The Amelia Island Duplicate Bridge Club

Monday May 27th
Memorial Day
Game will be played

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Tips for Better Bridge
Bridge Tips Archives

1. Bridgemate Etiquette:

 Unauthorized information is always a concern when playing duplicate bridge. Unnecessary table chatter can often be inadvertently overheard at adjacent tables. One way to minimize this possibility is to avoid discussion of Bridgemate results.

 After North enters the score for a completed hand and asks E or W to confirm results, instead of reading out what other teams have bid and made, just pass the bridgemate quietly around the table for others to see as they wish.


2. Call the Director: it's not tattling

 Many, if not most, duplicate bridge players have misinformation and misunderstandings about bridge rules and rulings.

For example, did you know that if there is a lead out of turn there are 5 different options for the declarer? Do you know what they all are? If not, call the director. It is his/her job to inform and mediate fairly.

 Did you know that if you make an insufficient bid that there are options for your opponents which will include accepting that insufficient bid. If you don't know all your options, call the director. 

 Once the director arrives at the table have one person, usually the declarer, explain the situation. Don't all speak at once. The director might ask further questions to clarify or ask your opponents if they agree with your explanation. Once the director makes a ruling you may ask questions if you are unsure. If you disagree with the director's ruling, you may challenge and have it reviewed later.


Finally,  please raise your hand when calling so your table may be identified and remember that calling "Director, PLEASE" is never a bad idea.


3. Zero Tolerance Policy:

ACBL is committed to improving acceptable behavior at all times.

Examples of "good" behavior:

-being a good host at the table

-greeting others in a friendly manner

-praising the bidding and/play of opponents

-having two clearly completed and identical convention cards available.

Examples of "bad" behavior:

-badgering, rudeness, insinuations, intimidation

-negative comments concerning opponents or partner's play

-constant and gratuitous  "lessons" and analyses at the table

- loud and disruptive arguing

If you are ever uncomfortable with the behavior of someone at your table you have the right and responsibility to ask that person to stop. Trying saying, "Please wait to discuss your concerns away from the table or after the game is finished" If disruptive behavior happens repeatedly, speak to the director. He has the authority to ban that player from the club.


4. Tips for Keeping on Pace

The following simple tips can sometimes cut a minute or two off your round. You will play faster, feel less pressure and have a more enjoyable time.

- don't "socialize" until after the required boards are played and then only if there is time remaining in the round; get going right away.

- after the final contract is reached, the defender on lead should face the lead before opening his personal scorecard to record the contract;  don't keep the rest of the table waiting while you write.

- after the final contract is reached and the lead is faced,  declarer's partner should spread the dummy before opening his personal scorecard to record the contract;  don't keep the rest of the table waiting while you write.

- after a board is concluded and the contract recorded in the Bridgemate and approved, North should promptly put the next board on top and in play before recording the score in his personal scorecard; don't keep the rest of the table waiting while you write.


5.  Slow Play Regulations

Slow play, especially habitual slow play, is a violation of law and subject to penalty. Law 81C1 instructs the director of his duty to ensure that slow play not disrupt the game. Law 90A and Law 90B2 specifically provide for procedural penalties to be given in cases of undue slow play, and Law 91A empowers the director at his discretion to make such penalties disciplinary and therefore not subject to being overruled by an appeal committee (same as with zero-tolerance penalties). Further, Law 12C2 permits the director to award an artificial adjusted score when slow play prevents a board from being played. 

The preceding paragraph applies to all events. The following paragraph addresses pair type movements specifically but applies conceptually to all events as well. 

When a pair has fallen behind it is incumbent on them to make up the time lost as quickly as possible whether at fault or not. All players are expected to make a concerted effort to catch up when they have fallen behind, regardless of the reason for their lateness. In the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, the director should presume that a pair finishing a round late by more than two or three minutes on more than one occasion during a session is responsible for the lateness. There is a strong expectation that the director will penalize such a pair. The size of a penalty will tend to increase for subsequent instances of slow play and for chronic or egregious slow play. While warnings typically will be given before a penalty is assessed, failure to do so in no way limits the director's authority to issue a penalty.  An appeal of an action taken by a TD with regard to time may be taken to the Director in Charge of the tournament, and no further. This regulation is not intended to override specific event conditions regarding slow play. 




You MUST bid in a timely fashion—each and every time.  To pause, reach in and out of your bidding box, hesitate or show your partner that you are in quandary whether to bid or not are both illegal and unethical.

Rule 16 states “extraneous information that may suggest a call or play … or by unmistakable hesitation … tone, gesture, movement, mannerism or the like” is an infraction of the ACBL rules of the game.  It is no different than bidding or leading out of turn; it is simply cheating.  Your partner may not choose from logical alternative actions that could have been suggested by this extracurricular activity. 

If the director is called to the tables after the opponents have been placed on notice that their “suggested line of play” may damage the opposite party, an adjusted score will be awarded.  Even if no adjusted score is awarded, the offending party can be “penalized” for repeated hesitations in bidding.

The best course to avoid these penalties is to plan your FIRST and SECOND bids before you place your first bidding card on the table.


7. Silence is Golden:

When your partner gives wrong information to the opponent or when your partner fails to alert a bid, if you are the defenders you must say nothing until the hands is fully played.  Otherwise, you are giving your partner unauthorized information.  If the declaring side feels they were hurt by either incorrect information or by the opponents’ failure to alert, call the director.  He will rule on the matter. 

If you are the declaring side, you must notify the defending side before the first card is played about the incorrect information or failure to alert. They are entitled to know before the play the hand. Once again if defenders feel they were hurt by this, call the director.

“Silence is golden” if you are the defending side.

The second time for remaining silent is when you are the dummy.  The dummy is only allowed to speak on three occasions

(1) to ask if the declarer is void in a suit;

(2) to tell the declarer he/she has placed his played card in the wrong direction;

(3) to inform the declarer he/she is leading from the wrong hand. 

The dummy can only correct #2 above immediately after the declarer had placed the card in the wrong direction; the dummy CAN NOT tell the declarer “you won the third trick back, and your card is in the wrong direction”.  The dummy is not even allowed to call the director or to explain to the director why he was called to the tableIf you are the dummy and notice a revoke during the play of the hand, you must say nothing during the play of the hand.  On the 12th trick, you should notify all at the table not to move their cards when the last trick is played.  Then the dummy can say “I think there was a revoke on trick 4 and I would like to call the director to see if I am right”.  The dummy can not alert the other players about a revoke; if he/she does so, it is as their own peril.  The director will rule the dummy has incurred a procedural penalty, and the revoke may be nullified.

“Silence is golden” if you are the dummy. "


Lastly, after you play a hand or “pass out” a deal, the 13 cards in your hand should be randomly shuffled before returning them to their sleeve.  If you leave your cards suited and in numerical order after a “pass out”, you are SCREAMING to the next player “we passed out this hand; beware!”  By rearranging your cards after every deal you are not giving unauthorized information to the next table.

  “Silence is golden” by rearranging your cards after every hand.