Psychic Bidding Guidelines

Psychic Calls and similar actions based upon partnership understandings.
The Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge 1997 permit a player to make a psychic call “provided that such call is not based upon a partnership understanding”. If a call is based upon a partnership understanding it ceases to be psychic. In its minute of 30th August 2000 the WBF Laws Committee ruled that a partnership understanding exists when the frequency of occurrence is sufficient for the partner of the player who makes the call to take his awareness of psychic possibilities into account, whether he does so or not; or, of course, it may be a matter explicitly agreed. There are also relevant statements in the WBF Code of Practice. Such an understanding must be disclosed beforehand.

The understandings in question are to be disclosed in World Championships and other tournaments conducted under the auspices of the WBF in accordance with the following requirements:

  1. Explicit agreements that psychic calls are expected, or providing systemic protection for them, are classified as Brown Sticker. One example of the kind is when, third in hand at favourable vulnerability, a player is expected to open the bidding on anything at all.
  2. Understandings whereby from time to time there may be gross violations of the normal meanings of calls, and where the nature or type of violation can be anticipated, must also be disclosed on the convention cards. The understandings may be explicitly agreed or they may have developed from partnership experience or mutually shared knowledge not available to opponents. They must be listed on the card amongst the conventions that may call for special defence and the supplementary sheets must give full detail of situations in which these violations may occur and of the relevant partnership practices and expectations. Subject to satisfactory disclosure methods of this kind are permissible in any category of event.
  3. It continues to be the case that random psychics may occur as the laws allow, without warning, so long as these can no more be anticipated by the partner than by the opponents.
  4. Similar principles apply in the case of psychic actions in defenders’ play of the cards.

EBL Systems Committee