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Was that 5th stack of cards dealt for a Kibitzer or what?

 

This is in response to your question:  In a recent edition of the Flemish Bridge magazine, the leading Belgian director states that one is not allowed to deal the hand in the way that many people have started doing recently:

Deal in five piles, thus: 12345432123454321, finishing 1234, then taking together the piles one and five, which contain 7 and 6 cards respectively, into four hands of 13 cards.

This is certainly a fine procedure, producing truly random hands, but  is it legal?

Good question - let's look at Law 6.B. for guidance:

The cards must be dealt face down, one card at a time, into four hands of thirteen cards each; each hand is then placed face down in one of the four pockets of the board. The recommended procedure is that the cards be dealt in rotation, clockwise.

Well, on the face of it, we can see why some of your colleagues and the leading Belgian director are down with the 5 stack deal.   But let's dig deeper.  Scrolling down on BridgeHands Law 6.B., we note the link:  See Duplicate Decisions.  Following the link, we find the following recital:

The cards must be dealt face down, one card at a time, into four hands. It is suggested (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 clockwise rotation.

So, indeed it's fair game to use the 5 stack deal as long as no 2 adjacent cards from the shuffled pack are dealt to adjacent hands.  Care to seal this issue for your colleagues?   Go to the Laws Index, scroll down to 1997 Laws Revision, follow the link and find:

While cards must still be dealt one at a time face down, minor variations from a strict clockwise distribution may be permitted by the Director. For example, many tournament players deal back and forth into five groups. The three groups in the middle have 13 cards and the two end groups have seven and six, respectively. The two end groups are combined to one hand and the four hands are now placed in the board.

That's certainly clear!  And now you know the rest of the story...

 


 

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