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Nominating by pointing

Last evening at our bridge session, one of our opponents switched from nominating by speaking to nominating by pointing. All my partner and I could say positively was that he pointed to a line of clubs in dummy. Dummy played the Ace of clubs and we all followed suit. Declarer then stated "I pointed to the 8 and not the Ace". The Director was called and ruled that the 8 could be substituted for the Ace and my partner and I could change our cards if we wished. Was this correct and is nominating by pointing acceptable? I should add that dummy was not at all hard of hearing.
Margaret Nicholls


  • Law 45 B says:
    Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, after which dummy picks up the card and faces it on the table. In playing from dummy's hand declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself.

    It seems to me that pointing at a card (or column of cards) does not meet this requirement.

    The director should speak to the player and ascertain why he id doing this. If it is due to some physical problem (even if it is just a sore throat), I would tend to allow this method of playing a card, but request that he be more precise.

    It could be due to shyness or timidity - I'm sure that the player in these circumstances can be encouraged to be more forthcoming.

    If this arises from laziness, rudeness or just being a curmudgeon, the director should be firm in insisting that the player observe the rules and proprieties of the game.

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