Not paying attention

Mid auction. East doubles North's call. South passes, and West picks up their bidding cards and returns them to the box. East points out that West has another call as the auction hasn't finished. Is West deemed to have passed?


  • The director might wish to have a word with West regarding putting away his bidding cards before the end of the clarification period but the intent of his action was clearly to convey a "pass". Pass is a legal call, so he's passed.

  • I disagree. You might rule this way if W were actually in the pass-out seat, where it is clearer that putting the cards away means either that W thinks the auction is already over, or that he is content for it to be over via a final pass by him.

    I would rule that it is W's turn to call.

  • It depends on the reason for West's actions: if West intended it to be a pass then the TD should rule that it was one, but if West thought that the auction was already over, then picking up the cards should not be deemed to be a pass.

  • On this occasion, it appears unlikely that West could have thought that the auction was already over - he would have had to have mistaken both North's bid & partner's double for passes. (I'm assuming that North's 'call' was indeed a bid)
    Almost certainly (but it may be that 'you had to be there') he missed partner's double, and thought that he was in the pass-out seat. He was intending to pass, and the fact that he wasn't actually in the pass-out seat doesn't change that.

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