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Frequently used Laws of Duplicate Bridge
1. Insufficient Bid (Law 18, 27) - for example : 1♠ - (1♦)
Offender's LHO has the option to accept the insufficient bid. When LHO makes his call the insufficient bid has been accepted.

If offender's LHO does not accept the insufficient bid the offender has two options :
  1. The offender makes a sufficient bid of the same nomination.
    In such case there is no further restriction and bidding continues as normal.

  2. The offender makes a sufficient bid of a different nomination or bids Pass or DBL.
    In such case offender's Partner must Pass throughout the remainder of the auction.

    Also if the offending side becomes the Defending side, Declarer may direct the Offender's Partner to lead or not to lead the withdrawn (insufficiently called) suit, at his first opportunity to lead (usual the Opening lead). The restriction remains in place for as long as Offender's Partner retains the lead.


2. Penalty Card (Law 50)
A card prematurely exposed by a Defender is a penalty card. A penalty card must be left face up on the table immediately before the player to whom it belongs, until a rectification has been selected.
  1. Major Penalty card
    Any card of Honour rank (A K Q J 10), or any card exposed through deliberate play (lead out of turn, a corrected revoke) becomes a major penalty card.

    1. A major penalty card must be played at the first legal opportunity, whether in leading, following suit or discarding (but the obligation to follow suit takes precedence).

    2. When a Defender has the lead while his Partner has a major penalty card, he may not lead until Declarer has stated which option he selects :

      1. to require the Defender to lead the suit of the penalty card, or to prohibit him to lead that suit as long as Defender retains the lead.   In this case the card is no longer a penalty card.

      2. not to require or prohibit a lead, in which case the Defender may lead any card   In this case the penalty card remains a penalty card.

  2. Minor Penalty card
    A single card below the rank of an Honour (below the 10) exposed unintentionally (as in playing two cards to a trick, or in dropping a card accidentally) becomes a minor penalty card.

    • When a Defender has a minor penalty card he may not play any other card below the rank of an Honour until he has first played the penalty card. But he is entitled to play a Honour card instead. Offender's Partner is not subjected to lead restriction.
      (But information gained through seeing the penalty card is unauthorised information, in which case the Director may award an adjusted score.)

3. Opening lead out of turn (Law 54, 53)
When the Opening lead is made out of turn, Declarer has three options :

  1. Declarer accepts the lead
    Dummy spread his hand as usual, then the second card to the trick is played from Declarer's hand.

  2. Declarer accepts the lead and prefers to become Dummy
    In this case Declarer spreads his hand, and Dummy becomes the Declarer. (Provided Dummy had not already faced part or all of his hand on the table.)

  3. Declarer does not accept the lead
    In this case the lead is made from the proper Defender, while the lead out of turn card becomes a major penalty card. The major penalty card laws now apply.

4. Lead out of turn (later in the play : Law 56, 54D)
Any lead faced out of turn may be treated as a correct lead.
It becomes a correct lead if Declarer or either Defender (as the case may be), accepts it by making a statement to that effect, or if a card is played from the hand next in rotation to the irregular lead.

If there is no such an acceptance of play, the Director will require that the lead is made from the correct hand. In this case the incorrectly lead card becomes a major penalty card.


5. Revoke (Law 61, 62, 63, 64)
An offender may correct his revoke at any time before he or his Partner plays a card to the next trick.
  1. If the revoke was made by the defending side the revoke card becomes a major penalty card.

  2. If the revoke was made by Declarer or by Dummy the revoke may be corrected without penalty.
The revoke is established (and can no longer be corrected) after the offender or his Partner has played a card to the next trick.

Penalty for an established revoke

  1. If the trick on which the revoke occurred was won by the offending player (with the revoke card), at the end of play that trick plus one trick of any subsequent trick won by the offending side are transferred to the non-offending side.

  2. If the trick on which the revoke occurred was not won by the offending player (with the revoke card), at the end of play only one trick of any subsequent trick won by the offending side is transferred to the non-offending side.

Source :
The Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2007, BridgeNZ (2004) Ltd, 60-D Woodland Rd, Jonsonville Wellington
© 2007 World Bridge Federation