Playing bridge takes concentration, adaptability, reasoning, plus years of study, for each hand presents an opportunity to solve a problem or outwit the opponents. The declarer’s partner’s hand is open on the table and this hand and partner is referred to as “the dummy.” The dummy has several jobs to perform and several limitations in actions.
Dummy takes no active part in the play of the hand. Whenever it is the dummy’s turn to play, the declarer must say which card dummy is to play. Dummy takes the card from the table and keeps it in full view of the players until four cards are played, then he scores the card in the correct direction for win or lose. Dummy is not permitted to offer advice or comment on the play.
When declarer calls for a card and specifies the suit only, the dummy is to play the lowest card of that suit. The dummy is allowed to try and prevent declarer from infringing on the rules, such as leading from the wrong hand, but otherwise the dummy’s job is to watch the scoring and be quiet until the hand is finished.
Often, after a hand has been played, the players disagree on the outcome of the play so the score is in question. Players often fold their hands before the score has been agreed upon. Players accidently turn their cards in the wrong direction when they have won or lost a trick. There is no point in concentrating so hard that you score incorrectly. When a trick is won, the card is placed vertically on the table and when lost, the card is placed horizontally. Players should check how the opponents scored after each play as carelessness in recording the play leads to confusion. The director can be called and will straighten out the score, but the players are responsible and should take care that everyone is in agreement before moving onto the next board.
Scoring correctly is one of the dummy’s responsibilities, as dummy should be watching but not correcting the other players. Dummy is not to talk and disturb the other player`s concentration, but should be taking note of any irregularities. After the 52 cards have been played, the dummy should check or correct any wrongly placed directional cards and remind players not to close their hands before agreement. Call the director if necessary, as sometimes a player feels he made the contract and the opponents do not agree. If you take your time as you play to register the correct win/lose, you will remain more settled and have a better game.
Naples Bridge Center will host a Silver Point Spring Sectional from May 3 to May 6, with bracketed knockout teams and stratified open pairs starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 3. Newcomer, Swiss teams, and pairs start at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The manager, Jackie Altschuler, will give a free lesson at 8:45 Saturday morning.