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  • At all times be nice to your partner. Contract Bridge requires quick thinking and decision making. The players should know that maintaining a friendly atmosphere and providing partner with moral support when needed, are essential for maintaining good productive communication throughout the play. Endless post mortems and blaming your partner (a regrettable habit by some players) are not going to make any difference to the result, and only lead to further deterioration of constructive communication with your partner.

  • Be graceful in defeat and humble after your victories. This will enhance the atmosphere at your table enormously. Contract Bridge may be a fiercely competitive sport, but this does not mean it can't still be played as a gentleman's game !

  • Count your cards before looking at them.

  • Don't make comments about the bidding or play until the end of the hand.

  • Convey information to your partner only with your calls or plays - not with gestures, mannerisms or hesitations.

  • Wait until it's your turn to play.

  • When making the opening lead put your card face down first.

  • Once you have turned your card over you cannot look back at the whole trick, only at your own card (without showing anyone else).

  • While "Claiming" without playing out the whole hand state all your intentions. If there is any doubt about the accuracy of a claim the Director must be called.

  • Agree on the number of tricks before collecting your cards to put back into the board.


The Director must be called if ANYTHING goes wrong. Don't try to fix things yourself. Any player except dummy may call the director during the play.


If your opponents are playing unusual methods they will let you know by alerting. Ask for an explanation if you need to know more.


If a bid must be alerted (ABF Alert Regulations 1994) the PARTNER of the bidders says "alert" and then produces alert card and shows it to the opposition.

You can ask about opponents' alerted or self-alerted bids when it is your turn to call, but if you do not as at that time, any subsequent questions must be about the entire auction and not of one particular bid.

As declarer, you should offer full explanation to your opponents of all your side's calls if they include alerted calls or any mistaken explanation given.