Appendix O — Online Play

Cheating: Cheating online is a serious offense, subject to the same penalties as cheating in live play. It is illegal to communicate with your partner during a hand via any means other than chat to the full table, to communicate with a kibitzer during the game, to play using an account that is not yours, to gain advanced knowledge of a deal, or to play in one event using multiple accounts.

Any accusation of cheating must be made privately to the director of the event, to the ACBL recorder, or to a reporting mechanism provided by the online platform.

Alerts: Alerts (including announcements) are made by the player making the call. An alerted call should be accompanied by an explanation. Stating the common or popular name of the convention is not sufficient. You are encouraged to explain calls even if those calls do not require alerts. Any call that would be alerted after the auction in live bridge should be alerted at the time of the call. Any contestant may request information concerning an opponent’s methods. Such inquiries should be directed to the player who made the call and must be asked in a private chat. Replies to these inquiries must likewise be given in a private chat. You are not obligated to answer questions about calls made by your partner.

Tempo: In general, bids and plays within 10 seconds are considered to be in tempo.

Claims and concessions: If you reject an opponent’s claim or concession, and continue play, the result of the board will stand as played. Instead of rejecting the claim or concession, you may call the Director for an adjudication of the result.

Unfinished hands: A hand that is partially completed when time expires is adjudicated as equitably as possible to both sides. Any doubtful point will be resolved against the partnership that is considered most responsible for not finishing in time.

Undos: Unintended calls or plays will be rectified under the Laws of Duplicate Bridge. A contestant who makes an unintended call or play should summon the Director immediately. As in live play, undos are permitted only upon instruction of the Director.

Table Chat: All chat is authorized information for opponents and unauthorized information for partner.

Convention Cards: Partnerships are encouraged to have a convention card that includes the players’ real names. Pairs without cards will be at a disadvantage in misinformation rulings. If the system loads a default card for pairs without a convention card, then you should not assume that your opponents are playing those methods.

Information Available in the Software: All information provided by the software is authorized. For example, if the software has a button to view your convention card during the hand, then it is legal to use that button to view your own card. Consulting a written defense is allowed in any situation where it would be allowed in face to face bridge. Using any other aid to memory is illegal. Illegal aids include consulting a system notes document or tracking the cards played on paper.

Irregularities: The Director must be summoned electronically for any irregularity. Once the Director has been summoned, all play and bidding shall cease until the Director authorizes its continuation.