This document is provided
courtesy of the
American Contract Bridge League
2990 Airways Blvd.
Memphis TN 38116–3847
A Club Director’s Guide for Ruling at the Table
Duplicate Decisions (DD)
has been reformatted into a book that an ACBL club director can use in place
of the official Laws
of Duplicate Contract Bridge.
All of the Laws have been written and presented in everyday English to help
club directors understand their meanings. In addition to the table of
contents, an index which refers to the appropriate Law by topic is available
in the back of this book.
DD can be used to make most of the rulings that will come up during a
typical club game. The ideal way to use this publication is to tab the most
common rulings. Occasionally DD will refer the director to the official Laws
book. In those cases, the director will have to do some research before
making a ruling.
Every club director needs to become very familiar with the Laws in order to
make good rulings. It is helpful to highlight the sections of each Law that
are most frequently used in making a ruling pertaining to that Law. DD
is designed to be used in conjunction with
The ACBL Club Directors
Handbook, which was
published in 2003 and developed to assist club directors in running
outstanding club games. The handbook contains all of the information
previously found in the Appendix to DD plus information that will help club
directors make their club games the best games in town.
The new handbook is a source of tips, ACBL regulations, ACBL programs such
as the IN (Intermediate-Newcomer) Program and New Player Services,
movements, ACBLscore, Alerts, Zero Tolerance, etc. Directors will
benefit from reading the "Ruling the Game" column, which is published
monthly in The Bridge
Bulletin. It’s a good way
to learn more about the Laws and how they should be applied.
ACBL’s web site is also a good source of information that
directors will find helpful in running club games.
Good luck! Let ACBL hear from you whenever you need help.
ACBL Director of Education
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER III — PREPARATION AND
6. The Shuffle and Deal
7. Control of Boards and Cards
8. Sequence of Rounds
CHAPTER III — PREPARATION AND
The Shuffle and Deal
A cut is required if either opponent so requests. The cards
must be dealt face down, one card at a time, into four hands. It is
(though not required — the intent is to allow for minor (though not required
— the intent is to allow for minor variations in dealing style)
that the deal be accomplished in a
There may not be a redeal because no player has bid (see Law
22). The primary reason for this is that players evaluate their hands
differently, so someone else may open. No result may stand if the
cards are dealt without a shuffle from a sorted deck or if the deal had
previously been played in a different session.
The result cannot stand on a board where the cards were misdealt
or a player could have seen the face of a card belonging to another
player. The cards must be reshuffled and replayed if this happened
before the auction begins and the board has not been played at any
Control of Boards and Cards
If a board is played with the compass points pointing in the
wrong direction (e.g.,
the North player plays the South
result is valid and the board should be scored as it is played. If a
board is played pointed 90° from the correct position (e.g.,
North–South play the East–West hands in a Howell movement), the result
should be scored as it is played. This changes the comparison groups
but does not invalidate the results. If this occurs on an early board of
a set, the Director should permit that board to be completed and then
turn the remaining board(s) to the correct position for the remainder
of that round.
No player should touch any cards other than his own
or after play except by permission of the Director (Law 7 B.2.).
The intent of this Law is to discourage one player from looking at
another player’s cards. The Director’s permission, however, may be
assumed since this Law could generate more calls than a Director
could handle and still run a timely game. A player is entitled,
therefore, to give his opponent permission to look at his hand.
When there is an objection, the Director may choose to answer the
opponent’s questions concerning the hand rather than allow the
opponent to "see" the hand.
The Law states that each player shall count his cards before
play and each player shall restore his original 13 cards to the
board. Before making a call a player
must inspect the faces of his
cards. When removing and restoring cards, contestants are equally
responsible for seeing that they have 13 cards. When a penalty (or
punitive adjustment) is made at a table where a person removed an
incorrect hand, the Director should ascertain who was at fault and
issue a procedural penalty.
Any contestant remaining at a table is primarily responsible
for the proper observance of procedure at the table. Note that
everyone at the table is responsible, but stationary players are more
responsible than others.
Sequence of Rounds
A round ends when the Director calls the change for the next
round. For tables still in play,
the round continues until the there has
been a progression of players. Note that a late play is considered a
The last round of a session, and the session itself, ends
each table when play of all boards has been completed and when all
scores are entered on proper scoring forms without objection.
Index to Duplicate Laws