Tournaments > Ethics
Be a good sport

We all play bridge because we love it. Help make the game fun for everyone
by observing the few simple proprieties that make bridge fair and enjoyable.

Play tough but fair
Play tough, be competitive, but be a good sport.
  • Be pleasant to the opponents (and partner!). Welcome new opponents to your table. Don’t conduct lengthy post-mortems.
  • Don’t stare at opponents, their cards, or where in their hand they play a card from.
  • If you think an experienced opponent may have done something inappropriate, speak privately to the official recorder.
  • Slow players – make the effort to catch up; it’s not fair to use more than your share of the clock, and finishing late disrupts the schedule. Claim if it’s clear.
Make beginners welcome
New players are the future of the game we love.
  • Make a special effort to explain your bidding fully to less experienced players, and remember they may not know the methods and conventions you are using.
  • When claiming, state your line clearly and explain it if required.  Less experienced players may not see it as quickly as you.
  • If opponents don’t yet know the bridge code of behaviour, explain (politely!) – even better, refer them to this code.
Tell the opponents what they need to know about your system
Your opponents are entitled to know as much about your system and style as your partner does ... the only secret in bridge is what cards you hold.
  • Provide two fully completed system cards
  • Make every effort through alerts and explanations to tell your opponents what they need to know about your system.
No trickery, no tip-offs
You must not try to help your partner or fool your opponents by anything but the bids you make and cards you play … bridge is not poker!
  • Don’t tip partner off – and ignore partner’s tips. Ethical players will try to avoid revealing mannerisms, and make a point of ignoring any information they accidentally get from partner’s hesitations or mannerisms.
  • Don’t deceive the opponents by hesitations or mannerisms. If you accidentally hesitate without a problem, apologise: “sorry – I didn’t have any reason to hesitate. I was asleep!”
Correct misexplanations as soon as you can
If partner accidentally misinforms the opponents, you can’t give a correction during the bidding (because you mustn’t tell partner the correct explanation).
  • If your side becomes declarer, you must give the correct explanation before the opponents make their opening lead.
  • If your side ends up defending, apologise and give the correct explanation at the end of the hand. Call the director if opponents may have been damaged – that’s why he’s there!
  • You are allowed to think! But if you do take a long time over something, it shows you had other choices. Your partner must not use that information to influence what they do later.
  • If partner hesitates, you can still pass, double or bid whatever you want (but without – even subconsciously – using the knowledge that partner apparently had other options).