Board in Play
Law 7A states that:
“When a board is to be played it is placed in the centre of the table, where it shall remain, correctly orientated until the play is completed.”
You are allowed to move the board slightly to make room for the dummy, but it must never be rotated, removed from the table or placed under a bidding box.
There are three reasons behind this:
- The cards will always go back into the correct slots
- The vulnerability is visible at all times
- The board is a barrier between declarer’s cards and dummy’s. Declarer’s cards stay one side and dummy’s stay the other, thus preventing them from getting mixed up.
Boards not in play
The Laws are silent on what should happen with the other boards for the round that are not being played.
Bradgate’s policy is that once all boards for a round have been played then they shall all be placed in the centre of the table. This makes it easier for the next table to collect them when the Director calls move.
If a board has been played, but there are still other boards to play, then the played boards shall be removed from the table. Should the Director call move whilst you are still playing a board, then the table that wants your boards next will be able to collect some of them without disturbing you whilst you complete your board. This would not be possible if you kept all the boards in the middle of the table.
Where paper travellers are being used, there should be only one board on the table. With one board on the table, there can only be one traveller on the table. We have had instances in the past where there has been a stack of two boards. The first board is played, then North turns over BOTH boards and pulls out the traveller from the second board!
Without paper travellers, i.e. scoring on Bridgemates or personal scorecards, we have no problems with players keeping multiple unplayed boards on the table. But if any player requests that just the board that is being played is on the table then the other players should accede to that request.
Where North finds it physically difficult to pick up boards from the floor then the other players (including East/West) should offer to look after the boards not in play. There is always an option to fetch a spare chair for North to place the boards on. It is the responsibility under Best Behaviour at Bridge for players to accommodate other player’s physical disabilities and limitations.