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Potential cheating method using Bridgemates

When Bridgemate software was updated last month, an option was added to “validate lead card against hand record” if you have uploaded a hand record file to the Bridgemate software/server. After the play of a board is completed and the opponents confirm the information (declarer, contract, result, and opening lead), if the opening lead card is not from declarer’s LHO’s hand, an error message “ LEAD CARD OR DECLARER NOT CORRECT” is displayed warning of a data entry error which needs correcting.

Using this feature at my local club has led (pun intended) to fewer errors of wrong declarer being entered.

However, one of our club’s better players has been telling everyone how you can cheat using this feature when you are North running the Bridgemate. Pretend you are in a slam which depends on a 2-way finesse for a queen. Enter the contract and declarer and “accidentally” put the key queen in as opening lead and enter a fake number of tricks and then OK it as your opponent would do. If the error message pops up, you know RHO has that key queen instead! It isn’t that hard to erase the board result and get it back to where it is supposed to be. If your opponents are not realizing you are pushing a lot of keys, you could get away with this.

As Head Director at my local club, do I think this is a serious concern? No. However, it does give extra ammunition to the players who believe we do (should) not need to be entering opening lead information.

The feature “Allow players to erase scores” is enabled at my club, although defeating this feature should prevent this issue from happening.  Also, I know Bridgepads allow East-West to need to enter a short password to approve a score, which would stop this method cold.

For those that use the opening lead feature with available hand records to upload to Bridgemate, do you think this is a concern?

 

Highly unlikely to be an issue
Probably not an issue - although my club has a few individuals who might think about using this method
Enough of a possibility to defeat functions such as "allow players to erase scores".
Other

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