Suppose your partner opens 1D and there is no interference bid. You reply 2S but realise that you should have bid 1S.

Can you ask to take it back? And are the opponents obliged to allow you?


1 Answer 1


It depends. On online vs. face to face (vs. screens), on whether there is a Director or Arbiter, on your intent, on regulations. But the Law, as I'm sure is in the Johnson comment, is Law 25 (duplicate Laws quoted here, rubber laws similar):


A. Unintended Call

  1. If a call is made by a player that was not intended and if it is discovered before partner makes a call, it may be substituted with the intended call. The second (intended) call stands and is subject to the appropriate Law, but the lead restrictions in Law 26 do not apply.
  2. If the player’s original intent was to make the call selected or voiced, that call stands. A change of call may be allowed because of a mechanical error or a slip of the tongue, but not because of a loss of concentration regarding the intent of the action.
  3. A player is allowed to replace an unintended call if the conditions described in A1 above are met, no matter how the error came to the player’s attention.
  4. No substitution of call may be made when partner has made a subsequent call.
  5. If the auction ends before it reaches the player’s partner no substitution may occur after the end of the auction period (see Law 17D).
  6. If a substitution is allowed the LHO may withdraw a call made over the first call. Information from the withdrawn call is authorized to this side and unauthorized to the opponents.

B. Call Intended

  1. A substituted call not permitted by A may be accepted by the offender’s LHO. (It is accepted if LHO calls intentionally over it.) The first call is then withdrawn, the second call stands and the auction continues (Law 26 may apply).
  2. Except as in B1, a substitution not permitted by A is cancelled. The original call stands and the auction continues (Law 26 may apply).
  3. Law 16C applies to any call withdrawn or cancelled.

I've bolded the most important items for a player. Law 26 is "call withdrawn, lead restrictions".

If you intended to bid 1S and 2S came out, you can change it. If you bid 2S and then remember you don't play Strong Jump Shifts with this partner, you're out of luck (and likely making overtricks).

In a controlled game (duplicate with a Director, or rubber with an Arbiter), if you believe you're in a L25A situation, you call and let the Director or Arbiter decide. If it's a game without control, you ask and see if the opponents will let you (the Rubber Laws still use the term "without pause for thought", and "thought" is the important word there). Likely they will, unless you show that you try to undo intended bids, and then they will dry up.

Note that this law is considered first in situations where the unintended bid is illegal - for instance 1D-(1S)-1H. If you intended to bid 2H and 1H came out, Law 25 applies; otherwise it is an insufficient bid (no matter if you didn't intend to bid insufficiently or didn't see 1S or...) and that Law (27) applies instead (currently, the only real difference is that your LHO can accept 1H and bid 1S "raising" partner).

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