Bridge & other card games/Bridge ruling


I had taken 2 tricks on a 4H contract by the opponents.  Then I revoked on the 5th trick (by not following a trump lead I instead discarded a diamond).  It was not realized until several tricks later that I had failed to play my remaining trump.  We completed play of the hand and called the director.  He penalized us 3 tricks (we had taken 3 tricks after the revoke including the trick that I took with a trump that I failed to play earlier on the 5th trick.)  Since we did not win the trick on which I had revoked,  I thought the ruling would be only a 2-trick penalty instead of 3.  Please advise if the ruling was correct.


Actually, since you did not win the revoke trick the penalty is only one trick.

According to Law 64

If the Offending Player Did Not Win Revoke Trick and the trick on which the revoke occurred was not won by the offending player then, if the offending side won that or any subsequent trick, after play ends one trick is transferred to the non-offending side.

However, if the non offending side is not sufficiently compensated by this law then the director may restore equity by awarding an adjusted score. In other words, offenders should not profit from their revoke. The innocent side cannot end up with a worse result and the offending side cannot end up with a better result than what it would have had if the revoke had not occurred. For example

North is declarer in 4H. He draws trumps (so he thinks) but East, accidentally of course, forgets to follow and holds on to his last trump. Declarer runs out of trumps himself and then goes to cash his long side suit, at which point East wakes up, ruffs and then cashes five tricks in his long suit. Declarer is powerless to stop him. The Tournament Director is called and awards a two trick penalty even though this gives East-West a net gain of four tricks.

But then that is all he can do isn't it?

Fortunately the law is not quite that much of an ass. The revoke law gives the Tournament Director the power to restore equity when the penalty still leaves the offending side gaining tricks. The director adjusts the score to what it would have been without the revoke.

If this type of situation occurred in your case, then the director was justified in doing what he did. Otherwise, there should have only been a one trick penalty.

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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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