and 2 ♥ over 1NT indicates a transfer to 2 ♠ )
Do not put the bidding cards back in the box until after the lead card has been played. This is so the person on lead can remind themselves of the bidding.
It can be very distracting for the Declarer if there is conversation at the table while they are playing the hand. Therefore, with the exception of “in your hand”, “on the table” or “having none?” there should be no talk during play.
When you are on lead, make your lead face down BEFORE the dummy has placed down their cards. This is in case there is confusion over which player is the declarer.
If dummy is playing the cards for the declarer, they must only do so on the instructions of the declarer. It is unacceptable for dummy to reach out and play a card of their own accord.
Cards played should always be placed face up on the table in front of the player. It is NOT acceptable to simply twist the card in your hand and then place it in the won/lost position.
It is good practice when your partner does not follow suit (for the first time in a suit) to ask “Having none Partner?”. This SHOULD eliminate all instances of reneges (not following suit even though you have the suit in your hand) being established. It then means that the player simply corrects his mistake, playing the correct suit and leaving the mistakenly played card face up on the table to be played at the next legal opportunity. If a renege/revoke is established (ie. play has moved on to subsequent tricks) you should call the Tournament Director. If the offender does NOT win the revoke trick, the penalty is 1 trick, if they DO win the revoke trick, the penalty is 2 tricks.
At the end of a board, make sure that all players are in agreement on the result before lifting the cards from the table.
If you discuss a board after the play, make sure that you do so very quietly as people near you who haven’t yet played that board may overhear.
Shuffle and recount your cards before placing them back in the boards and double check that North’s cards go back in North etc.
It is NORTH who is responsible for scoring
Make sure that you have the correct pairs detailed
Make sure that you clearly write if the contract is + or – tricks eg. 3NT + 2
Make sure that you CLEARLY mark who has played the contract. Ns and Ws often look similar…!
Check that you have taken the vulnerability into account. Vulnerability is only a factor when declarer has made his contract in the event that game has been bid eg. 3NT made is 400 points non vulnerable and 600 points if vulnerable whereas 2NT is 120 points regardless of vulnerability. In the event of the contract not being made, vulnerability is always a factor. It is 50 points for each undertrick if not vulnerable and 100 points if vulnerable.
Make sure that the score is allocated to the correct column – either N/S or E/W
If the contract has been doubled or redoubled, make sure that this is noted eg. 4 ♥ * / 3NT * RD.
North should always show the sheet to East for them to confirm that the score is correctly entered.
If you are unsure about a score or notice a previous score that you think is entered incorrectly, call the Tournament Director or one of the Club Scorers. Do NOT make changes to the score yourself – at most, place ? beside the score in question.