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Bridge Etiquette
Bridge Etiquette

Bridge is an extremely enjoyable game.  Courteous behaviour is an exceptionally important part of that enjoyment.  Please follow the link to the EBU’s directions on “Best Behaviour at Bridge”.


  • It is necessary to play reasonably quickly. The aim is to play 24 boards in 3 hours.
  • Try not to hold up others by slow play or lengthy post-mortems.
  • Do your ‘admin’ when it is somebody else’s turn to bid/play.  Always give priority to bidding/leading/scoring, as appropriate.  Three other players are waiting!

Each New Round

  • North should check that the correct opponents have arrived at the table, and that they have the correct set of boards.  He should also check that both pairs are sitting at the correct polarity (some movements have an ‘Arrowswitch’ round).
  • Explain your system clearly and simply, if asked. Answer any questions clearly.
  • Sort and count your cards quickly, so that you can bid promptly when it is your turn.

The Bidding

  • Unless otherwise indicated it is assumed that your system is standard Acol.  If your partner makes a bid which is either a ‘convention’ bid or might have a potentially unexpected meaning then you must show the Alert card, to both opponents.
  • If either opponent asks the meaning of your partner’s bid (whether Alerted or not), explain it clearly and simply.  If you don’t know, or you have forgotten, say so.  Do NOT explain how you intend to interpret it.
  • If one of your opponents shows the Alert card, do not ask what the bid means unless you are intending to bid (and it is your turn to bid). Ask questions when the auction is over.
  • Do not touch the bidding box until you have finally decided what to bid.
  • Do not put your bidding cards away until after the initial lead has been made.

The Play

  • If you are on opening lead, place your card face down on the table first, to check whether partner has any questions about the auction.
  • Dummy must not play any card unless so instructed by Declarer. Dummy must not suggest the play of any card, nor otherwise touch any card except as directed by declarer.
  • As declarer, always call for the card you wish dummy to play (unless dummy is away from the table or has a disability, making the play of cards difficult).
  • As declarer, when you lead to a trick, wait for LHO to play his card before calling for a card from dummy.
  • When making a claim, clearly explain your intended line of play.
  • When the hand has been completed, North should fill in the score on the traveller and show it to East and/or West to confirm that it is correct (or not).

On Completion of Play

  • Do not hold long post-mortems unless you are clearly ahead of the other tables.
  • Do not touch other players’ cards – ask them to show you.
  • Thank your opponents at the end of the round and move quickly to your new table.
  • North is responsible for handling new boards.