Dropped card

If the player on lead (opening lead) accidentally drops a card from their hand does this card have to be played or can the player substitute it with their correct choice, leaving the exposed card as a penalty card, and does it make a difference if the dropped card is an honour card?


  • It does make a difference as an honour card would become a major penalty card and have to be led at once, whereas a small card would become a minor penalty card and need not be led immediately, the only restriction being that another small card of the same suit could not be played before this one had been played.

    I was asked about this recently, and having explained it all it turned out that the card had not been dropped at all: it had been led and then the player wanted to change it, so used the incorrect word "dropped". I've also heard players use the word "dropped" instead of "played" when English is not their first language, so I would advise TDs to take care to establish whether the card really was dropped.

  • Thanks Gordon, it really was dropped but was a Jack so I guess that had to be the lead : )

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