Law 41D

All this law says about order is where to place the trump suit.
I recently had a dummy carefully arrange the suits in a NT contract, saying "i always put the suit with the opening lead on the right."
Comments please?

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Comments

  • One might consider 40B2(d) ... Unless the Regulating Authority provides otherwise a player is not entitled to any aids to his memory, calculation or technique during the auction period and play.

    That law, however, doesn't forbid aids to memory, it merely denies entitlement.

    In notrumps, I make a point of not putting any of the suits we've shown during the auction to my right, to help partner avoid becoming confused and coming to think that we're playing in a suit contract. Is this really any different?

  • I have to admit that's what I do.
    I can't see that the laws prohibit anything.

  • edited August 3

    We all have our ways ...
    As dummy in a notrump contract I will always arrange the suits: clubs, diamonds, hearts then spades working from right to left.

    Peter

  • I suppose you have to decide whether dummy having a specific algorithm to minimise possible misunderstandings by declarer is a law 43A1c violation.

    (c) Dummy must not participate in the play, nor may he communicate anything about the play to declarer.

    I haven't heard of a ruling about this - but if your partner knows how you will arrange the suits then I think you are communicating with declarer.

  • My tentative conclusion is that putting a non-bid suit on the right in no-trumps is OK, but putting the suit of the opening lead on the right is not. My reason - the latter is communicating something about the play (i.e. the opening lead) in breach of Law 43A1(c), whereas the former is not.

  • My thoughts were that I could never notice this as a Director without checking every pair and doing a long term analysis.
    It was a throw away remark by Dummy, who may have been doing it unnoticed for many years.
  • Even if it's hard to police, it's right to tell the player that they shouldn't do it, and why.

  • Whenever I am playing at a table I insist that in a NT contract dummy's cards are placed in suit order, S H D C, left to right facing declarer, irrespective of the opening lead.

  • @SDN said:
    Whenever I am playing at a table I insist that in a NT contract dummy's cards are placed in suit order, S H D C, left to right facing declarer, irrespective of the opening lead.

    I don't think you can really do that - it is not in the laws. TBH I pretty well put dummy down alternating the colours since that is usually how my hand is sorted - my partner I hope doesn't look where I pull a card from when defending - but I am sure some 'card-sharps' would. (74C5)

    As Gordon says, use of card order to communicate information is to be frowned upon - but hard to spot.

  • @SDN said:
    Whenever I am playing at a table I insist that in a NT contract dummy's cards are placed in suit order, S H D C, left to right facing declarer, irrespective of the opening lead.

    I agree with weejonnie about the legality of this, and in practice I am surprised that you don't get consistently moaned at, as in my experience 95+% of players expect dummy to alternate the suit colours.

    @weejonnie said:
    my partner I hope doesn't look where I pull a card from when defending - but I am sure some 'card-sharps' would. (74C5)

    If I thought that my partner was looking, he or she would very rapidly be an ex-partner.

  • On a slight tangent to this, whenever I am declarer, if I'm happy with the contract, I try to make an unnecessary peter when playing Dummy's cards; this puts Partner at ease. Do the laws prohibit my doing this?

  • I'm sure that I heard that a good player (international) used to tell partner (dummy) if the contract was gonna make or be good by the way in which he said thank you.

    Something like, "thanks partner" for oh dear, this looks iffy, but, "thank you partner" if it was okay

    not sure if this would be legal?

  • Now that all your opponents who read this are aware of this habit you could use it to mislead them! I reckon that would be illegal.

  • @johnlw said:
    Now that all your opponents who read this are aware of this habit you could use it to mislead them! I reckon that would be illegal.

    Not only illegal but "The gravest offence"

    B. Inappropriate Communication between Partners
    1. Partners shall not communicate by means such as the manner in which calls or plays are
    made, extraneous remarks or gestures, questions asked or not asked, or alerts and
    explanations given or not given.
    2. The gravest possible offence is for a partnership to exchange information through
    prearranged methods of communication other than those sanctioned by these Laws.

  • @Martin said:
    I'm sure that I heard that a good player (international) used to tell partner (dummy) if the contract was gonna make or be good by the way in which he said thank you.

    Something like, "thanks partner" for oh dear, this looks iffy, but, "thank you partner" if it was okay

    As I recall, it was told of two top Italians (was it Belladonna and Garrozzo from the Blue Team?) with the continuation, on one occasion of dummy going down, 'what do you mean "thankyou", this is a "grazie" hand!'

  • "Not only illegal but "The gravest offence""

    I don't think that the Law Makers had the concept of concealed information from declarer to dummy in mind as a "gravest offence" when they came up with Law 73B2!

    I think I'd just stick with "illegal" and Law 73D2 about misleading opponents by means of a remark or gesture. B)

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • I can see an argument that it might be unwise to have a prearranged declarer-to-dummy signal because in theory, it should be disclosed to the opponents (who then could use the information from the signal to help improve their play, or complain if it had been disclosed incorrectly).

    As long as it was on the system card, though, I don't see any reason why a declarer-to-dummy signal sent by playing specific cards in a specific order would be any less legal than a defender-to-defender signal that was made via playing specific cards in a specific order (which is of course an integral part of bridge).

    The reason dummy-to-declarer signals aren't legal in the same way is that the dummy has no choice/agency in which cards they play; they're entirely restricted to the playing cards the declarer requests. The declarer could signal to themself, I guess, but that would be entirely pointless.

  • @ais523 said:
    I can see an argument that it might be unwise to have a prearranged declarer-to-dummy signal because in theory, it should be disclosed to the opponents (who then could use the information from the signal to help improve their play, or complain if it had been disclosed incorrectly).

    As long as it was on the system card, though, I don't see any reason why a declarer-to-dummy signal sent by playing specific cards in a specific order would be any less legal than a defender-to-defender signal that was made via playing specific cards in a specific order (which is of course an integral part of bridge).

    The reason dummy-to-declarer signals aren't legal in the same way is that the dummy has no choice/agency in which cards they play; they're entirely restricted to the playing cards the declarer requests. The declarer could signal to themself, I guess, but that would be entirely pointless.

    Oh - it was the use of comments that I was really considering, not suit signals (which are allowed). It is just that the laws do not differentiate between defenders and declarer-dummy.

  • I don't think it probably occurred to the lawmakers that it was necessary to worry about information given to dummy. As Barrie says, misleading opponents by remarks etc. is covered by Law 73D2.

    As for the potential to mislead by the order of play of dummy's cards, I think that's a bit far-fetched. To be honest I can't imagine asking dummy about any agreed significance of an unnecessary peter with dummy's cards; and I certainly wouldn't place much reliance on an answer which told me that it meant that declarer was or wasn't happy with the contract.

    My regular partner is rather good at not giving tells about the quality of the contract when declarer, and I reckon that that brings in points because a certain proportion of the inevitable number of bad contracts we reach are misdefended because the opponents don't think that declarer can possibly be in trouble when he goes about his business in an impassive manner. So I think that reassuring dummy as to the quality of the contract is overrated.

  • @Abbeybear said:
    I don't think it probably occurred to the lawmakers that it was necessary to worry about information given to dummy. As Barrie says, misleading opponents by remarks etc. is covered by Law 73D2.

    As for the potential to mislead by the order of play of dummy's cards, I think that's a bit far-fetched. To be honest I can't imagine asking dummy about any agreed significance of an unnecessary peter with dummy's cards; and I certainly wouldn't place much reliance on an answer which told me that it meant that declarer was or wasn't happy with the contract.

    My regular partner is rather good at not giving tells about the quality of the contract when declarer, and I reckon that that brings in points because a certain proportion of the inevitable number of bad contracts we reach are misdefended because the opponents don't think that declarer can possibly be in trouble when he goes about his business in an impassive manner. So I think that reassuring dummy as to the quality of the contract is overrated.

    Yes, I try never to appear unhappy about the contract I'm in.

  • I seem to remember Omar Sharif describing how, when playing with Italian Blue Team members, declarer's degree of gratitude for the dummy was defined by "thank you", "merci" or "grazie". As for displaying dummy, for partners who I think play too quickly, I put down the led suit last so that partner is forced to consider the whole dummy before playing. Hope this is legal!

  • @0107611 said:
    I seem to remember Omar Sharif describing how, when playing with Italian Blue Team members, declarer's degree of gratitude for the dummy was defined by "thank you", "merci" or "grazie". As for displaying dummy, for partners who I think play too quickly, I put down the led suit last so that partner is forced to consider the whole dummy before playing. Hope this is legal!

    The laws that may apply

    Law 74C2 (Violations of procedure)

    1. indicating approval or disapproval of a call or play.

    Is 'gratitude for dummy' equivalent? If partner puts down an unexpected dummy then by inference there is approval/ disapproval of the calls he made.

    Law 41D

    "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."

    Nothing there about how you spread the hand, just what the final result must be.

    Law 43 A1

    (c) Dummy must not participate in the play, nor may he communicate anything about the play to declarer.

    As a pedant, I think you are communicating to declarer the suit led (assuming he knows your habit) - reduces the chance of declarer revoking in dummy (although of course you have the right to make sure that dummy follows suit). Of course if you deliberately hid a card in the suit (as happens often in 'the Menagerie' series) then that probably comes under law 45F (suggesting a play).

  • TagTag
    edited August 9

    As for playing too quickly, I once called for a small ruff before dummy had even shown a card. Bad form by me, I guess.

  • @Tag said:
    As for playing too quickly, I once called for a small ruff before dummy had even shown a card. Bad form by me, I guess.

    Be a bit awkward if dummy hadn't had the expected void. Before 2017 Dummy couldn't stop declarer revoking.

  • edited August 9

    The declarer could catch their own revoke in dummy, though, before playing from their own hand (or to the next trick if they were playing too quickly from their own hand too). It'd mean that RHO's play would become AI for the defence (Laws 62C1, 16C1) and UI for declarer (Law 16C2), but that'd have to be a better outcome than facing a revoke penalty.

    That said, I'm having trouble tracking down what changed in the Laws here. The most obvious means by which the dummy can prevent declarer from revoking is Law 47C, which would enable the dummy to retract their own play immediately (nothing in the Law seems to prevent dummy using it). There's a change in 64B3 (which means that the revoke penalty is determined subjectively rather than automatically for a revoke by dummy), but that only applies if the revoke becomes established, which shouldn't be happening.

    I can't see a Law that allows the dummy to refuse to make an illegal play when instructed to by declarer, though (as opposed to making it and then immediately retracting it, which comes to the same thing), unless you count Law 72B1 (which doesn't really seem to fit). Failing to play a card that declarer has instructed you to would also be illegal!

  • edited August 9

    Law 42 (2007 Laws)

    1. He plays the cards of the dummy as declarer’s agent as directed (see Law 45F if dummy
      suggests a play).

    (2017 Laws)

    1. He plays the cards of the dummy as declarer’s agent as directed and ensures that dummy
      follows suit (see Law 45F if dummy suggests a play).

    Which means that he must forestall declarer - i.e. say "You must follow suit" - obviously he can't say "DO you mean a low/ high/ rank ..."

  • @Martin said:
    I'm sure that I heard that a good player (international) used to tell partner (dummy) if the contract was gonna make or be good by the way in which he said thank you.

    Something like, "thanks partner" for oh dear, this looks iffy, but, "thank you partner" if it was okay

    not sure if this would be legal?

    Mine usually says "Gordon Bennett"

  • or... where is the hand you had while you were bidding?

  • It is traditional, at this point, for Declarer to thank Dummy and, for the purposes of tradition, "thank you".

  • @TawVale said:
    It is traditional, at this point, for Declarer to thank Dummy and, for the purposes of tradition, "thank you".

    Yes - but "Thank you" or "Thank you partner" doesn't (usually) convey any information.

    NB - "2. making gratuitous comments during the auction and play".is a breach of courtesy and presumably falls foul of BB@B, if other players take offence

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