Here is ETIQUETTE VIGNETTE NUMBER THREE – Unauthorized Information (UI) Given Partner by “Fondling” the Bidding Box (ref: Law 16B1),
a. UI from partner is “any extraneous information from partner that might suggest a call or play is unauthorized.” (Emphasis mine)
b. “This includes 1) remarks, 2) questions, 3) replies to questions, 4) unexpected alerts or failures to alert, 5) unmistakable hesitation, 6) unwonted speed, 7) special emphasis, 8) tone, 9) gesture, 10) movement or mannerism” (Law 16B1—numbering mine).
c. Are any of the above rules infractions? Absolutely not. They constitute unauthorized information.
d. You mean if I “fondle” the bidding box I’ve committed no irregularity? Correct.
e. So what’s the big deal if I want to caress my bidding box before I pull out of the “Pass" card?
f. It’s what partner of the “fondler” does that’s the big deal.
1) “A player (partner here) may not choose a call or play that is demonstrably suggested over another by unauthorized information if the other call or play is a logical alternative.” (Law 16B1 (a)).
2) “A logical alternative is an action that a significant proportion of the class of players in question, using the methods of the partnership, would seriously consider, and some might select. (Law 16B2(b)). .
In short: a) decide your bid; b) remove the card that indicates that bid; c) place it on the table in front of you.
Anything else puts partner under the microscope, and, should your opponents deem the revealed UI was acted upon by your partner at anytime during the auction or play and thereby they were damaged (that is, they achieved a result that was less than they feel they would have enjoyed had not the UI occurred), and the Director agrees, your side may be penalized via an adjusted score.