The LAWS of Bridge

Bridge is run under a world standard set of 93 Laws. We have a book of Laws covering everything from the arrangement of boards and tables, through bidding and play, to scoring and appeals. The Laws are designed to settle an irregularity. They are not designed to punish players for indiscretions, but in some cases the penalties imposed are designed to discourage the behaviour. The Director should be called whenever an irregularity occurs, and they will then read out the appropriate Law and make a decision.

Some Important Laws that you should be aware of:

Change of Call - Law 25 and 26

It is legal to change your bid if you do so honestly “without pause for thought”. Say nothing, call the Director immediately, and they may allow you to change your call up until your partner makes a bid. If your left-hand opponent has made a bid, they can retract that bid and make a different bid. Lead restrictions may apply.

Insufficient Bid - Law 27

If you make a bid which is not higher than the preceding highest bid then this is not a legal bid. If your opponents point this out then the Director is called. You can make a higher bid in the same denomination without penalty. You may change suit, or you may pass, but you may not double or redouble. If you pass or change suit then your partner is not allowed to bid again (unless you make a “comparable” call). Lead restrictions may apply. The Director may even change the result on the board.  More ...

Call out of Rotation - Law 30, 31, 32

If you bid (or pass) when it is not your turn, the usual penalty is that your partner is not allowed to bid on their next turn (unless you can make a “comparable” call).  More ...

Exposure of a Defender’s Card - Law 49, 50

If you accidentally play two cards at the same time or drop a card(s) face up, this is a minor penalty card.

If you lead out of turn, or correct a revoke, this becomes a major penalty card and the card that has been faced must remain face up on the table and must be played at the first legal opportunity. Declarer will also have lead options.

Opening Lead out of Turn - Law 53

If the wrong Defender leads to the opening trick then the Declarer has a number of options. They can chose to play on, or they can force the correct defender to lead that suit, or not lead that suit, OR Declarer can choose to become dummy.  More ...

Failure to Follow Suit (Revoke) - Law 61, 62, 63, 64

If at the end of the hand a player claims that an opponent has revoked, the Director must be called. The Director will adjudicate, probably transferring one or two tricks to the non-offending side.  More ...