Better Behaviour at Bridge: Monthly Memo (8)                 October 2014                   

 Active Ethics

How much should you tell opponents about your methods?

As much as you can.

Imagine they were present when you and partner discussed your system – they are entitled to know all your agreements and any inferences you can draw from partnership experience.

Please make an effort to be as helpful as possible.

What opponents are not entitled to know is which cards you actually hold.

Eg: partner leads a king against a suit contract. Declarer asks about your carding.

State your agreements – perhaps ‘could be from AK or KQ, asks for a count signal’.

If you know from your own hand that he has actually led from Kx – dummy has AJx and you are looking at Q109x – you should not make any extra comment.
Everybody knows that Kx is a possibility: by mentioning it you may give Unauthorised Information to partner.

Describe your agreements, not what you know about the particular card that has been led.


If you are unsure of the meaning of partner’s bid – admit that.

‘Undiscussed’ may be true, but if you have an inkling based on partner’s actions in similar situations you should say so.


What you must not do is say:  ‘ I am taking it as….’  That is Unauthorised Information.
As a corollary, an opponents may not ask :  ‘What do you take it as?’

If your opponent genuinely does not know what a bid means bullying will not help!