Card dropped from Board in transit

A card fell from a board being passed between tables, landing face up. One person at the receiving table saw the card, picked it up and placed it face down on the board. The hand with 12 cards was determined, and the card was put back into place.

So one person at the table knows one (small) card in another player's hand. What (if anything) should be done by the director?


  • LAW 26D
    D. Extraneous Information from Other Sources
    1. When a player accidentally receives extraneous information about a board he is playing or has yet to play, as by looking at the wrong hand; by overhearing calls, results or remarks; by seeing cards at another table; or by seeing a card belonging to another player at his own table before the auction begins (see also Law 13A), the Director
    should be notified forthwith, preferably by the recipient of the information.
    2. If the Director considers that the information would likely interfere with normal play he may, before any call has been made:
    (a) adjust the players’ positions at the table, if the type of contest and scoring permit, so that the
    player with information about one hand will hold that hand;
    (b) if the form of competition allows of it order the board redealt for those contestants;
    (c) allow completion of the play of the board standing ready to award an adjusted score if he judges that the extraneous information affected the result;
    (d) award an adjusted score (for team play see Law 86B).

    So if the card you have seen is to be in your partner's hand the director could swap positions of you and your partner for that hand. 26D2a
    If the card is a small one then 26D2c seems the best choice.

  • The trick is to not do anything with the board at the table. Get the TD or the previous table to correct the board and then the player who saw a card does not know anything. The board can be played normally.

    This also works if one player has seen 14 cards in his hand. The other players put their hands away without saying anything and without counting their cards. The TD fixes the board and the player who saw the 14th card does not know which hand it has gone to.

  • Well technically the other table should not correct it until the TD has been informed. (Unless there are no hand records - duplimate print-outs or curtain cards.) A well known and respected bridge player (Mike Passell) put an exposed card back in the board without calling the TD and at one time looked as if he was about to lose a quarter of his (ACBL) masterpoints (an enormous number) and be put on probation.
    From Wikipedia

    In November 2015, the ACBL Appeals and Charges committee upheld a finding by the Ethical Oversight Committee that, during the 2015 Palmetto Regional, Passell had violated sections 3.1, 3.7, and 3.20 of the ACBL's Code of Disciplinary Regulations. According to a joint statement by the ACBL and Passell, Passell admitted to fouling a board at the 2015 Palmetto Regional and failing to call the tournament director. Passell was suspended for 14 days starting December 20, 2015 and forfeited the 15.40 masterpoints earned at the event.[21]

    The A&C Committee modified Mike Passell’s 13-month probation to suspension for 14 days
    starting Dec. 20, 2015. The A&C Committee modified Mike Passell’s forfeiture of 25% of his lifetime masterpoints except the 15.40 MPs earned in the Palmetto event during
    It would have been nice if a reference to this situation (card exposed before the auction begins) had been included in the 'card exposed during the auction' law. It took me quite a while to find the actual law pertaining to it.

    NB: before the new laws, the actual law was "Card exposed during the auction period" - see the difference?

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