ACBL Unit 503

Duplicate Bridge Tips

North/South are the hosts for the table and the only players to handle the boards except, of course, when shuffling at the start of the game. (At regional and sectional tournaments you are given set hands so no need to shuffle.)

Never comment aloud about your hand or bid. If the director is called, say nothing until the director comes over and asks you a question.

Do not touch the cards in dummy (or anybody else's). If the cards in dummy are out of order, ask the player who is dummy to arrange the cards.

If the opponents are bidding and they "alert" a bid, you may ask what the alert means only at your turn to bid. However, unless you are thinking of bidding, questions about the opponent's bidding is strategically unsound because it usually helps them.

You may review the auction if you are on lead. You may also ask about any "alerts" at that time. If you are the partner of the leader, you may ask about the bidding and alerts once the dummy's hand is down and before you play to the first card. You may ask what the final contract is at any time during play.

Try to bid "in tempo". Everyone is allowed to think. Newer players tend to take longer. But an extraordinarily long pause, followed by a pass, could adversely affect your side because in most cases, your partner can be prohibited from bidding. The reason for this is that a pause conveys information (it says partner I'd really like to bid, but I don't know what to bid) and that is unfair to the opponents. If you take a long pause, and then take a bid, your partner is not prohibited.

North-South is in charge of recording scores. East-West is obliged to make sure that North-South has scored correctly.

North-South passes the boards to the next lower table (i.e., if you are sitting at table 3, the boards go to table 2) and the East-West pair moves to the next higher table. Someone, somewhere along the line made up a saying "players go to heaven, boards go to hell" so people would remember those moves easily.