Dummies cards

Is there any law against the declarer asking dummy to rearrange the cards? For example swapping two suits around or having a suit moved along to fill a space that has become empty during the play of the hand.


  • I can't think of anything that explicity prevents this - there are a few related laws

    After the opening lead is faced, dummy spreads his hand in front of him on the table, face up,
    sorted into suits, the cards in order of rank with lowest ranking cards towards declarer, and in
    separate columns pointing lengthwise towards declarer. Trumps are placed to dummy’s right.
    Declarer plays both his hand and that of dummy.

    Law 9A
    2. Unless prohibited by Law, declarer or either defender may draw attention to an irregularity
    that occurs during the play period. For an incorrectly pointed card see Law 65B3.

    Law 7B3

    1. During play each player retains possession of his own cards, not permitting them to be
      mixed with those of any other player. No player shall touch any cards other than his own
      (but declarer may play dummy’s cards in accordance with Law 45) during or after play
      except by permission of an opponent or the Director.

    The only one that might have a bearing is law 74A2

    A. Proper Attitude
    1. A player should maintain a courteous attitude at all times.
    2. A player should carefully avoid any remark or extraneous action that might cause
    annoyance or embarrassment to another player or might interfere with the enjoyment of
    the game.

    Which leads us onto law 90

    A. Director’s Authority
    The Director, in addition to implementing the rectifications in these Laws, may also assess
    procedural penalties for any offence that unduly delays or obstructs the game, inconveniences
    other contestants, violates correct procedure, or requires the award of an adjusted score.

    If opponents are inconvenienced e.g. by being distracted by the request and dummy's actions so that, for instance they lose concentration and forget what cards have been played, then this law might come into play.

  • There is also the first sentence of Law 45F:

    After dummy’s hand is faced, dummy may not touch or indicate any card (except for purpose of arrangement) without instruction from declarer.

    which suggests that dummy (the player) may rearrange dummy (the hand) without instruction, and so declarer may also be permitted to asked for rearrangement,

  • Thanks very much for that.

  • edited May 2018

    In addition to Law 45F ("After dummy’s hand is faced, dummy may not touch or indicate any card (except for purpose of arrangement) without instruction from declarer."), we have the following:

    Law 45C3: "A card in the dummy is played if it has been deliberately touched by declarer except for the purpose either of arranging dummy’s cards, or of reaching a card above or below the card or cards touched."

    If declarer can physically arrange dummy's cards himself, it is reasonable he can request dummy to arrange dummy's cards, maintaining proper layout of dummy to comply with the laws.

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