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In Bridge, one is allowed to look at the four cards played to the last trick (if the next round hasn't started).

Can I similarly ask about cards played to the current trick?

I was sitting at East, and the third round of a suit was led by West. Declarer followed suit from dummy immediately.

I asked: "Who played the master card?" (It was West, and I didn't want to trump partner's trick.)

Dummy protested, "You shouldn't have asked that question, because you just advertised your void." But partner had already played (as had dummy). So only declarer would "benefit" from my question.

Was my question proper or not in this context? If it was improper, was it for the reason dummy said? And do I have the right to ask declarer to play in a "measured" (rather than "immediate") fashion, so I can see the cards played?

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As far as I'm concerned, asking for completely public information, like which player set a given card down on the table, should always be okay in any game. But maybe I'm out of place in the world of bridge. –  Jefromi Aug 26 '11 at 6:20
    
How does that question announce your void? You could just as easily have had a higher card, but you wouldn't want to take a trick your partner was already winning. –  Monica Cellio Nov 26 '12 at 22:52
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It sounds like you're playing a less formal game, so I don't see a problem with asking the question.

In a more formal setting each card would remain in front of the player that played it so the question wouldn't be necessary and most likely an irregularity.

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Accept because of remark about card remaining in front of player in a tournament. –  Tom Au Aug 22 '11 at 16:04
    
The difference is actually between duplicate and rubber bridge: I've played extremely formal rubber, and extremely informal duplicate. –  TimLymington Nov 27 '12 at 18:41
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I'm not sure that in a home game, the situations you describe are similar. When you review the previous trick, you're seeing all four cards at once, with no indication as to who played what (although of course you know who won the trick because they're about to lead to the next). When you ask about a specific card on the current trick, I think you are basically doing what dummy suggested ... although I don't think it's necessarily whether or not you're void that is being revealed (unless partner led the ace), but rather the idea that you have a winning card and aren't sure whether or not to play it. That information could be valuable for your partner on subsequent tricks as well as this one.

I do, however, agree that you should have leeway to get more information than you would in a tournament (especially given that as I understand it, dummy isn't allowed to call attention to irregularities during play). The intent of playing a card to a trick should not be to mislead or confuse opponents as to which card was just played. It may be a semantic difference, but in this situation, I think you should be able to ask declarer which card was just played from dummy. The idea may be the same (do I need to win this trick or not?), but the question is focused on what just happened rather than on its effects.

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Your point seems to be, I can ask the question, but need to do it the "right" way. And if the cards are laid in front of players during a tournament (particularly duplicate or IMPs), then the point becomes moot. –  Tom Au Aug 21 '11 at 16:40
    
Yeah, that's a good way to summarize it. –  Dave DuPlantis Aug 21 '11 at 19:28
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Law 66A of the ACBL says that you can only REQUIRE another player to show you his card if you haven't turned your card face down on the table. However, at a lower level club game I don't see any problem asking to see the other player's cards if you've put your card face down on the table but you could receive a perfectly correct "No!" answer.

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thanks for the answer. An upvote to keep you going. –  Tom Au Oct 22 '11 at 18:03
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