Introducing the "Comparable Call" Law in the New Bridge Laws
Most of the changes which came into effect on the 1st September are simply the old laws being re-written in easier to understand language, but there are a few major changes too.
The "Comparable Call" Law in the New Bridge Laws.
The biggest change takes place where players pass, bid or double out of turn. In the old laws, one or other of the players was forced to pass and there were lead penalties also.
The New Law 23 (Comparable Call Law) suggests a solution that will allow players get to a normal bridge result after these "calls out of turn" and will also cut down on the number of lead penalties given.
As in the old law, the opponent next in turn has the option of accepting the call out of turn or not. If the call out of turn is accepted then the auction proceeds from there. However, before offering the option to accept the call out of turn, the TD should tell the 4 players that if the call is not accepted, the bidding will revert to the player whose turn it was to call. The offender's partner is free to call without restriction at their turn.
The TD will address the player who called out of turn and tell him that when the bidding reaches him again, if he can find a call that means the same, or has a more precise meaning than his call out of turn, then the auction and play can continue freely without any bidding or lead penalties. If the offender cannot find such a "comparable call", then his partner will have to pass for 1 round and there may also be lead penalties on his partner.
The new Law 23 says that a call that replaces a withdrawn call is a comparable call if it:-
1. has the same or similar meaning as that attributable to the withdrawn call, or
2. defines a subset of the possible meanings attributable to the withdrawn call, or
3. has the same purpose (e.g. an asking bid or a relay) as that attributable to the withdrawn call.
North is dealer but South passes out of turn. West decides not to accept the pass out of turn. The bidding reverts to North. North can do whatever he/she likes. Say he opens IH. East passes. Now South has a number of comparable calls available to him, e.g. he can pass, he can respond 1NT, 2NT, 2H, or 3H because each of these calls show hands which are a subset of the range of hands he had shown initially by his pass out of turn.