The New Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2007

(What the players need to know)


The Laws of Bridge are revised and updated every 10 years or so.  The new edition comes into effect on September 1st 2008.  From a Tournament Director’s point of view the Laws have been seriously improved and updated but thankfully the players need only be aware of some minor changes.  Note as ever that the following is only a summary and that the exact detail is included in the relevant law itself.


  1. Law 7C:  You are now asked to shuffle your 13 cards before you return them to the board after play.  If your cards are returned to the board unshuffled i.e. in the order in which they were played, then sometimes there were valuable clues available to studious players coming after you.
  2. Law 9A3:  Any player, including dummy, may attempt to prevent another player’s committing an irregularity e.g. a defender can prevent his partner from leading out of turn.
  3. Law 16B:  If the players agree that a ‘hesitation’ has occurred then there is no need to call the TD until the hand is over.  Similarly the new laws suggest that the best time to claim damage is at the end of the hand and not when dummy appears on the table.
  4. Law 20F3:  A player may ask about the meaning of a single call but should be aware that this may put ethical pressure on partner e.g. West can ask North about South’s 2¨ call rather than ask for a full review of the auction.
  5. Law 20G1:  You are not allowed to ask a question of the opponents solely for partner’s benefit i.e. partner has to ask his own questions.
  6. Law 41B2(b):  The Clarification Period is the period just after the final Pass and before the opening lead has been faced.  During this period both members of the declaring side can examine their own system card to make sure that they have not misinformed their opponents.
  7. Law 41D: Dummy spreads his hand in columns pointing towards declarer, sorted into suits, the cards of lowest rank nearest declarer.
  8. Law 62B3:  Defenders may ask one another about possible revokes.
  9. Law 65B3:  Declarer can draw attention to a quitted card pointing the wrong direction at any time.  Dummy and defenders also have this right but only until the lead is made to the next trick.

With thanks to F.O’ Boyle 

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