Join Bridge Winners
Ethical Or Not?

I play about once a month with a woman who has been playing about 10 years, has about 2300 monsterpoints, has a huge number of holes in her game.  She's not the worst player at the club but certainly not someone I'd be looking to play with in a serious event.  I play with her because she does a lot of good stuff for bridge in the local area, and because of the fantasy that some of the lessons I try to impart to her may sink in.

 

Because of our schedules, we hadn't played in a couple of months.  She told me that she needed to "warm up" by playing online before we played live, but we got in only one 12-board game on BBO.  She does play several of the more exotic things I like, including variable NT, opening 2NT for the minors, and a homegrown souped-up version of Drury.

 

So we have an auction that goes 3 passes to me, I open a spade, pass, and she, in perfectly even tempo, bids 3S.  By agreement this should obviously be preemptive.  But I had information from our conversation that she might not be completely in the groove of everything we play, and I felt that it would be easy for her to bid 3 to show a 4-card limit raise but that she would probably have some kind of a hitch if she were to bid 3 to show a preemptive hand.

 

I played her for a limit raise (I raised to 4) and I was right.

 

Was this ethical?  Can a bid in perfect tempo convey UI?  By "perfect tempo" I mean she took about two seconds after the intervening pass card hit the table to bid, and her mechanical motion in taking the card out of the bidding box and putting it on the table was totally smooth.  We don't play so often that I'd say we are "wired" and it's not like I remember her making this particular mistake before.

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