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Rev. 9/14/13

The clearest explanation of what can and can’t be done comes from Duplicate Decisions, the companion book to the Laws of Duplicate Bridge:

A minor penalty card is a single card nine or lower and exposed by accident (as in playing two cards to a trick or dropping one accidentally). It is not an “accident,” however, if a player accidentally plays a club instead of a spade.

The following facts are true about a minor penalty card:

1. It must be left face up on the table.

2. It does not have to be played at its first legal opportunity.

3. It must be played before any other card, nine or lower, of the same suit is played.

4. It is permissible to lead or play a card, 10 or above, in the same suit before playing the minor penalty card.

5. It is permissible to play another suit.

6. The offender’s partner is not subject to lead penalties, but Law 16 A., Unauthorized Information, may apply.

Online Resources

Laws of Duplicate Bridge 

Duplicate Decisions 

General, Mid-Chart, and Super Chart Conventions 

Alert Chart 

Alert Procedures