Bridge Base Online Help

Mind your Manners

I'm sure you wouldn't dream of critizing a guest in your home for a minor faux paus. Instead you would do your best to minimize any embarrassment felt by your guest -- even taking the blame yourself if necessary.

How nice it would be if bridge players would carry that over to their experiences at the bridge table. Your partner makes a mistake. You see it, your partner immediately knows it, the opponents (and any kibitzers) see it and no doubt your partner is embarrassed by his mistake. Calling attention to partner's mistake is not only unnecessary, it's against common courtesy. Plus it will reflect on YOU since, after all, it's YOUR partner.

So, Rule #1: Be nice! Be nice to partner, to opponents, to the directors and anyone else you can find. Be nice!

In a face-to-face games, grimaces, heavy sighs, frowns, eye-rolls or other indications of displeasure can be seen during leads and plays when, again, partner disagrees with partner. Online we will often see something like this: "???????" This line of question marks is the online version of a grimace, heavy sigh, frown, or eye-roll. Don't do this. This isn't nice. Please see rule #1.

A polite opponent will always make sure he alerts all conventional bids or calls. These conventions should also be explained when asked. Please remember: The NAME of a convention is not an explanation. So 1s-P-2nt should not be explained as 'Jacoby' but should be explained as 'strong spade raise' or any other complete explanation (X number of points, X number of spades). Although you may not be able to understand why the "expert" opponent you are playing against doesn't know what Jacoby 2NT is, trust me, it happens. Explain your conventional bids by what they mean, not by what they're named.

A word about hesitations: Unauthorized information can be passed by a change in tempo of bids or plays. No inference should ever be taken about a break in tempo. This is particularly true online since long hesitations can be (and often are), only connection problems. Anyone who has ever played online knows that kids, spouses or the phone can interrupt causing a delay which can be perceived as a hesitation (should I bid or pass?) when in fact, you're just telling your wife where to find the car keys.

During a tournament, rulings are made by the Tournament Director, not by players at the table. Call a director (using the "Call Director" button) at the first sign of an irregularity.

Two social rooms have been made available to our players - the Main Bridge Club and the Relaxed Bridge Club. Here you can play a few hands or many, find a pickup partner or play with your regular bridge date. Although the rules here aren't as strict as they are for tournament or team play, there are still rules.

Our software tracks certain actions. How many times does a player who is host, boot another player from the table? How many times does a player leave a table in the middle of a hand? When the number of times a player makes either of these actions reaches a certain level, the software will issue an automatic short ban on that player from playing in the room. These bans are typically 72 hours in duration. So to prevent this, only leave a table after a hand is finished and be cautious about booting too many people too many times from your table (if you are the table host).

It sometimes happens that a player who is the table host finishes playing but forgets to leave the table. Although you are not required to keep playing, you are expected to leave the table when you finish. If you don't, the other three people are left waiting for you to bid or play. You don't know this because you are off doing something else. This is very rude. When you finish playing, leave the table. See Rule #1.

At both tournament play and social play, claim when the outcome is clear. Be sure to state your line of play, especially when trumps remain outstanding. A simple statement of "pulling trumps" when claiming is often all that's needed. Playing out each card, one by one, when the outcome is clear, is not polite.

Above all else, always remember, Rule #1.

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