At about the seventh or eighth trick, the left-hand adversary of the
Declarer remarks, "If you have all of the tricks, lay down your hand."
The Declarer does not answer, but continues the play in the usual
One trick later the same adversary says, "Lay down your hand,"
whereupon almost simultaneously the Declarer and the adversary who has
done the talking place their hands face upward on the table.
The Declarer then states that he can take all the tricks. The play is
not completed, but examination shows one trick may be taken by the
adversaries of the Declarer if he do not finesse in a certain way.
Under these irregular circumstances, should the Declarer lose the
Law 72 provides, "If either or both of the declarer's adversaries throw
his or their cards on the table face upward, such cards are exposed and
liable to be called; but if either adversary retain his hand, he cannot
be forced to abandon it. Cards exposed by the declarer are not liable
to be called. If the declarer say, 'I have the rest,' or any other
words indicating that the remaining tricks or any number thereof are
his, he may be required to place his cards face upward on the table.
His adversaries are not liable to have any of their cards called should
they thereupon expose them."
Section 9 of Etiquette provides: "If a player say, 'I have the rest,'
or any words indicating the remaining tricks are his and one or both of
the other players expose his or their cards or request him to play out
the hand, he should not allow any information, so obtained, to
influence his play, nor take any finesse not announced by him at the
time of making such claim, unless it had been previously proven to be a
The case under consideration is covered by the first portion of Law 72.
The latter portion of that law does not apply, as the opponent did not
place his cards on the table after a claim by the Declarer.
The law seems clear, the cards of the adversary are exposed and subject
to call--the cards of the Declarer cannot be called.
The etiquette of the game, however, must not be disregarded.
The plain intent of Section 9 and the justice of the case is that, if
the Declarer place his hand on the table claiming the remaining tricks,
he should not receive a doubtful trick unless, when he made his claim,
he contemplated any finesse necessary to obtain it.
If he did not intend to finesse that way, or did not then realize that
a finesse would be necessary, he should, under these circumstances,
voluntarily surrender the trick.
The reason for this is that, should a Declarer claim all the tricks,
the opponent who requires the hand to be played out would naturally
hold the strength; the locus of the request, therefore, suggests the
way to win the finesse.
It is most advantageous for the interest of Auction that, when no real
play remains, time should not be wasted, but neither side should in any
way benefit by an effort to avoid useless delay.
In the case under consideration, however, the adversary suggests that
the hands be placed on the table, and the Declarer may naturally expect
that the only card which might take a trick will drop.
There is no reason to assume that the Declarer will not finesse
correctly, and it is not just that the act of his opponent should
deprive him of the opportunity of so doing.
The decision, therefore, is that the Declarer is entitled to the
Next: Case 9
Previous: Case 7