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Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2007, Definitions:
Dummy is declarer's partner. He becomes dummy once the opening lead is made.

Let's clear up the confusion on what dummy can and cannot do...

Before the opening lead

After the auction is concluded, and before the opening lead is made, the future dummy should:

  • If asked, give a complete review of the auction.
  • Answer questions about the calls made.
  • Correct any misexplanations given by partner during the auction.
    For example, you might say: "Partner should (not) have alerted my call".

After the opening lead

When the opening lead is made dummy's hand is spread 'face up, sorted into suits, the cards in order of rank with the lowest ranking cards towards declarer, and in columns pointing lengthwise towards declarer. Trumps are placed to dummy's right.' (Law 41D).

That's it, but please remember that the board must remain in view and correctly oriented throughout. Moving it to the side of the table is a great way to end up with the board rotated and the hands returned to the wrong pockets. There's plenty of room on a bridge table.

During the play

'Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, after which dummy picks up the card and faces it on the table.' (Law 45B)

  • DO play the nominated card clearly: pick it up and place it apart from the other cards.
  • DO NOT play a card that declarer has not nominated. As dummy, you must do nothing to influence declarer.
  • DO NOT  look at other players' cards.

'Dummy must not participate in the play, nor may he communicate anything about the play to declarer.' (Law 43A1c)

The DO list:

  • Try to prevent an irregularity, such as a lead out of turn.
  • Tell partner when he has placed a played card wrongly – 'we won that trick, partner'
  • Try to prevent partner from revoking – 'having no peaches, partner?'

The DO NOT list: 

  • Do not draw attention to an irregularity after it has happened.
  • If someone has led out of turn say nothing – only an active player can object.
  • If you think a defender has revoked: say nothing till the end of play.
  • Never call the director on your own initiative.