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Bridge & other card games/advising a partner on what to play during an active hand play


during an active hand play the bidder played a low card in hopes of setting up that suit by drawing out the higher card, the fourth player at that time verbally said "don't beat that " so her partner played low. The dealer immediately addressed the 4th player statement at which time the 4th player denied saying anything when questioned the other 3 players said they had indeed heard that statement. What are the penalties & ramifications?


The offending side should not be able to benefit from unauthorized information. If this occurred at a bridge tournament or at a duplicate bridge club, the following would apply.

After a player makes available to his partner extraneous information that may suggest a call or play, as for example by a remark, a question, a reply to a question, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, or by unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement or mannerism, the partner may not choose from among logical alternatives one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the extraneous information.
(b) A logical alternative action is one that, among the class of players in question and using the methods of the partnership, would be given serious consideration by a significant proportion of such players, of whom it is judged some might select it.

If it has been determined that the partner decide what to do based on the remark then the director should adjust the result, in this case possibly to what it would have been if the partner had played a high card.

In a social bridge setting, if it was determined that the partner made a decision as a result of the remark then you can either try to enforce what a director might have done as described above or else throw out the result of the hand.

The remark is a serious breach of bridge ethics and proprieties. In a tournament such an action would be recorded and repeat offenders may very well be suspended. At a bridge club, club directors have been known to bar players who commit repeated ethical violations. In a social setting it is up to the players involved to impress upon the offender not to do this again and to decide if they wish to continue playing with someone who repeatedly exhibits this type of behavior.  

Bridge & other card games

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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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