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Bridge & other card games/Can Penalty Double be withdrawn


In duplicate, Dealer bid 1C, my partner passed as did responder. I bid 2S (error) holding  KQJxxxx of spades, 1 low heart and 5 diamonds AKxxx and club void. Opener bid 3 C, my partner bid 3 S, I bid 4 S, opener bid 5 C, I bid 5 S. Opener doubled.  We made our 5 spades Bid. Opener objected that by my misbidding 2 S as my first bid she was misled. She said she never would have doubled as she thought my partner and I had fewer points. She wanted her double to be rescinded. How should this have been handled?


If a player receives misinformation from an opponent concerning the meaning of a bid, for example if the auction is 1NT-P-2S and the 2S bid is incorrectly explained as minor suit Stayman when in reality the partnership had agreed that it was a transfer to clubs, then the side receiving the misinformation may be subject to some redress (although bids can never be taken back after the auction has ended the director might award an adjusted score).

The relevant rule in your case however, is that a player has no recourse if she has made a call based on her own misunderstanding, assumptions or opinion concerning the auction. This is true even if the opponents have misbid, so long as there was no actual misinformation given. If you make inferences based on actions of your opponents you do so at your own risk.

As an aside, your 2S bid in balancing seat shows a good hand...12-16 points and a good 6 card suit. If you had bid 2S directly over 1C then that would be preemptive but after 1C-P-P- the bid shows a good hand with about 7 playing tricks in your own hand. Your actual hand has tremendous playing strength and is a favorite to make 4S even if partner has absolutely nothing, so I would bid 4S on my first turn since 2S could easily have been passed out and you would miss game. Be that as it may, you did actually have 13 high card points and the correct interpretation of the 2S bid is 12-16 so you actually had the number of points that your bid showed.  

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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