Laws & Ethics Corner
by Frances Hinden

Claiming should be a great way to speed up the play and give you more time to spend on the next hand. It might be illegal not to claim when you can, and it’s certainly rude to let your opponents waste time and energy trying to find a way to make an impossible trick. Unfortunately claims do sometimes lead to director calls and can cause upset. So to avoid any hard feelings, here are some dos and don’ts (and a couple of maybes):




And Finally: Here’s the difference between a good claim and a bad claim:

SK 9 3 2
HA Q 4
DA Q 6 3
CK 3
SA Q 5 4
CA Q 10 6 4 2

Declarer is in 7NT on a club lead.
Good claim: “I’ll win with the king, unblock the red suits in hand, cash the black AQs and cross to dummy in spades” This is enough detail to explain what the 13 tricks are, it doesn’t depend on any suit breaking, and is clear how you will manage to cash them all.
Bad claim: “I’ve got loads of tricks – 4 spades, 3 hearts, 4 diamonds and 6 clubs is 17”. You haven’t checked that spades or clubs are breaking (even though you don’t need them to) and you haven’t explained how to cope with the blocked red suits