New laws effective 1 Aug 2017

These are the six main changes, effective from 1 August 2017, that Trumps players should know about:

  • Claiming - If a player claims he or she needs to face his or her cards at the same time as providing any information about an intended line of play. If doubt is expressed about the claim, and only if all four players agree, the hand can now be played on, otherwise the director needs to be called.
  • Comparable calls – In some situations a player who makes an insufficient bid or a call out of turn may be able to make a comparable bid (that is one that contains all the information of the withdrawn call) and thus avoid restrictions that might otherwise apply to his or her partner’s bids or leads.
  • Unauthorised information – When a comparable call has not been made after a withdrawn call then the laws now rely on the partner knowing that they cannot use any information from the withdrawn call. Partner must not choose an option that would be suggested by the withdrawn call if there is any other reasonable option. The same approach applies in situations when you might have unauthorized information from partner’s mannerism or hesitation.
  • Adjusted scores – There are more situations where directors need to award an adjusted score to one or both pairs to restore fairness.
  • Dummy’s rights – Dummy now has the right to try to prevent an irregularity by a defender as well as declarer, but still no right to draw attention to an irregularity once it has occurred until the end of the board’s play.
  • Correction of unintended calls – The situations where an unintended call can be corrected have been tightened to focus only on mechanical slips rather than loss of concentration.

Trumps has a $2 pamphlet on the Laws of Bridge, highlighting the 2017 changes, or see http://www.worldbridge.org/rules-regulations/2017-laws-of-duplicate-bridge/ for all the details.

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