Looking at opponents cards

I play at least once a month at 5 different clubs with about 10 different partners. At one of the clubs my partner told me that the player on my left had been looking at my cards - my fault as I should have been holding them closer to my chest! I've known of two players (long gone) who were known for looking at opponents cards. I was playing a match a few years ago when one of my team mates heard, during the break, an opponent telling his team mates that I showed my cards.
Law 74C5 has something to say about this but does not make an obligation on a player to inform an opponent if they are holding their cards in a manner in which they can be seen by the opponent. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with such situations?

Comments

  • edited November 2018
    Hold your cards closer to your chest or under the table?
  • Have a look at Law 16 D [1 & 3 in particular]. Also Law 9 A 5. Seems that both might be in conflict

    The only problem is that the individual is required to "self report" and, as you say, Law 74 C 5 says that the receiver of such information "can act on the information unintentionally acquired". It does say "card" rather than "cards" and if looking at the hand was intentional or unintentional is also a debateable point.

    I think that the best way to approach this might be to have a pre-match announcement (with the agreement of the committee) about this and other things that might speed up the game. Just like saying that "the club follows best behaviour at bridge". "Call the director for any irregularity" or "three board rounds please don't start your third board after the 3 minute warning has sounded". There are various announcements that can be made and they may not work but at least you have made an attempt. Of course the other alternative is for the chair just to speak to the person involved and point out that they might warn their opponent that their cards are close to being visible.

    Good luck whatever you do. It is possible that you might hear from others that it has happened to them , by the same person. Then you will need to speak to the committee and other directors to see what to do

    CMOT_Dibbler

  • @CMOT_Dibbler said:
    Have a look at Law 16 D [1 & 3 in particular]. Also Law 9 A 5. Seems that both might be in conflict

    The only problem is that the individual is required to "self report" and, as you say, Law 74 C 5 says that the receiver of such information "can act on the information unintentionally acquired". It does say "card" rather than "cards" and if looking at the hand was intentional or unintentional is also a debateable point.

    I think that the best way to approach this might be to have a pre-match announcement (with the agreement of the committee) about this and other things that might speed up the game. Just like saying that "the club follows best behaviour at bridge". "Call the director for any irregularity" or "three board rounds please don't start your third board after the 3 minute warning has sounded". There are various announcements that can be made and they may not work but at least you have made an attempt. Of course the other alternative is for the chair just to speak to the person involved and point out that they might warn their opponent that their cards are close to being visible.

    Good luck whatever you do. It is possible that you might hear from others that it has happened to them , by the same person. Then you will need to speak to the committee and other directors to see what to do

    CMOT_Dibbler

    Thanks for your reply. Law 16D is worth a scan and does seem to conflict with Law 9A5.

    I've been thinking about making announcements at the start of each session about various aspects of the Laws and this may be the best way of handling such problems. I shall bring it up at the next committee meeting.

  • I know quite a lot of people (myself included) who regularly tell opponents to hold their cards up when they are in danger of being seen. I have been known to say to an opponent who keeps on making his cards visible something to the effect of "if you keep showing your cards to me, I'll stop trying to avoid looking" (normally in a lighthearted way, to someone I know well).

    I'm not currently aware of any alleged "peepers", although many years ago I was told that a well-known player was a systematic violator of Law 74C5 (specifically the bit about looking for where an opponent takes a card from).

    Allegations in a club that someone is doing something untoward are always difficult to deal with. I guess a general announcement to the effect that "Mentioning no names, there have been some suggestions that not everyone in the club is as scrupulous as they might be in not taking advantage of opponents who hold their cards in such a way that they might be visible. Please be friendly and warn opponents if you are in danger of seeing their cards." might serve to shame any closet peepers into behaving themselves.

  • There used to be a known peeper at the Young Chelsea. A visiting international from Australia told me he saw him looking at his hand so pulled it away... and the peeper continued to look, shifting his position in his chair to do so!

  • One of my partners told me of a time when she suggested to an opponent that he hold his cards up. His wife said, "Oh, just take a good look; everyone else does"

  • A friend told me that in one of the tournaments somewhere in Europe he found his opponent peeping, so he would hide a key honour card behind others and let him peep!

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