At the Start of a Round
- Greet your opponents in a warm and friendly manner. Check that you have the correct boards. Announce the basics of your system – e.g. “forcing club, strength of No Trump opening, 4 or 5 card majors”.
- Check that you have 13 cards then look at your hand and sort it into suits. Don’t shift your cards from one hand to the other or shift suits around after sorting. Keep it fanned and don’t shut it up or put it down on the table.
During the Auction
- Pause a moment before making any call (which includes a Pass). If the opponent on your right has opened with more than one of any denomination or has made a jump bid, do not make any call until 10 seconds have elapsed.
- Remember if you pause for an unduly long time in normal circumstances, you may silence your partner if you then pass.
- Don’t bid after partner has made a pause before passing which was of significant length, unless the bid you make is clearly permissible on your own hand without anything but the minimum your opponents’ bidding would suggest may be in your partner’s hand. The onus will be on you to show that partner’s pause did not influence your bid.
- Bid and play without emphasis. Don’t vary the tone of your bidding – it should always be flat and unemphatic.
- Transfer bids over an opening 1NT are made by announcing “transfer” after your partner makes the bid.
- Remember to alert your opponents to any call which is conventional below the level of 3NT. You only need to alert conventional calls above the level of 3NT on the first round of bidding e.g. 1♠ : P : 4♣ (needs to be alerted).
IF USING BIDDING BOXES
Do not allow your hand to hover over or fidget with the bidding cards in the bidding box while you are considering the bid you will make. Perceived uncertainty can convey unauthorised information.
Whenever an alert is required to draw attention to a conventional call made by partner, the ALERT card should be taken from the box and shown to both opponents (making sure it is seen by both), before being replaced in the box. The next opponent to bid has the option to ask for the meaning of the bid.
If making a jump bid, before you take out the bid you intend to make, place the “Stop” card on the table to alert your next opponent that a jump bid is about to be made e.g. a pre-emptive 3♥ bid.
Once you place your jump bid on the table, wait 10 seconds before returning the “Stop” card to the bidding box. This allows your opponent to bid “in tempo”, without undue hesitation that could convey information unfairly.
When your right hand opponent employs a stop card, wait for it to be removed before you make your next bid.
At the end of the auction, make sure the bidding is completed by having three passes on the table.
Leave the bidding cards on the table until the opening lead is made.
This allows declarer and both defenders to review and analyse the bidding. The opponent on lead has the opportunity to ask for clarification of the bidding e.g. the meaning of a bid etc. It also may help to prevent a lead out of turn.
- Place the opening lead face down on the table. This prevents you leading out of turn. Your partner now has the opportunity to ask questions about the bidding. If they have none, they should say “Thank you” or “No questions” and you can turn your lead face up. Dummy can then be placed on the table. Try to keep the board on the table, with North pointed in the correct direction, to ensure there will be no misboarding.
- When placing Dummy’s hand on the table and a suit contract is being played, the trump suit should be placed on Dummy’s right, Declarer’s left. When Dummy, don’t play any card, however obvious, until asked by partner. When Dummy, don’t look at opponent’s or partner’s hands or shift around on your seat.
At the End of Play
- Agree the result before entering the score and lifting the cards that have been played from the table – this allows you to check the cards in the correct order, if there should be a problem. Don’t take the cards from the board after they have been returned to it after play. Penalties will be incurred if cards are misboarded. Only move to the next table when the TD has moved the boards and asked you to move.
Calling the Director
- If anything should go wrong at the table, agree with your opponents to call the Tournament Director. Let one player explain the facts to the TD and avoid raised voices that may distract other players at nearby tables. Make the Tournament Director your friend – he/she is there to ensure everyone has a fair and enjoyable game. More details are available in the annual CBAI Diary or from the Rule Book – “The Laws of Duplicate Bridge”.
- Be aware of your own mannerisms and try to remain impassive so that you do not convey any unauthorised information about your hand.
- Be courteous to opponents and to your partner.
ENJOY YOUR GAME!