Simultaneous plays from Dummy

Declarer plays a card from hand and, after LHO's play, calls "top" whilst simultaneously distinctly pointing at a low card. Dummy plays low at which point opponents object. (The card led was the HQ, not singleton, towards HAKxxx). Is this a simultaneous play subject to Law 58 giving the Declarer the choice of which card to play? or does the legally defined designation take precedence over the 'digital indication'? Is it possible that 'top' was NOT unintended?


  • Sounds like a slip of the tongue to me and can be corrected. It is probably the only time that a slip of the tongue is obvious except where the card called for does not exist in dummy (calling for the 2H when should be following suit with the 2D for example).

    All other occasions are much less clear - Play the QH and call for the top then in response to the aghast look from ops/partner try to correct to, 'sorry, I meant small' is not clear at all that it was a slip of the tongue and not a lapse in concentration/change of mind etc.

  • I used to have a partner who always seemed to point at a different card from the one he was calling, so it's far from clear to me that the pointing should take preference over the naming. Why did dummy play low?

  • The actuality was slightly different:
    As the TD is never present when these things happen the balance of probabilities is Declarer played the HQ and after LHO played called 'top' and when dummy did nothing (possibly because they hadn't heard) then pointed at the low card (so not quite simultaneously). It was ruled that pointing at the low card was a change of mind and the HA had to be played (Declarer was getting ahead of themselves)

  • Hi John

    This is a bit different to the original post of, 'calls "top" whilst simultaneously distinctly pointing at a low card'

    If they only called top and only wanted to correct after it was pointed out by dummy/ops' shocked looks, then too bad and the AH is called for and played.

    Its a bit like the 'touch move' rule in chess, if you deliberately touch a piece then you have to move it. If you knock it accidentally, you don't. Same here, if you deliberately call/play a card then it is played, it is only in cases of an accidentally dropped card, mechanical error or slip of the tongue that can be corrected - a bad call/play cant.

  • Yes, the second description sounds more like a change of mind, prompted by dummy's inaction, so I would not be inclined to allow it.

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