Meets every Thursday at 7.25 for 7.30
at Mountnessing Village Hall, Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex, England, CM15 0UG

THE LAWS OF DUPLICATE BRIDGE 2007 – Summary of the changes (For Directors)

This is a copy of a document originally published by the EBU in August 2008


Summary of changes


The concept of ‘weighted’ adjusted scores becomes the norm in England. It has been in place since 2000 as an option but it now replaces the current law 12C2. 12C1 (e) does not apply in England.

Example: Due to an infraction the TD disallows a score of 4 by E/W and puts it back to 4 by N/S. There is a 50/50 chance that N/S will make 10 or 11 tricks, so the TD can award 50% of 4= and 50% of 4+1. See the White Book p27 for full details. An article will follow in a future English Bridge.


In the current (1997) code there is a little known law that allows you to make a call and then ‘change your mind’. It was quite a well kept secret and had a strange penalty where you could play for at most 40% after you had done it. In the new laws that has gone. You can still make a ‘mechanical error’ and be allowed to change it (L25A) but you cannot change your mind. By and large a bid made cannot be changed.


This is both complicated to explain and understand and may be difficult to apply. There is a significant change to the insufficient bid law. The scope for allowing an insufficient bid (IB) to be replaced without silencing partner has been extended. The old rule of replacing it at the lowest legal level remains, provided that both bids (the IB and replacement bid) are natural. But there is now an added possibility, which comes if a replacement call can be found which has the same meaning, or a more precise meaning as the IB itself.

Confused? Well, Max Bavin has come up with a useful question that TDs should ask, which might help to make it easier to decide. Would all hands making the replacement call also have made the original call in correct circumstances? If the answer is yes, then the change is allowed.

Here are a few examples:








East/West play Precision Club, so 1 shows 16+ HCP and, without interference, 1 shows 0-7 HCP. Can East replace his 1 bid by double if he has 5-7 points? They play that over interference pass shows 0-4 HCP and double 5-7 HCPs.

Would all hands playing Precision Club that would now double also have bid 1without interference? Yes, so the change can be made and partner can continue bidding. Note that in this case pass would also be okay if East had 0-4 points.





(other bids...)




4NT was Blackwood, East missed the 5 bid and 5 showed 0 or 4 aces. East/West play DOPI over intervention (double shows no ace, pass shows one ace). Can East replace 5 by double? Yes, all hands that would double to show no ace, would also have bid 5 without the interference.


This law confirms a number of things already in EBU regulations. It also confirms that you cannot have any aide-memoirs or aids to calculation. So you cannot, for example, during the play take out the bidding card to see what 4xx + 2 will score for you.


There is a consequence of defenders asking each other. If the defender has revoked, it is NOT established. The card played in error is withdrawn and becomes a major penalty card (see law 50) and the offender substitutes a legal card. Cards played after the revoke but before the correction may be changed (see Law 62C).

Note that if the defenders ask each other and the answer is 'no revoke' there is risk of unauthorised information.


The criteria for transferring tricks after an established revoke is changed. The TD no longer has to look at whether ‘an additional trick was won by the offending player with a card that could legally have been played to the revoke trick’. So the TD will look proceed as follows:

Did the revoking side win any tricks after the revoke? If yes, then one trick is transferred.

Did the revoker additionally win the revoke trick (you can only do this by trumping) - if so then another trick is transferred.

So the penalty could be two tricks, one trick or no tricks. You can only transfer tricks won after the revoke.

In case the non-offending side loses out the TD looks to see whether equity has been served. It always was the case, but it is now even more important that the TD considers it.


The claim laws acknowledge that, even though play should cease after a claim, it often does not and the TD is given help on how to proceed.

70, 71

The claim and concession laws still refer to action that would be careless or inferior for the class of player involved, but the bit about being ‘irrational’ has been removed.


The Laws recognize a body called the Tournament Organizer which could be the Club, the County Association, a Congress or Holiday Organizer or the EBU itself and sets out the duties and responsibilities. It replaces the Sponsoring Organisation in the current laws.

Page 3 of 3 10/06/11 guidance_2007_Laws_Directors