There are rules of the road and rules of etiquette; actually, every sport has rules, as well as schools, clubs, and the list goes on. But rules have a purpose and are to be obeyed. We are most interested here in the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) rules for playing bridge.
In playing duplicate bridge, each player is expected to have a convention card accessible to the opponents that clearly states the conventions the team is playing. This card must be filled out legibly and on the table throughout the session. Accessible and filed out legibly are the operative words. Your card and your partner’s card must match so your opponent can see exactly what you are playing. They have the right to know which conventions you are using and how many points you are guaranteeing.
Both cards of a partnership must be identical and include the first and last names of each member of the partnership. If the director determines that neither player has a substantially completed card, the partnership may play only the standard American yellow card, and use only standard carding. This restriction may be lifted after you correct the situation and have your card approved by the director. Further, the partnership can receive a 1/6 board matchpoint penalty for each board played until the convention card has been approved. The director may just give a warning or assign such penalties as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
There are also rules for using the bidding box, and everyone should try to follow these rules to avoid being called to the director’s attention by your opponents. You cannot place your hand on or hover over the bidding box before you pull your bid card. You cannot tap the box as you try to decide which card to play. You cannot keep pulling out a card from the bidding box and returning it, you must keep your hand still, decide what you wish to bid, and firmly withdraw your selection, and place the card in front of you.
The ACBL requires that players tap the alert strip and say “Alert” when their partner makes an unusual call that conveys special meaning and partner must tap the alert strip when making an announcement, such as “Transfer.” A player who alerts or announces a bid must make sure his opponents are aware that this call has been made.
Bonita Bridge Club is offering new beginner duplicate games, every Tuesday and Friday mornings at 9 a.m. Please note: Bonita Bridge Club’s regular game starts at 12:45 p.m.