Bidding procedure. Change of Call.

edited December 2017 in EBU TDs

North/South are bidding in Spades, South bids 4-NT (Blackwood), North replies 5-D, East passes, South bids 5-NT, West passes and before North and East can call South picks up his bidding cards and replaces them in the box. TD (I) was called. South said that he thought he had bid 5-S (which he thought would end the auction), and after West's pass thought everybody had passed so he picked up his bid cards and put them back in the box!

I ruled that by picking up his cards he had prevented his partner from bidding and also forfeited his right to change his inadvertent bid. South should play in 5-NT.

Do you folks agree with my ruling?


  • I would say yes.
    Putting away the bidding box is taken as a final pass.
  • Why did South think the auction was over when only one player had called over his last bid? It sound to me like he was suggesting that the auction was over and he might well deserve a procedural penalty for that.

    But was South's action a pass? I don't think so - it was not his intention to pass, he just thought the auction was over. If he had not passed, can he change the 5NT call? It certainly sounds from the description as though it was unintended, and the conditions to change it seem to have been met (note that his partner has not yet called), with L25A3 telling us that it doesn't matter how he became aware of his error, in order to be able to correct it.

    So my vote is that he gets to change the 5NT bid to his intended 5S and the auction continues from there. South gets a PP (which might just be a stern warning, but could be 10% of a top, especially if he is in the habit of picking up his cards prematurely) and the auction continues from there.

    It's worth noting that even if South's actions were considered to constitute a pass, the auction is not yet over as neither North nor East have passed.

  • Sorry I misread this as South bidding 5NT and North packing away bidding box. I answered too early in the morning. The insufficient 4D added to my confusion
  • Sorry guys, North's bid was not an insufficient 4-D, it was a correct 5-D. My typo error.

    The crux of my question is whether South's action in picking up his cards and putting them away prematurely denied him the right to correct his inadvertent bid.

  • Insufficient typo fixed.
    Picking up the cards does not deny him the right to correct.
    Of course, picking up just the 5NT card would be a clear attempt to change.

  • IMHO South can change his call as he is allowed to do so (before his partner calls) no matter how he becomes aware of the inadvertent call. (Here because attention has been drawn to an irregularity). The auction contimues. West can, of course, change his pass of 5NT.

    Of course there are possible sinister reasons for Sout picking up his cards - for instance he may have realised he has mis-bid, fails to realise he can change his call and then hopes that 5NT will play better than 6!s missing two aces.

    No matter - the auction wasn't over and South should be warned over breach of correct bidding box procedure.

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