Does Unintended Call take Precedence over Insufficient Bid?

E.g. 1NT - Pass - 1H - "TD Please".
If 1H bidder hadn't heard the 1NT bid and thought they were opening then 2H (or 2D if playing RST) is allowed as per the new video unless LHO accepts the 1H.
If 1H bidder had intended to bid 2H and so 1H is an unintended bid then I assume they are allowed to replace 2H and LHO gets no option to accept the 1H. Is that correct?


  • Yes. While you should give a player the opportunity to indicate that the call was unintended, we in the EBU (unlike in the ACBL) do not think you should ask them directly.

  • TagTag
    edited July 2018

    I've seen a couple of instances lately where I simply didn't believe them when they said it was "mechanical error".

    One of them, the auction had gone 1S - (2H) - 2H, replaced with 2NT. I was on the adjacent table and overheard the player say, "That's not what I meant to bid", as he replaced the 2H with 2NT quickly followed by "director, please" from one of his opponents. Since I'd just played the hand, I knew that he had five hearts to the AQ and that 2H was the reasonable bid, absent the interference. Am I just to call him a liar as he insists it was mechanical error?

    The other one was a simple insufficient bid I noticed at another table. As an opponent said that the bid was insufficient, the player came out immediately with the words, "mechanical error" and changed their call to make it sufficient. The director wasn't called and I didn't interfere.

    The right or ability to insist that it was ME does open the door to avoiding the repercussions of any rectifications.

  • Well, I think it's one situation where the director makes a judgement call based on what they know of the facts. And, yes, that does put you on the spot a bit if someone is trying to hide behind the rule.

    I guess there's diplomatic ways to phrase it to try to avoid confrontation, something along the lines of "based on the facts, I don't think this is an unintended bid, and I'm ruling otherwise". It's not really desirably to avoid confronting them at all, because then the other side is likely to be upset.

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