Opening Lead out of Turn

Placing a card face down before you lead gives partner a chance to ask any questions, and should make sure that the right person makes the opening lead. This card may not be changed except to deal with an irregularity. However, occasionally the wrong person leads, and when this happens call the Tournament Director, do not try to advise the declarer yourself. The TD will advise that there are 5 options which refer to both the offending side and the suit led.

* Declarer can accept the lead and play the hand. In this case declarer plays second to the opening lead, and dummy is played last.

* If declarer has accidentally placed his hand on the table, then his partner must play the hand, and the lead is condoned. The declarer can also choose to let his partner play the hand without conferring, and play continues normally.

* Declarer can reject the lead, which then reverts to the correct player. As declarer you can say ‘lead anything’, but the card ‘led’ by the wrong player becomes a major penalty card and must be played at the first legal opportunity.Declarer has further options if the offender’s partner regains the lead whilst the penalty card is in force.

* Declarer may on the other hand, insist that the correct player leads the same suit, in which case, the lead out of turn is then picked up (no penalty card)

* Declarer can also forbid a lead of the partner’s suit as long as the correct player retains the lead, thenthe lead out of turn is then picked up (no penalty card)

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