Do’s and Don’t’s at the Bridge Table
--Give unsolicited advice to your partner or to your opponents
--Discuss the hand just played. ACBL law prohibits discussing played hands while the game is in progress as people at other tables may overhear you.
--Pass your hand to anyone at the table for any reason or get up from the table to look at declarer’s hand when you are dummy.
--Detach a card from your hand until it is your turn to play a card. This often gives unauthorized information to your partner – and to your opponents.
--Move to the next table or pass the boards until the director calls the move.
--Make any comments, including facial expressions, when dummy’s hand is laid on the table.
--Comment on how many tricks have been taken or how many tricks still are needed to make the contract. Don’t comment on the vulnerability during bidding.
--Ask to see the cards played to the last trick after all 4 cards have been placed face down. As long as your have not placed your card face down, however, you may ask to see any cards played to the current trick. Although this rule is often overlooked in social games, expect it to be enforced at a tournament or high-level club duplicate game.
--Humorous as it may sound, you are not allowed to bid without looking at your hand.
--Be mindful that many clubs practice Zero Tolerance for bad manners and all tournaments definitely do.
If you do not know what Zero Tolerance means, please ask!!
--Remember that North is in charge of the table and will move the boards to the next table, be sure the boards are played in the proper order, and north is responsible for recording the scores.
--Do remember to check the score (east/west)that North enters into the electronic scoring devices. If you accept the score and it is wrong, you are equally responsible and the director may be unable to adjust it at a later time and the score will stand.
--Remember that one may ask to review the bidding prior to the opening lead or at any point in the hand when it is his or her turn to play a card. The review must be given by an opponent in its entirety, your partner is not permitted to speak unless the review is inaccurate.
--Do remember that the red stop card is used before you make a bid higher than the required minimum. It is to alert your opponents that you are about to make a “skip” bid. You place the stop card face up on the table, make your bid, pause approximately 10 seconds and then remove the stop card. The next person may not bid until the card is removed.
--Do remember to ask, “Any questions, partner?” before making the opening lead. You must select a card and hold it face down before asking the question; you may not change it if partner asks a question. What is the reason for this? You are alerting partner that you are about to lead, and a common response is, “It’s not your lead.” In that case, you put the unexposed card back in your hand and allow the correct person to lead. This also gives partner an opportunity to ask any questions he or she may have about the bidding.
Do call the director if someone makes a lead out of turn. The opponents have a number of options.
Do call the director if an insufficient bid is made. The opponents have options, as well as you. You do NOT have to make it sufficient.
--When your partner does not follow suit, do remember to ask, “No spades (or the appropriate suit), partner?” If partner has inadvertently failed to follow suit, the remedies are simple. If you do not discover a failure to follow suit (known as a revoke or renege) until later in the game, it will have a much more significant impact on you and your partner. If someone fails to follow suit, call the director. There may be lead restrictions later in the hand.
--Do call the director if anyone at the table is making it uncomfortable for you to play or if you suspect there may have been an inadvertent violation of the rules. A courteous statement is, “I’m not sure whether that was allowed. I would like to call the director so we can all find out.
--Remember the appropriate way to call the director. Say, “Director, please.” Raise your hand and keep it raised until the director acknowledges that he or she has seen you.
--Try your best to take bathroom or refreshment breaks when you have finished a round early. Avoid waiting until the move for the next round is called and the opponents at the next table are waiting for you.
--Remember that a good partner is your most valuable asset. Compliment your partner whenever possible.