Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Official Laws Of Bridge (1912 edition)

The WBF has recently put out a new set of Laws for 2008. There have been many good changes to the old (1997) set. These Laws and the application thereof interest me greatly, so when I recently came across a copy of the Laws from 96 years ago, I was thrilled. Here's some of the strange (to us moderners) things that were Law back in 1912. (Be warned that these Laws are for Auction Bridge, and not Contract Bridge -- Contract wasn't invented until 1924.)

  • Since this is Auction Bridge, you are given game and slam bonuses for making the right amount of tricks no matter how high you bid... one club making six still gives you the slam bonus.
  • There are two ways to bid spades-- Spades, and Royal Spades or "Royals", Royals scoring more.
  • To make game, you need 30 points "below the line"; No Trumps count for 10 per trick, Royals 9 per trick, Hearts 8 per trick, Diamonds 7 per trick, Clubs 6 per trick, and Spades 2 per trick. All this extra math means is you still need 3NT, 4M, or 5m to make the game bonus. You can never make a game in Spades.
  • If your opponents revoke, giving you your 12th or 13th trick, you do not receive the slam bonus.
  • The dealer cannot pass! If the dealer had a bad hand, he would bid One Spade (remember, this counts only 2 points per trick).
  • The worst you can do in 1S is -100.
  • To bid more than the current bid, you have to bid something worth at least as much in trick value. So if your RHO bid 3NT, you couldn't bid 4C -- you'd have to bid five!
  • If you bid or double out of turn, either opponent can demand a new deal.
  • When declarer revokes, the defenders automatically get 150 points.
  • When the defenders revoke, declarer can take 150 points or take three tricks from the defenders.
  • The revoking side cannot score (except for honors, of course).

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