Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bridge Etiquette of Old

Yesterday I wrote about the Laws of Auction Bridge from 1912. I shared some of the wacky rules that ran the game 96 years ago.

At the end of those Laws, there's an Etiquette section. This is very well done, and I'd like to share the first seven Rules of Etiquette. Modern bridge players could do well to take this to heart.


In Auction Bridge slight intimations convey much information. A code is compiled for the purpose of succinctly stating laws and for fixing penalties for an offense. To offend against etiquette is far more serious than to offend against a law; for, while in the latter case the offender is subject to the prescribed penalties, in the former his adversaries have no redress.
  1. Declarations should be made in a simple manner, thus: "One Heart," "One No-trump," or "I pass," or "I double"; they should be made orally and not by gesture.
  2. Aside from a legitimate declaration, a player should not give any indication by word or gesture as to the nature of his hand, or as to his pleasure or displeasure at a play, a bid, or a double.
  3. If a player demand that the cards be placed, he should do so for his own information and not to call his partner's attention to any card or play.
  4. No player, other than declarer, should lead until the preceding trick is turned and quitted; nor, after having led a winning card, should he draw another from his hand before his partner has played to the current trick.
  5. A player should not play a card with such emphasis as to draw attention to it. Nor should he detach one card from his hand and subsequently play another.
  6. A player should not purposely incur a penalty because he is willing to pay it, nor should he make a second revoke to conceal a first.
  7. Players should avoid discussion and refrain from talking during the play, as it may be annoying to players at the table oro to those at other tables in the room.

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