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Experiences with cheating?

I'm trying to think about how much cheating I've experienced in the 30+ years I've been playing bridge.  Very little.

Once had someone hesitate for a long time in an auction of 1H - P - 3H (preemptive).  After finally passing, their partner, with a 4324 nine count, balanced with 3S.  The hesitator, with a 5044 twelve count, passed.  Evidently, the initial long hesitation had already communicated the strength of their hand; no further bid was need.  Opps were briefly +140 until the director changed it to +50 assuming they would beat our 3H.  Still, it was an astounding display of cooperative cheating, further backed up by protestations that they weren't aware of anything wrong.

Another time, I was playing a 3NT contract that required me to guess a two-finesse in clubs.  LHO leaned forward, repositioned themselves, and in so doing flashed their hand at me briefly, in which two small clubs were clearly visible.  I took advantage of this and finessed into LHO, who it turns out had the Queen of clubs tucked into the end of their hand.  I couldn't exactly protest because I wasn't entirely innocent myself, but I am certain that the entire performance was calculated to mislead me about clubs.  Lesson learned; never accept such "free" information at face value.

Another time my LHO opened 3S in third seat.  My partner passed, and RHO went into the tank.  LHO put their hand face down on the table, picked up their pencil and convention card, and, with pencil on paper, glared at their partner.  Alas, the message did not get through; RHO bid 4S, and it went pass-pass-X-all pass.  So while LHO definitely attempted to cheat, the operation was not a success.

I used to have a terrible habit of anticipating what declarer would play and pulling the card I was planning on playing out of my hand.  One declarer noticed this tendency of mine, and halfway through running a short suit abruptly switched to another suit, hoping I would revoke.  I don't consider that cheating, through; merely attempting to take advantage of an opponent's idiocy.  Lesson learned; I stopped doing that.

Other than that, I've seen no outright cheating.  Certainly a lot of hesitations and stuff, and sometimes people protested they weren't hesitation, but I think they genuinely believed that rather than were trying to get away with something.  I've certainly seen nothing like the Alcatraz coup or deliberate peeking.Have other people had experience with cheating?  Is it a problem that has more penetration than my admittedly limited experience?

 

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