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The Director's Corner
The Director's Corner Tips and Topics for all Bridge Players

August 13, 2019

3 cards left to play.

West leads a small spade.

Declarer (North) claims, exposes his hand showing all trumps stating they are all good.

Deuce, 8, and 10.

West asks how is he going to play them?

He states 10, 8, 2.

West has the 9 of trumps and calls the Director.

Problem 1.

The director should be called if either defender contests the claim.

Problem 2.

Once the claim is made, the play is over. It is not the responsibility of the defenders to question declarer regarding his claim, it is the Directors responsibility.

Problem 3.

The declarer should be specific in his line of play; in this case ruffing with a small trump, then playing the trumps from the top.

Problem 4

After the above claim was made, and contested;

Director rules that if there was any logical line of play which allowed West to win a trick with his outstanding trump, a

trick would be awarded to the defense.

Importantly, no assumption of illogical play is ever made.

CALL Director Please.


July 26, 2019

Scent and Smoking Policy

SCGBC has by necessity adopted a scent free and non smoking policy.

Men and women are advised that cologne and perfume  are not to be used.

Smoking between rounds and during sit out rounds are not allowed. Directors are to advise that if this no smoking policy is violated, the violator will be given a single warning. A repeat episode will incur a ban from the club.

Please, members and guests; there are several players with significant respiratory issues which are worsened by inhalation of smoke, and by volitalized chemicals such as perfumes etc.

This policy is supported by the club officers, and club manager.


June 27, 2019

You hold

S KJ98

H xx


C AQxx

RHO opens 1N

You X showing a like hand ( penalty)

Partner bids 2H you announce transfer per agreement and bid 2S.

Partner bids 3H and makes a comment, " I should have transferred to hearts". You pass and RHO calls the director


1 through 7, Clubs, diamonds, hearts and Spades, pass, double. redouble and alert are the only communications allowed.

You have to respond as if the comment did not occur. Ethically you have to bid 3S, and even 4 S if partner bids 4H.

Partner has described a game force with Spades and hearts 5+5+.

The director adjusted the score to 4S down 3. Procedural penalty.


June 4, 2019


In bridge parlance, any time you speak or pull a card from your bidding box, you are going to be making a call. Even in an informal game, your vocabulary is limited to fifteen words:

  • Pass
  • Double
  • Redouble
  • One – Seven
  • Club
  • Diamond
  • Heart
  • Spade
  • Notrump

The ACBL, however, has added several words that alert opponents to unusual bidding

Alert — A warning to the opponents that the last call by your partner has been assigned a conventional message.

Announcement — A word or phrase that directly describes the meaning of partner’s call. This is part of the Alert process and is used in four cases: to describe partner’s range when opening 1NT (such as 15-17 or 16-18 high-card points); when the partnership uses a transfer bid following an notrump opening; when the partnership uses a forcing 1NT response; when an opening bid in a minor suit could be short (fewer than three cards).

May 13, 2019

Have you ever heard of “Double Dummy?” 

This is a bridge term meaning that all hands are visible, like in a newspaper or books, to explain how to bid or play hands. (This is not good at the bridge table.)

Contract bridge depends on description of hands by bidding and play. Partnership agreements regarding bids and leads convey information to both partner and opponents. That is the intent and purpose of alerts and descriptions on convention cards.

If a player makes a bid out of turn, that gives unauthorized information to the partner of the offender.  When it is your turn to bid, and partner opens out of turn, he is describing his holding by his bid. This certainly will affect your plan and disrupt opponent’s responses.

If your partner leads out of turn, the lead gives information as to his holding in the suit that he has led. Again, opponents are injured. If partner drops a card on the table, plays the wrong card, then corrects it to avoid a revoke, again he is providing information regarding his hand.

IF ANY of these occur, call and raise your hand: DIRECTOR, PLEASE.


April 29, 2019

Declarer makes a claim. “I have the rest of the tricks”


  1. Is it allowed, and encouraged to Claim by ACBL?
  2. Was the claim done correctly?
  3. You look in your hand, and see a trump! What do you do?


  1. It is allowed, and to increase the pace of the game, encouraged.
  2. No!  ACBL states that an exposed hand (claim) is to be followed by an explanation of play, in order for the defense to concede or contest the claim. If this does not occur, and you feel your team has a trick or more coming, DIRECTOR, PLEASE. The play ceases with the claim! The director will decide if the claim is valid, and if not award an adjusted score.
  3. DIRECTOR, PLEASE. If trumps are not mentioned in the claim, the director evaluates the holdings, and determines if a trick could be won by a normal line of play. ACBL does not allow an expectation of foolish play. They define “normal” for level of expertise of declarer.


April 22, 2019

Who/ what is a Director?

All are volunteers. All have taken the time to study, and take and pass an extensive Director Exam developed by the ACBL.

The ACBL Rule Book, is tackled, game and movement set up are learned, and a significant amount of time is spent learning how to deal with the Computer, ACBL Score program and reporting to ACBL. Other additional efforts involve collecting monies, seating, stratification etc. Fortunately, we have other kind volunteers that regularly assist in these efforts.

Following our games, and computer reporting, everything has to be put away. The Director is the last to leave. The club allows for a minimal stipend to recognize these efforts, certainly not arising to any minimal wage guarantee.

Directors are bridge enthusiasts, and in addition to the enjoyment of playing, volunteer to ensure equity and fair play for all.


April 15, 2019

ACBL STANCE all levels of play.

Stop cards, and “skip bid” warnings were abandoned. However, it is expected a 10 second pause occurs after
such bids. Should the Director be called, he will refresh this understanding, and at end of play determine

Injury to the non-offending pair. For our games, this is rare.

More commonly, an extended pause then pass, could communicate unauthorized information. However, every player is entitled to consider their bids, and play. After the pause, and rebid by offender’s partner… “DIRECTOR, PLEASE”…The director will determine by consensus whether there was an extended pause, and determine if the rebid was reasonable if there had been no pause. At the end of the play, if there is some question, declarer may or may not award an adjusted score.


April 8, 2019

"What if Declarer leads out of turn, or from the wrong hand?

Answer: The lead can be accepted by either defender. If they disagree, priority goes to the defender who is next to play.



March 29, 2019

ACBL rule: Do not take your cards out of the board unless 1 opponent is at the table.


March 25, 2019

Ethics and Tempo

  1. Congratulate opponents for fine play at conclusion of a board. Congratulate partner preferably at end of play, at least after opponents depart. We actually had a player give a “thumbs up” after his partner chose a killing lead!!
  2. Partner makes a real beyond the pale Stinker bid or play. DO NOT GRIMACE, FROWN, SCREAM, CURSE, CHASTISE…(get the picture?). As Marty Bergen voiced in his book: Points, Schmoints: Chapter 3: Rules of being a good partner; point 5:” Remember you and your partner are on the same side” and point 7: If you feel the urge to be nasty, sarcastic, critical or loud---excuse yourself and take a walk.
  3. Be poker faced, no gestures, facial or spoken clues that may convey unauthorized information.
  4. Do not surf the bidding box, and then pull a pass card out.

March 18, 2019

Dealing Machine

SCG Bridge Club has a “Dealing Machine” which is used to produce ‘Duplicate Hands’.  This makes it an enjoyable competitive experience where pairs play the same hands, and against the same opponents, as much as possible. It is CRITICAL, that every player counts their cards before EACH hand is exposed.  Occasionally, the Dealing machine will misdeal. Rarely, a card may ‘ fall’ to the floor between rounds.  These events “foul” the boards creating different hands requiring adjustments. Everyone can count to 13! Help the Director.

 Often during pauses, players inspect partner’s hand for improvement of their understandings and play. It is CRITICAL that only 1 hand is removed from the board at a time, and replaced in its position after inspection. Avoid a nightmare of switching EW with NS. Help the director.

 Never face a lead. Place the lead face down, and ask if there are any questions partner has.  Avoid a penalty. Help the director.



March 11, 2019

The Director is called for “Bids Out of Turn” often!

 #1. North is dealer and is thinking of his bid. But,South lays down a bid (out of turn).
” is called by both opponents.

 #2. North is dealer and passes. East bids 1 Club.

Simultaneously, South bids 1C (she/he wasn’t paying attention, was she/he?)

The Director will now explain the various options.  They are different in the two cases above.  Don’t make your own ruling!
When you, as Declarer, call a card from Dummy, BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY.

If opponent leads a King, and you have the Ace and a deuce in dummy, if you say “play” then you have been deemed to play the deuce, even though you meant to play the Ace. SAY THE CARD YOU MEAN.

No one will need to call the Director if as Declarer you simply say the Suit and Rank. Examples of proper approach are “Heart King” or “Spade Deuce.”

March 4, 2019


These rules are important and enforced at all levels of Contract Bridge (Duplicate, Social, Chicago, etc).

They are standard and apply to all levels of duplicate bridge, in all countries, from professional experts to beginning novice players. Because of the wide skill levels there are rules which are strict, and some are confusing.

Fortunately, there are directors who can adjudicate infractions to promote a equitable solution. Consistency is a good thing. We are fortunate to have many available experienced directors for problem solutions. As you may have experienced, directors sometimes make mistakes. Away from the table, after the game, if you have a question or feel there was an error in the ruling, convey your concerns to the director. If you still disagree, the declarer has several avenues to pursue including asking other directors regarding his ruling. There is a 30 minute appeal time to convey your disagreement with the director for resolution. Please do not “director shop” on your own.

Things to remember: ACBL allows for pulling wrong cards from the bid box ‘mechanical error’ but not for cognitive lapses…”senior moment” or inattentiveness.. ”didn’t see his bid”

There are ACBL rules to deal with all of the errors in bidding or play. DIRECTOR, PLEASE!



Last updated : Aug 13, 2019 15:09 MST