Pass out of Turn

This is the most common infraction at our club, and there seems to be a difference of opinion on the application of law among the (three) county TDs at our club. Assuming the POOT is in third or fourth seat, and it is not accepted, and the correct opener opens 1 of a suit, I understand that the responder cannot make his or her normal response, if this might include a hand that would open. I gather, from a senior EBU referee with whom I chatted, that one should allow 1C-(Pass)-1NT and even 1M-(Pass)-1NT - even though the latter excludes some hands that would pre-empt at the two or three level, but that is about all. After a cancelled pass 1X-(Pass)-1Y is not allowed, I believe. What is the EBU position please?

Comments

  • Interesting thread. Assuming that the offender has not previously called, I think that we should first say that the offender's partner can make any legal call they wish at their proper turn to call if the pass is cancelled ( Law 30 B1(a) and subject to 16 C2). Then the offender can make any legal call that they wish. However, if that call isn't comparable then restrictions may apply to their partner and also lead restrictions when in defence. So saying that something is "not allowed" isn't correct. The problem comes in trying to agree that a call is comparable.
    An opening pass says that the bidder holds a hand of any shape that has a value of 0 to 11 (again this could be debateable). 1NT would be 6 to 9 and within this set. A response of 2 of the suit opened would be ok because it is promising 3/4 cards in the suit and 6 to 9 HCPs. A response of 3 of the suit opened by partner would promise 4 cards and 10 to 12 HCPs, to continue the "game" I would try to accept this as a reasonable comparable call. A response of a new suit at the 1 level would promise 4+ cards in the suit but 6 to 15 HCPs, this isn't within the 0 to 11 range so may not be acceptable. Difficulties arise with pre-empts and how the system defines them. Most might be allowable, but that would take too much time here to decide.
    This is my interpretation and I look forward to being corrected by those with more experience than I.

    CMOT_Dibbler

  • I think the advice given to "Foxymoron" is correct, with the proviso that "allowed" should be read (as Dibbler says) as "allowed without forcing partner to pass".

    I think if it's your agreement to open, say x xx Jxx KQJxxxx 3!c and with this hand to respond 1NT followed by 3!c to an opening bid of one of another suit, this should not stop the TD from regarding 1NT as a comparable call to a withdrawn pass. The TD can apply law 23C if the offending side gain through the infraction.

    I also think Dibbler should emphasize law 16C2 more when allowing offender's partner to make any call at their first turn. Offender's withdrawn pass is unauthorized information for them when selecting their call.

  • This situation has got more complicated for players and TDs.

    (Under the old law, it easy for TD and offender; offender's partner had to guess a final contract - with the AI that offender would pass and the UI that offender had passed.)

    Now, offender's partner must bid normally at their first turn, it is unauthorised that offender's responses will be restricted. Offender will usually want to make a comparable call, which will usually be 1NT. At their next turn, offender's partner does not have unauthorised information and (for instance) can explore major-suit fits which the 1NT response would normally have precluded. Both players can continue to bid in the knowledge that 1NT was the only bid responder could make to allow partner a rebid. And then the ghost of Law 23C appears (but never in practice).

  • Robin writes: "Both players can continue to bid in the knowledge that 1NT was the only bid responder could make to allow partner a rebid." This is consistent with knowing that partner will not make a call that will bar you, which I agree you are allowed to know as it arises from what the TD tells both sides, but is it using information from the pass out of turn? And yes, "allowed" is an inaccurate abbreviation for "allowed without barring partner".

  • If you're bidding 1NT more or less regardless (i.e. on hands outside the normal range and shape for a 1NT response), then offender's partner has unauthorised information from the pass out of turn; the original pass has given the UI that 1NT may be stronger than it normally is, and (if the opening bid was below 1!s) that it might be hiding a suit that was bypassed. This information would normally demonstrably suggest keeping the bidding open, and thus the offender's partner is forced to pass if doing so would be a logical alternative. In other words, if you bid 1NT when you shouldn't in order to avoid barring partner, you'll often end up effectively barring partner anyway!

    It's much better, as the offender, to bid your normal bid if it would be comparable (in practice, this normally means 1NT and raises of partner, and occasionally weak jump shifts), and to try to guess the final contract otherwise, even though partner will be allowed as a result. That way, you aren't giving any unauthorised information, because the authorised information is mirroring it.

  • That may be slightly incorrect - there is no UI from the cancelled call as Law 23B states specifically that law 16C (information from a cancelled call) does not apply. What it means is that if the result could well have been different without the assistance gained through the infraction then an adjusted score is applied (23C)

    Please note that you are allowed to have an agreement to rebid 1NT in such circumstances - this would have to be alerted, I think - since the laws do not permit a RA to disallow prior agreements to vary calls dependent on one's own irregularity (in some cases of course such changes would not be allowed because of UI, but in this specific case UI from the call doesn't apply.)

    if that is not clear then:

    1) The partnership can agree that the player who makes the POOT can respond 1NT on any hand.
    2) The partner of the player who makes the COOT cannot choose a call to allow the player who made the COOT to have a comparable call available if there is a logical alternative.

    Finally we have to decide what is "the assistance gained through the infraction"? the player who has to change his call is very unlikely to gain through his infraction as he often has to produce a call that is less helpful to his partner - in this case having to respond 1NT hiding the Spade Suit. AFAICS The infraction is the COOT/ IB etc and NOT the rectification applied/ situation of the other cards in the deck.

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    This situation has got more complicated for players and TDs.

    Very much so, although the intention of the lawmakers to allow real auctions to continue and reduce the number of random rectifications is to be commended.

    @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    Now, offender's partner must bid normally at their first turn, it is unauthorised that offender's responses will be restricted. Offender will usually want to make a comparable call, which will usually be 1NT. At their next turn, offender's partner does not have unauthorised information and (for instance) can explore major-suit fits which the 1NT response would normally have precluded. Both players can continue to bid in the knowledge that 1NT was the only bid responder could make to allow partner a rebid. And then the ghost of Law 23C appears (but never in practice).

    I find this a difficult area to get my head round, but the position seems to be:
    (a) When choosing his first call, the POOTer's partner is constrained by UI;
    (b) The POOTer can do what he likes at his next turn, but at the risk of silencing his partner for one round if a comparable call is not selected; and
    (c) If the POOTer makes a comparable call, then there are no longer any UI constraints for his side for the rest of the hand.

    Right, Robin?

    (I have to say that this doesn't seem very logical to me).

  • There are no UI constraints for the rest of the hand but there are constraints on what score can be achieved, from Law 23C.

  • @ais523 said:
    It's much better, as the offender, to bid your normal bid if it would be comparable (in practice, this normally means 1NT and raises of partner, and occasionally weak jump shifts), and to try to guess the final contract otherwise, even though partner will be allowed as a result. That way, you aren't giving any unauthorised information, because the authorised information is mirroring it.

    I'm not sure that I agree with the second part of this as a generalisation. Guessing a final contract is quite a random process if the POOTer's partner has opened one of a suit. Given that making a comparable call allows the offending side to attempt to recover without further UI issues, I would have thought that bidding 1NT with a normal 1!s response was a lot more likely to lead to a sensible result for the offending side on most hands than guessing a contract.

  • Thanks VixTD agree the suggestion about 16C2. Not sure about the example you used. If the offender could open 3 clubs with " x xx Jxx KQJxxxx" then I would wonder why they didn't bid that out of turn. Ok they might downgrade their hand but what would make them bid the pre-empt later. Is this the "ghost of law 23 C" that Robin refers to?

    Another thought I had was that I am not sure that 95% of the bridge players I have encountered would really understand the implications of this discussion (most of those don't have the much knowledge of the laws). If the aim of "comparable" bids is to make the continuation of the game easier then in some circumstances that will never happen. It may be easier to have a "punt" and be d***d than the whole rigmarole of tip toeing around the problem and then resolving the fall out later (particularly for the poor old club director). At this point I am assuming that most of those responding (me excepted) are County Directors or Club Directors with many months experience!!

    CMOT_Dibbler

  • @CMOT_Dibbler said:
    Is this the "ghost of law 23 C" that Robin refers to?

    The "ghost" of Law 23C was an allusion to that fact that we do not have any examples of adjustments under Law 23C (as opposed to Law 27D for insufficient bids). In 2017, the EBL had an example (the "Prague" case) but this has since been discredited.

    Another thought I had was that I am not sure that 95% of the bridge players I have encountered would really understand the implications of this discussion ...

    Indeed. Most of the 95% would not risk changing the meaning of the calls (based on the bridge logic of the situation) even if they did understand.

    Some of the remaining 5% would not use the information from the infraction/rectification even when told they could. Some would relish the challenge of bidding without agreements, using the information; but may doubt whether they should be allowed so to do.

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    This situation has got more complicated for players and TDs.

    (Under the old law, it easy for TD and offender; offender's partner had to guess a final contract - with the AI that offender would pass and the UI that offender had passed.)

    Now, offender's partner must bid normally at their first turn, it is unauthorised that offender's responses will be restricted. Offender will usually want to make a comparable call, which will usually be 1NT. At their next turn, offender's partner does not have unauthorised information and (for instance) can explore major-suit fits which the 1NT response would normally have precluded. Both players can continue to bid in the knowledge that 1NT was the only bid responder could make to allow partner a rebid. And then the ghost of Law 23C appears (but never in practice).

    Why should offender's partner be allowed to explore major suit fits after the 1NT response (made as a comparable call) when a legal 1NT response (had the POOT not occurred) would have precluded responder having a 4-card major? If the POOTer calls 1NT even when holding a 4-card major because has to in order not to bar partner, tough luck?

  • @Vlad said:

    @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    This situation has got more complicated for players and TDs.

    (Under the old law, it easy for TD and offender; offender's partner had to guess a final contract - with the AI that offender would pass and the UI that offender had passed.)

    Now, offender's partner must bid normally at their first turn, it is unauthorised that offender's responses will be restricted. Offender will usually want to make a comparable call, which will usually be 1NT. At their next turn, offender's partner does not have unauthorised information and (for instance) can explore major-suit fits which the 1NT response would normally have precluded. Both players can continue to bid in the knowledge that 1NT was the only bid responder could make to allow partner a rebid. And then the ghost of Law 23C appears (but never in practice).

    Why should offender's partner be allowed to explore major suit fits after the 1NT response (made as a comparable call) when a legal 1NT response (had the POOT not occurred) would have precluded responder having a 4-card major? If the POOTer calls 1NT even when holding a 4-card major because has to in order not to bar partner, tough luck?

    Because that's what the law says. If they get to a spot they wouldn't have reached without the POOT, you can still adjust.

  • edited November 2018

    If the Laws allow varying agreements after an irregularity by your own side, then why not just agree that all calls after a disallowed pass out of turn, followed by any bid by partner, show a hand that is an initial pass? For example, you could agree that after responder has passed out of turn, 1!d, 1!h shows 4+ hearts and a hand that would be an initial pass. A consequence of that agreement would be that all calls would become comparable.

    That surely can't be right, as an agreement like that would mean there was no downside to the infraction (and in fact, you could pass out of turn on every hand where you have an opening pass; then 1!d, 1!h without the pass out of turn would by implication show a hand that wasn't an opening pass!)

    Comparable calls therefore surely have to be based on the "normal" bidding system for the rules to have any meaning.

  • @ais523 said:
    If the Laws allow varying agreements after an irregularity by your own side,

    I don't think they do allow this. In fact, Regulating Authorities even have the power to disallow the varying of agreements after an irregularity by the other side, though the EBU does not disallow it.

  • @Vlad said:
    Why should offender's partner be allowed to explore major suit fits after the 1NT response (made as a comparable call) when a legal 1NT response (had the POOT not occurred) would have precluded responder having a 4-card major? If the POOTer calls 1NT even when holding a 4-card major because has to in order not to bar partner, tough luck?

    That was why I said earlier that I didn't find it logical, but the safety net of a possible adjustment under Law 23C restores equity.

  • I think gordonrainsford is right. You should not have any agreements regarding what bids mean after your own infraction. I believe the ACBL don't allow you to have agreements after the opponents' infractions either.

  • edited November 2018

    The 2nd part is delegated to the RA in the laws. Law 40.b.2.(a).iv.

    AFAICS the RA can only disallow ARTIFICIAL calls made by agreement after your own infraction by utilising 40..b.1 and 40.b.2(a).1. I do not think the EBU has done this yet. I would be very annoyed if they defined a natural call as a special partnership understanding since it does not qualify as such.

    As an addendum - there is nothing to stop an offending side from obtaining a better score after their infraction - Law 10C4. However the better score must not be as a result of the assistance of the call. Which leads us onto "what is assistance"?

    1. Subject to Law 16C2, after rectification of an infraction it is appropriate for the offenders to
      make any call or play advantageous to their side, even though they thereby appear to profit
      through their own infraction (but see Laws 27 and 72C).

    From the ACBL notes on Law 23

    W Deals
    East passes out of turn, not accepted by South.
    W(Dlr) N E S
    ...............P ..

    W(Dlr) N E S
    1♣ P 1NT P
    2♠ P 3♠ P
    4♠ P P P

    West deals. East passes out of rotation, not accepted by South. West has a normal raise to 3NT. His 2♠ catered to the possibility that East bid 1NT (a comparable call) instead of bidding one of a major (not comparable). In fact, in this example, E/W score +620 in spades and 3NT would have scored +600. There is no information from the withdrawn pass that partner has four spades, so the favorable result was not due to “assistance gained through the infraction”. Laws 23C does not apply and the score should not be adjusted.

  • @weejonnie said:
    The 2nd part is delegated to the RA in the laws. Law 40.b.2.(a).iv.

    AFAICS the RA can only disallow ARTIFICIAL calls made by agreement after your own infraction by utilising 40..b.1 and 40.b.2(a).1. I do not think the EBU has done this yet. I would be very annoyed if they defined a natural call as a special partnership understanding since it does not qualify as such.

    As an addendum - there is nothing to stop an offending side from obtaining a better score after their infraction - Law 10C4. However the better score must not be as a result of the assistance of the call. Which leads us onto "what is assistance"?

    1. Subject to Law 16C2, after rectification of an infraction it is appropriate for the offenders to
      make any call or play advantageous to their side, even though they thereby appear to profit
      through their own infraction (but see Laws 27 and 72C).

    From the ACBL notes on Law 23

    W Deals
    East passes out of turn, not accepted by South.
    W(Dlr) N E S
    ...............P ..

    W(Dlr) N E S
    1♣ P 1NT P
    2♠ P 3♠ P
    4♠ P P P

    West deals. East passes out of rotation, not accepted by South. West has a normal raise to 3NT. His 2♠ catered to the possibility that East bid 1NT (a comparable call) instead of bidding one of a major (not comparable). In fact, in this example, E/W score +620 in spades and 3NT would have scored +600. There is no information from the withdrawn pass that partner has four spades, so the favorable result was not due to “assistance gained through the infraction”. Laws 23C does not apply and the score should not be adjusted.

    There is no information from the withdrawn pass that partner HAS four spades, but there is implied information that partner COULD have four spades because he had to make an acceptable comparable call. Is this implied information AI?

  • @Vlad said:
    There is no information from the withdrawn pass that partner HAS four spades, but there is implied information that partner COULD have four spades because he had to make an acceptable comparable call. Is this implied information AI?

    Once responder has made a comparable call, Law 16C2 does not apply. However, Law 23C might be invoked.

  • I like the ACBL example. In any event, E/W are not profiting from their infraction. They are just getting back to even. If there had been no POOT, they would presumably have got to 4!s . The fact that they can explore for a possible spade fit after a comparable 1NT allows them to try for a normal result notwithstanding the infraction.

    And that, I think, provides the logic for disapplying Law 16C2 after a comparable call, which I failed to spot earlier.

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