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Bidding Boxes

edited May 2007 in Bridge Laws
Please clear up one point for me. Using bidding boxes, must all cards be returned to the box before the opening lead is made (face down of course)?


  • edited 10:45AM
    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! The bidding cards should not be removed until the opening lead is made (face down) and accepted. The auction should stay on the table until this point because the opening leader's partner has a right at this point to a review of the auction and is entitled at this point (and NOT before partner has selected the lead and laid it down face down) to ask questions about the eaning of the bids. Note this does not preclude the player destined to be opening leader's partner asking questions DURING the auction at his/her turn to bid. It is widely held however that doing so carries the risk of conveying incidental unauthorised information to partner (Wonder why partner did that?). The face down opening lead procedure is good on two counts: a) It prevents most opening leads out of turn. b) Coupled with partner not asking questions until the lead has been chosen and placed face down, it avoids the defenders being accused by the dseclaring team of using questions about the bidding to direct the lead. (What did this HEART bid mean?) When the opening bid has been made and accepted, it is turned face up, dummy is spread and the bidding cards are put away at that time. Just think how many times the leader asks for a review after the cards have been wrongly prematurely removed to see how sensible the correct procedure is. Hope this helps. Ned Paul
  • edited 10:45AM
    Be careful - under EBU that is true, step outside the UK and you'll find its the reverse.
  • edited 10:45AM
    Re-bidding boxes. Thanks Ned. Very helpful.
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  • edited 10:45AM
    It is obvious from Ned's reply that keeping the cards out until the opening lead is faced is the best way to proceed; jurisdictions that use a different procedure are simply wrong. I do not know whether this matter is an issue of regulation anywhere or just a matter of local custom and practice.
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