Bridge & other card games/Jacoby transfer


I am not a duplicate bridge player.  However, I was told by a duplicate bridge player that you can "table talk" and tell your partner (during the bidding) that your bid is now using the Jacoby transfer.  Is this true?


In a bridge auction, the only authorized way to convey information to your partner is through the bids themselves. Any other means, such as remarks, gestures or other extraneous actions...including announcements for the purpose of alerting partner...are not acceptable. According to Law 16, a player may be subject to penalty if he conveys information to his partner other than by a legal call or play. This is true in both party bridge and duplicate bridge.

In duplicate beidge, however, if there is a 1NT opening bid and a transfer response of 2D (transfer to hearts) or 2H (transfer to spades), the opening bidder must immediately announce one word..."Transfer". The purpose of the Transfer announcement is to supply the next bidder (opponent) with full disclosure before he makes his bid so that he can act with full and complete information.

However, an inevitable consequence is that the announcement is also heard by partner and it may serve as a wake up call if he has inadvertently forgotten that his partnership is using transfer bids. He may have bid 2H holding a heart suit only to hear his partner announce "transfer" and cause him to realize that he just screwed up. Ethically, this announcement is unauthorized information and the person who was woken up is supposed to act as if he did not hear the announcement. In a duplicate tournament there is a tournament director who is there to sort things out and ensure that everyone is protected  

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I can answer questions on bidding and on cardplay with the caveat that the former may necessarily involve some subjectivity. I have been playing tournament bridge for over 20 years and I have won several regional tournaments.

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