header                Issue #18               January 2016

These pages are an attempt to inform bridge players of  the laws governing our game.  In particular, we will be looking at everyday situations where the TD is called.
These pages will be updated each month, so please come again!  

Always call the TD for any infringement, however minor -  do not take the law into your own hands.

Announce/Alert + STOP card usage

STOP card / Alerting

TD Reply

Philip Feinstein wrote in -

Hi Sid

Please can you clarify:

The bidding went:

I opened 1S and my left hand opponent bid 3D 
(later explained as weak)- should they:

1.       Alert the 3D bid

2.       Pull out the stop card and then bid 



1. Alerting :  Players play 3D in various ways – ghestem, weak jump, intermediate jump, and even strong jump overcall. Also, it sometimes depends on vulnerability. Elwynne and I play it as weak when we are green but intermediate (12-15) when red. Bernie Goldman plays it as Copenhagen, others play Ghestem...

3 is alertable when not natural diamonds (natural suit is the standard in USA, UK and here). They need to announce and simply say “weak” or "intermediate" in much the same way as an opening bid of a weak 2H.   If 3 is some sort of 2-suiter, the bid must be alerted and a detailed explanation (not just "ghestem") must be offered if asked.

2.   STOP card:   After a player jumps a level in the bidding the law is that the next player has to hesitate 10 seconds before making a bid, whether he has nothing to thinking about or if he has values. This is to prevent unauthorisation information being passed. Note:   No hesitation after a jump bid on your right is subject to a penalty as well!   It is common practice for a player to announce that he is making a jump or skip bid by either announcing “skip bid” or using the STOP card. The 10 seconds (I allow 5) starts when the bid is made. Not using the STOP card is not subject to a penalty, only a stern warning. Of course, repeat violation of a TDs request to use the STOP card can be procedure-penalised, usually a quarter top or 3-IMPs.

Conversely, to illustrate when no STOP card need be used -

1H – P – 1S – P       2C  -  P  -  2H  -  P        1H  -  P  -  3H  -   P
4S                    3H  –  P  -  4NT             4C  -  P  -  6H

In each case it is a moot point for a player to hesitate 10 seconds after the last bid above, so here do not use a STOP card.

The SABF chart showing when to Announce and Alert


Please feel free to write in regarding the bridge laws, to   webmaster [at] gbu.co.za


Sid Ismail
National Director

30 December 2015

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