For the Record

ACBL National Recorder

Help your opponent to be Actively Ethical.

Sometimes when you’re careful to be cheerful and pleasant, you may accidentally make it hard for your opponents and other participants to practice Active Ethics. This is especially true for pairs, board-a-match and other events where other people are playing the same hands non-simultaneously.
Here are a few pointers to help:

  1. During the session, never, never discuss played hands in front of opponents after you leave the table where you played those hands. You may not know whether they have played the board. If you casually ask them whether they played the board, you are giving Unauthorized Information that there is potentially something of interest. Somebody who receives such information should report it to the director so that the deal can be monitored to make sure the Unauthorized Information doesn’t influ-ence the action in any way. Obviously, that puts the player at the receiving end of the information at a disadvantage. Also, note that there is a substantial penalty for this discussion – one full board!
  2. Hold your cards back. Obvious, right? Yet it is amazing how many people make themselves comfortable and flash their hand. Ethical opponents won’t be looking, but may see your cards nonetheless. Don’t put them in that awkward position.
  3. Here is another easy one: You have a convention card; inside that convention card is a scorecard. Make sure it stays inside! Don’t leave your scores out for your opponents to see. They might not be looking, but there it is, right in their face. Again, you have given Unauthorized Information. This does not apply to Swiss or knockout teams.
  4. Be careful to moderate your voice, even when you are discussing hands at the table where they are played. Acoustics in many rooms are such that voices in a certain pitch range carry.
    Keeping your cards and your results to yourself helps you and others stay Actively Ethical!

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at

Join Zoom Chat