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Change the "Wait 10 seconds" rule

Whether behind screens or not, It is expected in ACBL-land that one waits and at least pretends to think after a skip bid one's right. This includes strong bids over which one generally does not have a problem. If one were to follow the law the bidding might go:

West                   North                   East                              South

1                       Pass                   2NT                                 Pass

4                        Pass                    6                                 Pass


As Edgar Kaplan once pointed out, if the rules are followed, there would be three 10-second waits for no reason, and we have wasted 30 seconds, about 7% of the assigned time on meaningless hesitations, and that on a hand may well be one of the more difficult or decisive hands of the match.


On the other hand, there are many situations where one DOES give LHO a problem, and he needs the 10 seconds to make a decision.

The most common one is in competitive bidding or sacrifice situations:

W    N    E    S

1 2 4 5

South had 10 seconds of "penalty-free" time to consider his 5 bid. Wouldn't it be fair if S asked W to hesitate 10 seconds before making his next call?


Another case is in unexpected pass-out situations:


W   N     E     S

1  P    P   ?

South may well need time to deal with this slightly unexpected situation. Perhaps E should ask him to wait 10 seconds?




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