In a relaxed atmosphere, if a player makes a lead out of turn or makes an invalid bid, it is awfully tempting to say "put it back - let's forget it", but unfortunately there is always the possibility that partner may gain an unfair advantage as a result - quite possibly unknowingly. Even if, for example, the 2 of a non-trump suit was exposed contrary to the rules of the game, then the offender's partner knows that the offender holds at least one card in that suit in, and he / she may adjust play accordingly. Further, given the way that Duplicate Bridge is scored, it is not just the two pairs at the table who may be impacted, but any other pairs in the section as well.
The important point is that, unless otherwise stipulated, the Director should be called as soon as an irregularity is noticed - if the players at the table try to resolve it, they risk making the situation worse.
The club is run under the auspices of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge, 2007 – please see the Director's Page on this website for further insight.
Irregularities may be of one of two main types:
"Book rulings" - where the International Laws lay down clearly what the course of action should be. This category covers mostly 'mechanical' issues such as bids out of turn, insufficient bids, leads out of turn, revokes, etc. In these situations the problem facing the Director is simply to ascertain which Law (or Laws) has been infringed, and then to explain all the options available to the non-offending player in order to redress the balance. Note the use of “redress the balance” - there is no question of “rewarding” the “transgressed” side. A summary of the common situations of this type - and how they are resolved - is available elsewhere on the Director's Page..
"Judgement rulings" - these are much more difficult to handle, and sometimes can only be resolved after the hand has been played or even after the end of the evening. Examples of this type of irregularity are:
where it is perceived that “Unauthorised Information” has been imparted and has affected subsequent bidding and / or play. There are several further documents available through the Director's Page that fully describe how and why issues arise, and what the impact might be. See in particular the note on “Slow Passes”
where it is perceived that a psyche or deviation has been executed. There are several further documents available through the Director's Page that fully describe how and why issues arise, and what the impact might be.
Incorrect explanations, for example of bids or carding signals. Issues of this type tend to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and examples of some such situations can be accessed through links on the Members' Area Page.
We all come to the club for an enjoyable evening out in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and the best way of ensuring that is to try to avoid situations like this, but if one does arise, then please accept the ruling of the director courteously and do not 'take it out' on your opponents for raising the issue. It is particularly important that if a player feels that he / she has been infringed against, then that player should remain calm, call the director, and adopt a pure 'matter of fact' approach. Unnecessary aggression can cause upset and spoil enjoyment for others, even those not directly involved. The problem should be described factually to the director, who will reach either an 'on-the-spot' ruling or will offer a deferred judgement ruling. Few Directors are infallible, and the players have a right of appeal. Please remember - it is only a game!!!!!!