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Bid out of turn ( 16:09:23 TueApr 8 2003 )

North opens 2s,East bids 3d, south bids 3s and before West makes a bid North bids 4s. the bidding reverts back to West who now bids 5d. The question, is North allowed to double?

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67 posts
bridgetalk member

Re: Bid out of turn ( 18:44:35 TueApr 8 2003 )

This one is probably going to be moved to the Laws forum, but...


TD called, 4S not accepted by E, W bids 5D.

Let's go through this in order, in detail:

  • L29B directs us to pick the appropriate Law, which in this case is L31.
  • L31A2 says "offender can make any legal call" - so double is allowed. However:
  • L31A2b says that South must pass throughout after the double, directs you to L26 for possible lead penalties (North bid spades naturally and legally earlier, so no lead penalties), and as in all penalty-paying pass situations, brings up the L23 spectre.
  • L23 says that if North could have known that barring south by bidding out of rotation would be likely to damage E-W, the TD considers awarding an adjusted score.

    Exercising L23 is a judgement ruling, so the TD goes back and consults. It would strongly depend on the nature of both North and South, the match situation, scoring and vulnerability, and the meaning of 2S.

    I can see (if 2S was strong or Acol, for instance) North fearing the auction would go 2S-3D-3S-4D; 4S-5D-5S and not getting a chance to double or 2S-3D-3S-5D; X-P and partner pulling it with the wrong hand (did North open 2S on a seriously unexpected hand? Maybe a weak 2 with a club void and spade and diamond aces? Perhaps a "strong" 2S based more on distribution than honour tricks, or three expected top losers?).

    This is pretty shaky, and North is likely to get away with what was probably just a stupid lack of concentration - it's not as if doubling 5D would be takeout, after all (the most common uses of L23 is to nail people who convert T/O doubles to penalty by berring partner, and getting out in xNT which normally would be Blackwood, or continuation); but the players should be warned about this, and the TD should consider it.

This is not the same as an insufficient bid - say 2S-3D-3S-5D; 4S - where L27B3 denies you the ability to double. It's a complicated ruling, and not a terribly common one (especially compared to insufficient bids), so I can see at least one of the five people at the table having doubts. Of course, that's why the TD reads it out of the Law Book - as he always does, right?

I guess this is also time to remind everybody not to play bridge on an 'assumtion' basis - you don't bid before RHO, even when you "know" he's going to pass; you don't pick up the bidding cards when you "know" there will be no more bidding, but LHO still gets to act; you don't bid 3NT (or 2H, or) and turn your CC over and start writing in the contract; you don't play a card from dummy before it's called, even if it's the only possible choice; you don't call a card from dummy before LHO plays to your trick; you don't automatically correct an insufficient bid to "lowest sufficient in that denomination", and all the rest. 90+% of the time it will be safe, but this is all illegal, and when it does get you into trouble, it's really ugly trouble.


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427 posts
Forum Host

Re: Bid out of turn ( 23:17:35 TueApr 8 2003 )

The answer to your question is that, assuming the next player does not accept the 4 out of rotation, and then the correct player bids 5, this player may double. This will silence partner and cause lead penalties.

It is an easy ruling which the TD will read from the book: Laws 29A and 31A.

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David Stevenson <>
Liverpool, England, UK

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