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Law 67 - Defective Trick

#41 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 02:10

View Postblackshoe, on 2011-May-19, 22:27, said:

Ordinarily, when leading, one can lead whatever one likes. However, there are certain situations in which one must lead a particular card (a major penalty card, for example) willy-nilly, and certain situations in which one must lead a particular suit (e.g., when partner has a penalty card and declarer exercises an option under Law 26). Failure to lead such a card when able to do so is a revoke. Failure to follow suit when able to do so is a revoke. Failure to play a card when either the law or an opponent, in exercising an option, requires it is a revoke.

What the hell are we arguing about anyway? I've forgotten. :huh:

You said it (like I did): A (single) major penalty card must be led, this is not a case of anybody exercising an option, it is just a requirement of law.

The condition "when exercising an option" is relevant for instance when partner has a major penalty card.

What started this part of the thread was a discussion on revoke penalties under Law 67B1{a}, I was challenged when showing that failure to lead or play a card to a trick was a revoke in itself.
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#42 User is offline   mjj29 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 02:28

View Postpran, on 2011-May-19, 10:58, said:

??????????????????? :o

A most eloquent reply, dear pran.

You seem stunned into silence by the notion that once a card has been played to a trick any attempt to play it to a subsequent trick will render the later trick defective and not the original trick. Would you care to elaborate on what is wrong with this suggestion?
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#43 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 03:52

View Postmjj29, on 2011-May-20, 02:28, said:

A most eloquent reply, dear pran.

You seem stunned into silence by the notion that once a card has been played to a trick any attempt to play it to a subsequent trick will render the later trick defective and not the original trick. Would you care to elaborate on what is wrong with this suggestion?

I was stunned into silence from a proposal so complicated that I hope I shall never have to apply (or teach candidates) a law like that.

What is wrong with this entire discussion is the failure to understand what irregularity triggers Law 67: A player holding a number of cards inconsistent with the number of tricks remaining to be played.

When this is discovered the Director will investigate if the player has a correspondingly incorrect number of cards among his "played" cards and if so use Law 67. If instead the Director finds that a card is missing he will apply Law 14 and if he finds that there is an extra card present he will apply Law 13F.

Note that when the Director according to this procedure will apply Law 67 it is because he considers from the fact that a card is located where it should not be, it is the consequence of a failure to having played it when required or a failure by playing it when it should not be played.

Even if a player swears on the holy Bible that he did indeed play a card at the proper time although it is found improperly in his hand the fact is that there is an irregularity. It is immaterial whether this irregularity is from not playing the card, from picking up the card some time after playing it or from whatever other possible reason. The Director will still apply Law 67.

In this way Law 67 is a very simple law, easy to manage, and (at least in my own honest opinion) fair to everybody.
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#44 User is offline   iviehoff 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 04:37

View Postpran, on 2011-May-19, 03:51, said:

Correct, and it is imperative that such a proposed new law includes precise provisions on how to handle the situation when the played and returned card has been played also a second time (to a later trick).

Has anybody so far given any serious attention to that situation? If so I must have completely overlooked it.

But by your own admission you weren't reading it very thoroughly or even at all.

I dealt with it very precisely. I proposed a rule which said that the card must be returned to the first trick it was played in, and the second trick is then treated as defective per Law 67. I even had a rider to deal with the situation when the trick it was played to the second time was one of two cards played by that player to that trick.
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#45 User is offline   alphatango 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 05:59

Having clarified my thoughts, here is what I want Law 67 to look like. I use "regularise" to mean "supplies a missing card, or withdraws an extra played card" with all such withdrawn cards subject as normal to penalty card provisions.

1. East plays too many cards or no card at all to trick n, but East/West have not yet played to trick n+1, and

(a) N/S have led to the next trick. Rectification: East regularises trick n, his card does affect ownership of the trick, N/S's card is a lead out of turn to trick n+1.
(b) N/S have not led to the next trick. Rectification: East regularises trick n, his card does affect ownership of the trick, play continues.

2. East plays too many cards or no card at all to trick n, and East/West have played to trick n+1. Rectification: East regularises trick n, his card does not affect ownership of the trick, and play continues. East is (or may be, when he has played too many cards and those cards are restored to his hand) deemed to have revoked in line with the current provisions of L67B (with the clarification that all of L64 applies).

* * *

A couple of thoughts:

  • If opponents are damaged by the production of a card previously played and now ostensibly played to a later trick, we simply adjust for any such damage where necessary. Consider the case where an unscrupulous character, on lead, produces a card from another deck, and an opponent follows.* We would have to rule that the opponent's card was a lead out of turn, but we would (I hope) adjust for any damage caused by the apparent lead. (For pran's benefit, yes, in my construction I will rule that the card previously played belongs to that trick, and the later trick is defective or incomplete.)
  • Thus, I am open to a provision to be added to L65, per iviehoff, to explicitly state that we should return the card to its proper place amongst the played cards, but I do not think we need a specific provision in L67.
  • I do not know whether case 1, above, should be called "defective" or not. To me, it seems like the trick is merely incomplete (and where opponents have led to the next trick, that is premature but should not affect the right of East to complete trick n). So I prefer the definition I proposed in the OP, but I do not think it is terrible for case 1 to also be referred to as defective, as it is now.

* I seem to recall an old story from Culbertson days in which a cigarette wrapper or the like was deliberately "led", causing dummy to be exposed prematurely. I imagine we might consider an adjustment (and assign a PP) today if we believed the action was deliberate!
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#46 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 06:08

View Postalphatango, on 2011-May-20, 05:59, said:

I seem to recall an old story from Culbertson days in which a cigarette wrapper or the like was deliberately "led", causing dummy to be exposed prematurely. I imagine we might consider an adjustment (and assign a PP) today if we believed the action was deliberate!

Sure. Culbertson, a very nervy player who never liked to be at the table when dummy, was dummy, and a member of the Four Horsemen [Oswald Jacoby, perhaps?] was chewing gum. After some thought he tossed his gum wrapper on the table. Culbertson dumped dummy on the table, realised, and grabbed the dummy up again. But Jacoby had seen what he wanted to know and now found the killing lead.

Under what Law are you adjusting and why are you penalising?
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#47 User is offline   alphatango 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 06:34

View Postbluejak, on 2011-May-20, 06:08, said:

Under what Law are you adjusting and why are you penalising?


(edited slightly)

73D2, misleading the opponent by means of a remark or gesture. The story as told to me was that the thick wrapper had some markings on it so that it looked vaguely like a playing card.

But that is only tangentially relevant; my point was that we have laws which will cover the situation where someone has taken an action so that they have apparently played a card, even though they have not actually done so. Of course there is some minimal threshold of care for NOS.
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#48 User is offline   alphatango 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 06:49

New draft; not really sure how I feel about it yet. In an attempt to make it clear when it is too late to correct one's error, I have adopted the language concerning revokes. It makes the law longer but more precise, and it does (I think) achieve the objectives I outlined above at #45.


201x L67, version alphatango.0.2 said:

LAW 67 - DEFECTIVE TRICK


A. Definition and Establishment

1. When a player has omitted to play to a trick, or has played too many cards to a trick, the trick is defective.

2. A defective trick becomes established:

(a) when the offender or his partner leads or plays to the following trick (any such play, legal or illegal, establishes the defective trick).
(b) when the offender or his partner names or otherwise designates a card to be played to the following trick.
© when a member of the offending side makes or agrees to a claim or concession of tricks orally or by facing his hand or in any other way.


B. Correction of an Unestablished Defective Trick

1. If a defective trick is discovered before it becomes established, and:

(a) a player has failed to contribute a card to the defective trick, he plays a legal card to that trick; this card may affect the ownership of the trick.
(b) a player has contributed too many cards to the defective trick, he rectifies the error in accordance with Law 45E (Fifth Card Played to a Trick) or Law 58B (Simultaneous Cards from One Hand); the single card chosen eventually played to the trick may affect the ownership of the trick.

2. If an opponent has led to the next trick, and that opponent did not win the corrected defective trick, his card is treated as a lead out of turn; see Laws 53 and 55.


C. Correction of an Established Defective Trick

When the Director determines that there has been an established defective trick, he determines which trick was defective and proceeds as follows.

1. When the offender has failed to play a card to the defective trick, the Director shall require him forthwith to expose a card face-up in front of him and then place it appropriately among his played cards. This card does not affect ownership of the trick. If

(a) the offender has a card of the suit led to the defective trick, he must choose such a card to place among his played cards. He is deemed to have revoked on the defective trick, and this established revoke is subject to rectification in accordance with Law 64.
(b) the offender has no card of the suit led to the defective trick, he chooses any card to place among his played cards. He is deemed to have revoked on the defective trick, and this established revoke is subject to rectification in accordance with Law 64.

2. (a) When the offender has played more than one card to the defective trick, the Director inspects the played cards and requires the offender to restore to his hand all extra cards*, leaving among the played cards the one faced in playing to the defective trick (if the Director is unable to determine which card was faced, the offender leaves the highest ranking of the cards that he could legally have played to the trick). Ownership of the defective trick does not change.
(b) A restored card is deemed to have belonged continuously to the offender's hand, and a failure to have played it to an earlier trick may constitute a revoke.

* The Director should avoid, when possible, exposing a defender's played cards, but if an extra card to be restored to a defender's hand has been exposed, it becomes a penalty card (see Law 50).

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#49 User is offline   mjj29 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 07:05

View Postpran, on 2011-May-20, 03:52, said:

I was stunned into silence from a proposal so complicated that I hope I shall never have to apply (or teach candidates) a law like that.


On the contrary, the proposal is simple. It has no regard for the current location of any card, just to which trick it was played. If a card which has been played is not amongst the quitted cards, it should be replaced there. A player cannot play a card to multiple tricks, once it has been played even if it is contributed to another trick it has not been played to that trick.

These concepts are simple and obvious - the only reason there is so much text in that proposal is to avoid discussions like the one we are having where someone disagrees with an edge case.

View Postpran, on 2011-May-20, 03:52, said:

What is wrong with this entire discussion is the failure to understand what irregularity triggers Law 67: A player holding a number of cards inconsistent with the number of tricks remaining to be played.


What you fail to understand is that we do not want this to be the relevant irregularity. We wish the irregularity to be "A player has not played a card to a trick or has played multiple cards to a trick". ("has played a card to multiple tricks" is "has not played a card to the later trick", given that you can't play a card to another trick). Hence these proposals to change it to make that clear.

View Postpran, on 2011-May-20, 03:52, said:

In this way Law 67 is a very simple law, easy to manage, and (at least in my own honest opinion) fair to everybody.


Sure, you can apply Law 67 in these cases and doing so is consistent. We don't want to apply Law 67 though and I think that it's also simple, easy to manage and (in my opinion) fair to rectify the irregularity of not quitting tricks by doing so and only applying Law 67 when a player didn't play to a trick or played too many cards to a trick.
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#50 User is offline   dburn 

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Posted 2011-May-20, 14:57

View Postpran, on 2011-May-20, 03:52, said:

What is wrong with this entire discussion is the failure to understand what irregularity triggers Law 67: A player holding a number of cards inconsistent with the number of tricks remaining to be played.

What is wrong with pran's view of this entire discussion is that Law 67 is not "automatically triggered" by a player's holding a number of cards inconsistent with the number of tricks remaining to be played.

Law 67 is "automatically triggered" when a player has omitted to play to a trick, or has played too many cards to a trick. But it does not necessarily follow from the fact that a player holds a number of cards inconsistent with the number of tricks remaining to be played that the player has omitted to play a card to a trick, nor that he has played too many cards to a trick.

I am weary of attempting to disabuse pran of this error - I have referred to the relevant fallacy in both English and Latin, and I find myself now in the position of the Baker in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark:

I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
I said it in German and Greek,
But I wholly forgot - and it vexes me much -
That Norwegian is what you speak.

The plain truth, as attested in several Laws, is that a player (especially dummy) may "play" a card (or have a card "played" from his hand) without relinquishing his "hold" upon it. That card is a played card; whether or not it continues to be a "held" card is supremely irrelevant.
When Senators have had their sport
And sealed the Law by vote,
It little matters what they thought -
We hang for what they wrote.
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#51 User is offline   suprgrover 

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Posted 2011-May-23, 06:56

View Postbluejak, on 2011-May-20, 06:08, said:

Sure. Culbertson, a very nervy player who never liked to be at the table when dummy, was dummy, and a member of the Four Horsemen [Oswald Jacoby, perhaps?] was chewing gum. After some thought he tossed his gum wrapper on the table. Culbertson dumped dummy on the table, realised, and grabbed the dummy up again. But Jacoby had seen what he wanted to know and now found the killing lead.


It was David Burnstine.
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#52 User is offline   iviehoff 

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Posted 2011-May-24, 01:47

View Postalphatango, on 2011-May-20, 06:49, said:

New draft; not really sure how I feel about it yet. In an attempt to make it clear when it is too late to correct one's error, I have adopted the language concerning revokes. It makes the law longer but more precise, and it does (I think) achieve the objectives I outlined above at #45.

I like your general approach. But you don't deal with the situation when a card is played for the second time. We need to have something somewhere that says that a card once played is a phantom if apparently played again.
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#53 User is offline   alphatango 

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Posted 2011-May-24, 19:52

I think that can (and logically should) go in Law 65 -- something approximating your suggested L65D, perhaps.
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#54 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2022-January-08, 16:41

View Postpran, on 2011-May-18, 16:47, said:

Doubt about this may have existed before 2007. With the 2007 revision of Law 67B1{a} it should be clear that failure to lead or play a card to a trick (so that the trick has become defective) does indeed constitute a revoke.

The quoted law can be split into a list as follows:
Definition of Revoke
  • Failure to follow suit in accordance with Law 44, or
  • Failure to lead or play, when able, a card or suit
    • required by law, or
    • specified by an opponent when exercising an option in rectification of an irregularity
constitutes a revoke. (When unable to comply see Law 59.)

And I believe this is the correct way of reading that law.


The incongruity you point out (67B2b) labels the condition of a player being void (of the suit led) did not play a card to the trick. When remedied later via 67B2b the label is a revoke. The incongruity is that this label does not comport with the L61 enumerated definitions of revoke (which carries the condition of not following when able distinct from not playing at all).


If we might believe L61 then perhaps the lawmakers know that every time someone does not play to a trick he always could have followed suit (hehehe). That was the issue that the ACBLLC would not explain to me in 1996.
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#55 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-January-09, 10:57

View Postaxman, on 2022-January-08, 16:41, said:

The incongruity you point out (67B2b) labels the condition of a player being void (of the suit led) did not play a card to the trick. When remedied later via 67B2b the label is a revoke. The incongruity is that this label does not comport with the L61 enumerated definitions of revoke (which carries the condition of not following when able distinct from not playing at all).


If we might believe L61 then perhaps the lawmakers know that every time someone does not play to a trick he always could have followed suit (hehehe). That was the issue that the ACBLLC would not explain to me in 1996.


I think you mean 67B1b (failed to play a card) and not 67B2b (played more than one card).
If so then yes, L61 seems to have been written without considering this type of revoke (and is a bit too hermetic anyway). "failure to lead or play, when able, a card or suit required by law" might usefully be rewritten "failure to lead or play a specific card required by law, or any one card of a specific suit required by law, or any one card of the remaining suits when required by law" or something similar.
Having said that, it seems pretty clear that we should follow law 67 and "punish" this like a revoke.

Congratulations for the most obscure necro of 2022 so far B-)
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#56 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2022-January-10, 10:28

View Postpescetom, on 2022-January-09, 10:57, said:

I think you mean 67B1b (failed to play a card) and not 67B2b (played more than one card).


Thank you for getting that correct. I originally :( wrote 67B1b :)

View Postpescetom, on 2022-January-09, 10:57, said:

If so then yes, L61 seems to have been written without considering this type of revoke (and is a bit too hermetic anyway). "failure to lead or play, when able, a card or suit required by law" might usefully be rewritten "failure to lead or play a specific card required by law, or any one card of a specific suit required by law, or any one card of the remaining suits when required by law" or something similar.
Having said that, it seems pretty clear that we should follow law 67 and "punish" this like a revoke.

Congratulations for the most obscure necro of 2022 so far B-)



I find it curious your belief that failing to play to a trick in and of itself is a revoke. Nowhere in law except here is there such a connection. For instance, when someone plays out of turn, when the non offender adds his card the law does not say that he corrects his revoke.

In 1996 when a player's defective trick is remedied and he can add a card that follows suit he is not penalized for a revoke even though he could have followed suit (L61 definition of revoke) yet when he does not have such a card he is penalized for a revoke- even when at the time of the trick he already was void. This seemed wrong to me. My recollection is that in 1996 revoke was defined twice: in L61 and the definitions (as expected in L61 and as unexpected in definitions).

My suspicion is that my conversation with Dan Morse trickled to the ACBLLC and then trickled to the WBFLC which resulted in a response recorded in WBF2007. I think it can be said that the alteration in regards to a revoke occurring when offender could have followed suit is satisfactory; as for the condition when he was not able (at the time) to follow suit, I think the non alteration is wrong headed.
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#57 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-January-10, 17:01

View Postaxman, on 2022-January-10, 10:28, said:

Thank you for getting that correct. I originally :( wrote 67B1b :)



I find it curious your belief that failing to play to a trick in and of itself is a revoke. Nowhere in law except here is there such a connection. For instance, when someone plays out of turn, when the non offender adds his card the law does not say that he corrects his revoke.

In 1996 when a player's defective trick is remedied and he can add a card that follows suit he is not penalized for a revoke even though he could have followed suit (L61 definition of revoke) yet when he does not have such a card he is penalized for a revoke- even when at the time of the trick he already was void. This seemed wrong to me. My recollection is that in 1996 revoke was defined twice: in L61 and the definitions (as expected in L61 and as unexpected in definitions).

My suspicion is that my conversation with Dan Morse trickled to the ACBLLC and then trickled to the WBFLC which resulted in a response recorded in WBF2007. I think it can be said that the alteration in regards to a revoke occurring when offender could have followed suit is satisfactory; as for the condition when he was not able (at the time) to follow suit, I think the non alteration is wrong headed.


I have no idea what was going on back in 1996 or even 2016. I had just become a Director when covid first hit and defective tricks and revokes were temporarily (semi-definitively?) moved to the garbage bin of bridge law. But trying to get my head around such things again, I saw in this old thread people I respect arguing that failing to play to a trick is a revoke and it kind of made sense. I can see that one could define revoke to exclude it, but it's not clear what advantages that would bring or that the current laws desire it. I agree that, as often, things could be clearer and more consistent.
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#58 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-January-12, 10:22

The Law says the player is "deemed to have revoked". They didn't actually revoke, so the definition of what constitutes a revoke is not really relevant. "Deem" means that we treat it as if they'd revoked, even though they didn't.

They could have put this condition into the definition of revoke to make things more consistent, but it's not a problem that they didn't.

#59 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-January-12, 14:58

I agree, more or less.
It would have been nice to make things consistent (after ten years to think about it) but yes it wasn't essential this time (and may be academic next time).
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#60 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2022-January-12, 16:22

View Postbarmar, on 2022-January-12, 10:22, said:

The Law says the player is "deemed to have revoked". They didn't actually revoke, so the definition of what constitutes a revoke is not really relevant. "Deem" means that we treat it as if they'd revoked, even though they didn't.

They could have put this condition into the definition of revoke to make things more consistent, but it's not a problem that they didn't.

This deem business is akin to a rule such as If you jaywalk you are deemed to have killed the President. Ok, the President is alive and you are deemed to have killed him. When there is a play out of turn is the skipped player told to correct his revoke?
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