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Rules for these incidents

Can anyone tell me the correct rule in the following incidents?

1.  Play reaches 9th trick when defender realises he has 3 cards in his hand and everybody else has 4 (he has 10 cards on the table whilst others have only 9 on the table).

2.  Declarer plays (leads) a card from his hand when it was dummies lead.

3.  Defender plays a card before LHO plays his card

4.  Defender plays a card before his partner and LHO have played their card (I am reasonably happy with the answer to this (Law 57))

Note:  I am not being lazy, I have read the Laws but I can't find an answer for 1 and the answer for 2 and 3 seems too lenient (if I have read it right).


  • Error LHO opponent should read RHO.

    Q.  Defender plays a
    card before RHO plays his card.

    This now driving me nuts. 
    I have been reading this nook now for most of the holidays and read and
    re-read Laws 53 to 57 so many times it's hurting my eyes.

    What seems to be a simple and common occurrence seems not to
    have a clear answer in the book. 
    One of
    the problems is that, in the book, the word 'lead' is used ambiguously i.e.
    does lead mean play or does lead mean first to play.
      By the bye, I've got the red book and the
    yellow book and I can't find the answer to this question.

    Lets say East is declarer and West is Dummy. 

    Dummy plays 2S

    North plays 5S

    East pauses for though

    South plays 9S (before East has played)

    What's the ruling and what's the law number.

  • I can give you my understanding, although I am not a director.

    Question 1 is the most difficult. The director will need to establish how the situation arose. This might involve replaying the play through each of the tricks to date and seeking clarifications from each of the players. There are various possibilities:
    - Declarer may have started with fewer than 13 cards initially (unlikely from your description), in this case laws 13 /14 might apply.
    - A card may have been dropped by declarer, or two cards played together, or played as the 5th card to the trick (law 45.E.1) - in either case the card would be a penalty card (law 50). The director will need to establish what happened after the infraction - it might be that a revoke has occurred.
    - It is possible (unlikely) that declarer has the correct number of cards and each of the other players has failed to play to a previous trick.

    Question 2 is easier. Defenders have the option to accept the lead, but if not declarer must play from the correct hand (law 55.B.2). This may seem lenient, but if you think about it there has been no unauthorised information.

    Question 3: if a defender plays out of turn the card is an illegal play and is a penalty card (law 47.B). If a defender leads out of turn to a trick, then declarer has the option to accept (law 53.A), or else the card becomes a major penalty card.

    Question 4: Unless declarer accepts the lead out of turn, the card becomes a major penalty card (law 57 applies).
  • edited January 2016

    Q.  Defender plays a
    card before RHO plays his card

    I think you meant LHO. At least, the detailed description of what you wrote below is not the same as what you say directly above, which does not specify if the other defender has or has not played a card to the trick. Here is what you say further on -- and this I can answer:

    Lets say East is declarer and West is Dummy.  Dummy plays 2S North plays 5S East pauses for though  South plays 9S (before East has played)
     What's the ruling and what's the law number.

    In this case, since RHO has already played in turn, when LHO plays out of turn (s)he has not given RHO (the other defender) any Unauthorized Information (UI). The play of a card by LHO before you play helps you and gives you more information than you would normally have, not the same, not less. Therefore, there is no penalty. In fact, there are many times that the person on my left has a card clearly ready to play and, based on the fact that my LHO already had a card ready, I made a play by assuming some card was held by my RHO, not my LHO.

    For this "offense" (which is illegal, but more of a propriety irregularity than anything else), the laws do not assign a penalty.

  • Q1. Read law 57B. The laws are a free download from the ebu website. Following the law to fixing this problem will take a while because "the director establishes which trick is defective (I've has five cards)"!
    Q2. Declarer can show all his cards if he likes, there is no unauthorised information. There is no need for any penalty.
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