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Bridge & other card games/defender played wrong card


The defender led a heart.  Dummy trumped the heart.   The next defender did not have a heart and played the ace of spades in error.  Showed it, and took her hand off of it.  Realizing her mistake she then took the ace back and said that she could because I, the declarer, had not played yet.  I think that she should not have been able to take back her ace.  I thought that a card exposed is a card played. She eventually set the ace of spades down face up and said she would play it the next time spades were played.  So what , it's a winner and her partner knows where the ace is.

What should have happened? IThank you.


The card needs to be played immediately.

According to Laws 49 and 50 of the Laws of Contract Bridge

Whenever a defender faces a card on the table, holds a card so that it is possible for his partner to see its face, or names a card as being in his hand, before he is entitled to do so in the normal course of play, such card becomes a penalty card.

This card must be played at the first legal opportunity, whether in leading, following suit, discarding or trumping.

Since the first legal opportunity was as a discard on the current trick, the card needed to be played immediately.  

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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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