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When can Declarer change his card?

Posted this in error on "All Things Bridge" but think it belongs here.
I recently played against a very experienced player/director (NGS Ace of diamonds) and would like your opinion on the judgement made.
Declarer (him) called for a trump from Dummy which came around to me in fourth seat and I won the trick. He then said that he had not intended a low trump but a high trump and that Dummy must have misheard him. I contested that as the trick had been played and established he could not now take the card back, (very brave of me) and I was firmly "put in my place" and told that until the first card of the next trick is played, Declarer can change his mind. Surely this can't be right! Declarer has now seen both the opponents' cards! The acting Director was summoned and backed up Declarer. Declarer made Game instead of going one off. Opinions please.


  • Law 45D1 covers this. If dummy plays the wrong card and others have followed then it must be corrected until each side has played to the next trick. If the card from dummy is changed then defenders may also change their cards. Declarer can't "change his mind". He will need to persuade the director that dummy played the wrong card. This may be clear from the choice.

  • edited May 2019

    You were right to call the director.

    The directors ruling in such a case will depend upon what was actually said at the table when declarer "called for a trump from dummy". declarer should have named the card (suit and rank) - Law 46A. If declarer's designation was incomplete, the card to be played should be based on Law 46B. Note in particular that 46B2 states "If declarer designates a suit but not a rank he is deemed to have called the lowest card of the suit indicated."

    So the director needs to determine whether: (a) declarer properly designated a card and dummy played a different card (in which case Law 45D1 applies as stated by Jeremy) or (b) declarer made an incomplete designation and dummy played the correct card following the logic of Law 46B (in which case, no change is permissible).

    It appears that the director ruled (based on his judgement of the facts presented at the time) that declarer did correctly designate a high trump and dummy wrongly played a low trump.

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