Frequently used Laws of
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 :
- The offender makes a sufficient bid of the
In such case there is no further
restriction and bidding continues as normal.
- The offender makes a sufficient bid of a
different nomination or bids Pass or DBL.
case offender's Partner must Pass throughout the remainder of
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not to lead the withdrawn (insufficiently called) suit, at his first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
- Major Penalty card
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.
- 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).
- 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 :
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
information gained through seeing the penalty card is unauthorised
information, in which case the Director may award an adjusted
3. Opening lead out of
turn (Law 54, 53)
When the Opening lead is made out of turn, Declarer has three options
- Declarer accepts the lead
Dummy spread his hand as usual, then the second card to the trick is
played from Declarer's hand.
- Declarer accepts the lead and prefers to
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.)
- Declarer does not accept the
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
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.
The revoke is established (and can no longer be corrected)
after the offender or his Partner has played a card to the
- If the revoke was made by the defending side the revoke
card becomes a major penalty card.
- If the revoke was made by Declarer or by Dummy the
revoke may be corrected without penalty.
Penalty for an established
- 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.
- 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.
The Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2007, BridgeNZ (2004) Ltd, 60-D Woodland Rd, Jonsonville Wellington
© 2007 World Bridge Federation