What happens if opener bids 3 diamonds (a preemptive bid) and everyone else passes and then it is discovered that opener had 14 points, too many to preempt?

  • By "14 points" do you mean "14 high-card points", evaluated only using the Work Point Count for high cards, or do you mean "14 total points, both high card and distribution"? Many distributional point systems would count the diamond length as worth five points (one for the fifth, two each for the sixth and seventh), which would leave just 9 High-Card points, quite reasonable for either a Vulnerable and Not preempt at the three level if no outside Ace, King, QJx or QTx is held. Commented May 28, 2019 at 23:16
  • 2
    It is not a violation of bridge law to deviate from your agreed bidding methods. Players are allowed to use their judgement. This kind of bids create a problem with the laws only if a regular partnership does it often enough so that one partner is live to the possibility that their pre-empting partner may, in fact, hold a strong hand. If my regular partner had done this twice, then it would behoove me to alert the opponents of this piece of partnership history. In a casual game with pick-up (or drawn) partners such a bid is very much ok. In 3rd hand at least it would have some tactical merit. Commented May 29, 2019 at 12:11

3 Answers 3


Whatever the result of playing 3D was stands. Bidding incorrectly is not (usually) a violation of the laws of contract bridge.


As @Ruds said, whether you bid 3D on purpose or by accident, you have to play 3D and/or proceed bidding as if 3D is a pre-empt. If the bidding comes back around to opener they are allowed to continue bidding (regularly), indicating that they might not possess a 'standard' preemptive hand; in my experience that only adds to the confusion rather than clearing it up. When in a hole, stop digging.

Two notes I want to make in addition:

  • The opener is not allowed to say anything about a bid made in mistake - whether they end up playing 3D, or partner has to play (say, 3 Spades) or opponents play -until that hand is finished.
  • If you and/or partner regularly open 7-card hands without regard for points at 3-level, you may need to include that in your bidding system / add that to the system's card: Opening 3 C/D/H/S: 7 cards, 0-14 HCP

There are no "rules" to bidding. The systems we use now are agreements we make that X bid advertises you have this and that.

By bidding 3D, the opener advertised they do not have opening strength. It is not a crime to mis-advertise your hand (on accident).

You can also mis-advertise your hand on purpose. In that case it's called a psyche. This means that you want to mislead opponents (and your own partner) in the hopes they will miss the right contract or play wrong as declarers. If you psyche too often, that can become a problem though.

  • Not bad enough for a down-vote - but you have entirely missed the vital connection between the right of one player to make any constructive bid, and the obligation of that player's partner to not have any private knowledge, either implicit or explicit, about the occurrence of such a circumstance. Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 19:45
  • In my third paragraph I stated that doing it too much will be a problem. I left out why that is; the thing your comment explains.
    – Tvde1
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 13:55

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