Appendix 1: The Laws

Information in square brackets is commentary from me.

Law 16: Unauthorized Information

Players are authorized to base their calls and plays on information from legal calls and plays [both partner's and the opponents'], and from mannerisms of opponents. To base a call or play on other extraneous information may be an infraction of law. [This is not intended to be a complete list. Other places in the laws, for example, it is stated that information from withdrawn and illegal calls and plays by the opponents are normally authorized for the other side. The main exception is "drawn offsides" cases.]

A. Extraneous Information from Partner

After a player makes available to his partner extraneous information that may suggest a call or play, as by means of a remark, a question, a reply to a question, or by unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement, mannerism or the like, the partner may not choose from among logical alternative actions [LAs] one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the extraneous information.
1. When Such Information Is Given
When a player considers than an opponent has made such information available and tha damage could well result, he may, unless the regulations of the sponsoring organization prohibit, immediately announce that he reserves the right to summon the Director later. (The opponents should summon the Director immediately if they dispute the fact that unauthorized information may have been conveyed.) [The ACBL is a sponsoring organization which does prohibit this.]
2. When Illegal Alternative is Chosen
When a player has substantial reason to believe* that an opponent who had a logical alternative has chosen an action that could have been suggested by such information, he should summon the Director forthwith. The Director shall require the auction and play to continue, standing ready to assign an adjusted score if he considers that an infraction of law has resulted in damage.

* When play ends; or, as to dummy's hand, when dummy is exposed.

B. Extraneous Information from Other Sources

When a player accidentally receives unauthorized information about a board he is playing or has yet to play, as by looking at the wrong hand; by overhearing calls, results or remarks; by seeing cards at another table; or by seeing a card belonging to another player at his own table befor the auction begins, the Director should be notified forthwith, preferabley by the recipient of the information. If the Director considers that the information could interfere with normal play, he may:
1. Adjust Positions
If the type of contest and scoring permit, adjust the players' positions at the table, so that the player with information about one hand will hold that hand; or,
2. Appoint Substitute
with the concurrence of all four players, appoint a temporary substitute to replace the player who received the unauthorized information; or,
3. Award an Adjusted Score
forthwith award an artificial adjusted score.

C. Information from Withdrawn Calls and Plays

A call or play may be withdrawn, and another substituted, either by a non-offending side after an opponent's infraction or by an offending side to rectify an infraction.
1. Non-offending Side
For the non-offending side, all information arising from a withdrawn action is authorized, whether the action be its own or its opponents'.
2. Offending Side
For the offending side, information arising from its own withdrawn action and from withdrawn actions of the non-offending side is unauthorized. A player of the offending side may not choose from among logical alternative actions one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the unauthorized information.

Law 73: Communication

A. Proper Communication between Partners

1. How Effected
Communication between partners during the auction and play shall be effected only by means of the calls and plays themselves.
2. Correct Manner for Calls and Plays
Calls and plays should be made without special emphasis, mannerism or inflection, and without undue hesitation or haste (however, sponsoring organizations may require mandatory pauses, as on the first round of auction, or after a skip-bid warning, or on the first trick).

B. Inappropriate Communication Between Partners

1. Gratuitous Information
Partners shall not communicate through the manner in which calls or plays are made, through extraneous remarks or gestures, through questions asked or not asked of the opponents or through alerts and explanations given or not given to them.
2. Prearranged Communication
The gravest possible offense is for a partnership to exchange information through prearranged methods of communication other than those sanctioned by these Laws. A guilty partnership risks expulsion.

C. Player Receives Unauthorized Information from Partner

When a player has available to him unauthorized information from his partner, as from a remark, question, explanation, gesture, mannerism, special emphasis, inflection, haste or hesitation, he must carefully avoid taking any advantage that might accrue to his side.

D. Variations in Tempo or Manner

1. Inadvertant Variations
It is desirable, though not always required, for players to maintain steady tempo and unvarying manner. However, players should be particularly careful in positions in which variations may work to the benefit of their side. Otherwise, inadvertantly to vary the tempo or manner in which a call or play is made does not in itself consistute a violation of propriety, but inferences from such variation may appropriately be drawn only by an opponent, and at his own risk.
2. Intentional Variations
A player may not attempt to mislead an opponent by means of a remark or gesture, through the haste or hesitancy of a call or play (as in hesitating before playing a singleton), or by the manner in which the call or play is made.

E. Deception

A player may appropriately attempt to deceive an opponent through a call or play (so long as the deception is not protected by concealed partnership understanding or experience). It is entirely appropriate to avoid givin information to the opponents by making all calls and plays in unvarying tempo and manner.

F. Violation of Proprieties

When a violation of the Proprieties described in this law results in damage to an innocent opponent,
1. Player Acts on Unauthorized Information
if the Director determines that a player chose from among logical alternative actions one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by his partner's remark, manner, tempo, or the like, he shall award an adjusted score (see Law 16).
2. Player Injured by Illegal Deception
if the Director determines that an innocent player has drawn a false inference from a remark, manner, tempo, or the like, of an opponent who has no demonstrable bridge reason for the action, and who could have known, at the time of the action, that the action could work to his benefit, the Director shall award an adjusted score (see Law 12C).