If you have four or five honors (or four aces in no-trump), when does it have to be declared?

The last time I played, I declared my four honors for 100 points after the hand was over. The bridge referee said that was too late, reasoning that the honors had to be declared before the hand was finished.

2 Answers 2


From Law 76 in the American Contract Bridge League laws,

Honours may be claimed until the next hand has been dealt or the rubber has been completed and scored – whichever comes sooner.

Law 78 also states, with my emphasis on the specific relevant example,

When it is acknowledged by a majority of the players that a scoring error was made in recording an agreed-up-on result (e.g., failure to enter honors or incorrect computation of score), the error must be corrected if discovered before the net score of the rubber has been agreed to.

Until the next hand is dealt or the rubber complete and scored, honours may be claimed.

The end of a hand is not the same event as the dealing of the hand after it. The rubber cannot be complete until it is know that a side has 100 points below the line, and it is not scored until the sides have both worked out and accepted the net scores from hands played in that rubber.

The referee appears to have made an error if they disallowed scoring honours before the next hand or before the rubber's net score was agreed to. The referee was correct if you or your partner had assented to either dealing the next hand or the complete rubber's net score.


I have always declared honors when the first honor from my hand is played; if you declare before you are tipping off your hand position to the competitors when might cause you to lose the contract.

  • 3
    Welcome to the site! Thanks for your contribution, but I would guess that this answer is attracting downvotes because people think it's wrong: it conflicts with the pre-existing answer and that answer, unlike yours, cites specific rules that support its position. If you think your answer is actually right then you should similarly cite sources that support you and perhaps explain why those other cited rules do not apply, otherwise I'd suggest deleting this. Jul 31, 2019 at 14:53

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