Duplicate Play 

Guidelines for good play and good manners

   More experienced players are encouraged to help the newer players, especially if asked. The newer players should not hesitate to ask for help.   

   The following comments should be regarded as helpful guidelines for those who are new to duplicate play. Good duplicate play and manners include the following.   

   North should not actuate the Bridgemate transponder until the director announces, “The transponders are ready,” which means that she has completed her task of entering the proper data for the Bridgemate system and play may begin. 
           (Click Here for additional instruction on the Bridgemate.) 
   The Bridgemates will always display the pair numbers that should be at the table, the boards to be played, and the round number that is being played. This information is on the very top of the screen and is invaluable in eliminating errors and misunderstandings. 
   North is in control of scoring and the boards. Please be patient while North does his/her tasks. If you are seated North (as in Howell movement) and are unfamiliar with the Bridgemate or what to do with the boards, please ask one of the more experienced players to help and teach you.   
   
   Scoring with the transponder
 seems daunting to the newcomer but is simple once you get the hang of it. Players who are experienced with the machine should do their best to teach the newcomer. 
   Important:   When the transponder is handed to East or West to accept the scoring entry, all should be comfortable with the results to be accepted, i. e. the number of tricks made (+ or -), by whom, and the score. Be careful with talk at this point so your results will not be overheard. The accept button should not be pushed until there is agreement. The director will upload the results, right or wrong, from the transponders to the scoring software and onto the ACBL.   

   When using the bidding box, please take all of the cards behind the bid you are making and lay them down together. That way the cards don’t get messed up and can be returned to the bid box in order. Your second bid requires all of the cards behind it be taken out and placed together in stepwise fashion so that both your first and second bids may be seen. When bidding is complete, simply gather the cards carefully and they will be in order when returned to the bidding box.   

   When bidding is complete and it is time for the opening lead (before the dummy hand goes down), the opening lead player should place his/her lead face down on the table and ask, “Are there any questions?” By doing this if there is a mistake in who should make the opening lead, it can be corrected easily and without penalty.   

   Dummy is not allowed to talk or in anyway indicate which card declarer should choose from dummy. Many players help declarer remember from where the lead should come by tapping lightly behind the dummy hand when the lead is from dummy.   

   Bridge table talk is considered rude and borders on being unethical. However, we want a friendly/relaxed newplicate game and we make exceptions, with the consent of the opposing partners,for our really new players on occasion. This kind of talk, known as cross talk or bridge table talk, should be done as quietly as possible so as not to disturb or convey information to others at nearby tables who will play the same boards later.   

   Discussion of a hand can only be done after all boards for that round have been played. It is very much frowned upon as others will hear and take advantage when it is their turn to play the same board. If you just can’t help yourself and you must do it, please talk no higher than a whisper and as circumspect as you can! This is especially important for those who have loud voices or generally speak loudly because they can’t hear!   

   Speed of play is an important parameter to keep in mind. The average player is expected to bid and play a hand in 7 minutes. We try to keep the newplicate game going at a maximum of 10 minutes per hand or less. Speed is slowed when there is talk during play and/or discussion of the hand. Slow play is inconsiderate of others and should be avoided. We have a set number of boards that must be completed in order to have an ACBL sanctioned game. If a table falls behind too much, it may be necessary to declare a board a “no play” and move on. There is no penalty when this happens.   

   Changing tables is done altogether and when the round is called. Loud talk and other distracting activity should be avoided so those who are trying to complete their play will not be disturbed. Please do not attempt to change tables before it is called as it is disruptive.   

   Howell movement is a type of movement when the number of tables is limited, usually 6 or less. With it all pairs move which means that you may play N-S at one table and W-E at the next. The Howell movement card indicating N-S-E-W is placed at the center of the table and North should be in the same direction at all tables. Written on the card in front of each player is the position that the player should move to next after completing play at that table. Also, the board numbers for each round of play are in a chart on the card. Director in charge (DIC) will call for the number of boards to be played in each round and the column for that number will tell all which boards are to be played for each round. Please help by keeping up with what round you are playing. (There may be a sit out table when the number of pairs require it.)   

   Mitchell movement is played when there is a sufficient number of tables. It requires that only East-West move. North and South do not move. (There may be a sit out table when the number of pairs require it.) At completion of play the East-West players move up to the next table, i. e. 2 E-W moves to table 3.   

   Changing boards (and players):    
       Howell movement      
         North is responsible for checking the proper column on the Howell movement card for the round to be played and getting those boards, which are kept stacked together, from the board assembly table. After play is completed the boards are returned to the board assembly table, stacked in order, with the first board to be played in the stack on the top.    
       Mitchell movement      
        At completion of play the boards are passed down to the next lower table, i. e. 3 passes to 2. The East-West players move up to the next table, i. e. 2 E-W moves to table 3.
   There is an “old saw” or saying in duplicate bridge about Mitchell movement of players and boards:     
        “Players go to heaven (up) and boards go to hell (down).”   

   Duplicate boards may fly open if upside down. When a board is completed, it should be put on the bottom of the stack in right side up position. That also results in the first board coming to the top of the stack when all are played.   

    Great play to all!