Five Options

We are all taught that declarer has 5 options for an OLOOT. Mostly players who have not (or rarely) come across this before tend to glaze over as you get to option 3.

And actually declarer has a number of decisions to make as result of an OLOOT, which by one method of counting comes to 5 outcomes (but actually potentially more).

To try and give less experienced players a fair crack at selecting the best option for them, I use a script that better follows the way the laws work. It goes like this.

"The first thing you have to do is decide if you want to accept the OLOOT. Depending on which you choose you then have further decisions to make.

If you decide to accept the lead, then you my either play as declarer, with the lead coming through you and up to dummy, or you can choose for your partner to be declarer in which case you will be dummy. In either case there are no further consequences for the defenders.

If you do not accept the lead, it is withdrawn and becomes a major penalty card, and the lead reverts to [LHO].

There are consequences of [RHO] having a major penalty card. Firstly it must be played at the first possible (legal) opportunity.
Secondly, whenever [LHO] is on lead you may choose to restrict their lead options. You may require or forbid a lead of a [suit], or make no restriction. If you forbid the lead of a [suit], the restriction applies until [LHO] loses the lead .

If you do restrict their lead, the [major penalty card] is taken back into [RHO's] hand and is no longer a major penalty card.
Every subsequent time [LHO] is on lead and [RHO] still has a major penalty card, the same lead restriction options apply."

I will sometimes also throw in things about:
- Having to make the decision on their own
- [LHO] must wait for declarer to select an option each time they are on lead
- If you request a [suit] lead and LHO has none, your opportunity is lost

It is a little long winded, but I find it helps less experienced players make sense of the choices they have. It also distinguishes between the immediate option after an OLOOT. and the subsequent (and more general) consequences of major penalty cards.

Comments

  • I do agree, and I never found it helpful to think of it as 5 equal options (as a player). It really is just:
    - accept - and decide who's playing it.
    - reject - and decide what suit gets led (partially) or have a penalty card on table.

    The bigger challenge for me is that we're giving inexperienced players a set of options from which they aren't equipped to choose. Isn't that just likely to encourage club players to play on and not call the TD?

    I like your version, but it's still quite overwhelming.

    I wouldn't be surprised if most novice decisions were taken based on who they thought the stronger player was. Although I do remember someone once telling me what the best option was (on average) for OLOOT and LOOT, if only I could remember their answer!

  • The slightly tongue in cheek traditional wisdom is that you should always accept the lead on the basis that a player who doesn’t know whose lead it is is unlikely to have found the best lead.
  • @gordonrainsford said:
    The slightly tongue in cheek traditional wisdom is that you should always accept the lead on the basis that a player who doesn’t know whose lead it is is unlikely to have found the best lead.

    =) LOL!

  • Equally, I've seen a slam that would fail if the player who tried to cash his ace and king were allowed to and also situations where the only guard in a suit was the ability to impose a lead-restriction.

  • And don't forget the consequence of accepting the lead through declarer - Dummy goes down after the opening lead, so LHO knows what's going on at trick one. (Which I know is debatable, as they didn't challenge the initial face-down lead.)

  • I had one player choosing an option saying he was choosing it because it was the only option he had never chosen before!

    Barrie Partridge - CTD for Bridge Club Live

  • Something that isn't mentioned (as if we didn't have enough) is that if the person who makes the opening lead out of turn could have known that it would benefit his side then the TD awards an adjusted score - even if the declarer accepts the lead. Accepting the lead does not waive the right to further rectification (as some actions do in some circumstances)

  • @weejonnie said:
    Something that isn't mentioned (as if we didn't have enough) is that if the person who makes the opening lead out of turn could have known that it would benefit his side then the TD awards an adjusted score - even if the declarer accepts the lead. Accepting the lead does not waive the right to further rectification (as some actions do in some circumstances)

    I'm not (yet) convinced about this. According to Law53A: "Prior to the thirteenth trick, any lead faced out of turn may be treated as a correct lead". Correct isn't defined within the laws but I would view it as cancelling the infraction. I appreciate it does not say "thereby forfeiting the right to any rectification", but that does not mean Law 72C applies.

    Declarer always has the option to reject the lead, and I see no basis for giving them two bites of the cherry by allowing them to accept it and then apply for redress under 72C if it doesn't go well.

  • If presumed declarer is inexperienced (and likely to take the option that partner declares) and the wrong opponent knows which suit is the 'killing' lead, then the wrong opponent's opening lead could satisfy Law 72C.

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