If a side misses an alert and the other side protests, the tournament director must decide if the missing alert is a disadvantage for the protesting side.

It is not possible to check, if the situation is prepared by the side or not, so the tournament director must decide, if this is the case or not.

  • Is it true that making a "strange" bid twice in a row without alert leads to the assumption that the situation is prepared ?
  • How to check: at the end of the auction, ask each player what their partner's bids meant. At the end of the hand, check each players hands to make sure that the hand is actually what the bid apparently said it was. If they were telling the truth about what the bid meant, then you know whether there should have been an alert or not. If the bid explanation doesn't match the hand, you need to call the Director.
    – AndyT
    Apr 21, 2015 at 12:01
  • @AndyT: That is, unfortunately, grossly wrong; players are entitled to make any bid or play they desire (if only so as to make the foolishness of weak players legal so that good players can profit). It is only necessary that all the information available to the partner of the player making the non-systemic call or play be available equally to the opposing side. This requires a statistical analysis as was done to prove that Katz and Cohen were cheating in the 1980's and established evidence that Reese and Shapiro might have been cheating in Buenos Aires in 1965. Apr 23, 2015 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


It is important to note that your partnership agreements of which the opponents must be made aware specifically includes all inferences from repeated occurrences. So yes, if you make the same unusual action twice in a short span of time the burden of proof is on you to establish that the action is not a partnership agreement.

From Laws of Duplicate Bridge - 2008 Revised Authorized Edition

Law 40
Partnership Agreements

A. Player's Systemic Agreements
1 (a): Partnership understandings as to the methods adopted by the partnership may be reached explicitly in discussion or implicitly through mutual experience or awareness of the players.

  • And how can a side prove that it is NOT a partnership agreement. This seems impossible to me. This is the reason why I cannot understand the sense of this rule.
    – Peter
    Apr 19, 2015 at 13:00
  • @Peter: If it happens twice in short succession, then it is a partnership agreement. Live with it. Apr 20, 2015 at 21:47

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