Guidelines for Adjudicating Claims
Taken from the Spring 2019 minutes of the ACBL Laws Commission
We note that whenever there is an attempt to establish guidelines, there is a risk that
some will use them in lieu of common sense or even of law. Guidelines are not laws but
are intended to form a basis for consistency. With this in mind, the following are given
as guidelines concerning claims:
- The order of play of non-trump suits should be the worst possible
for claimer (although play within the any suit is normally from the top down).
- Declarer may never attempt to draw any trumps of which he was
likely unaware, if doing so would be to his advantage.
- It is not considered a normal play for declarer to take a safety check
with a "high" trump, nor to play trump to put pressure on a defender.
- Declarer should not be forced to play the remainder of his trumps
to his disadvantage if both opponents have shown out of the suit.
- When ruffing, claimer is normally presumed to ruff as low as possible.