PREMATURE LEAD OR PLAY
Premature Play or Lead to Next Trick
When a defender leads to the next trick before his partner has played to the current trick, or plays out of turn before his partner has played, the card so led or played becomes a major penalty card, and declarer selects one of the following options. He may:
- require offender’s partner to play the highest card he holds of the suit led, or
- require offender’s partner to play the lowest card he holds of the suit led, or
- require offender’s partner to play a card of another suit specified by declarer, or
- forbid offender’s partner to play a card of another suit specified by declarer.
Offender’s Partner Cannot Comply with Rectification
When offender’s partner is unable to comply with the rectification selected by declarer (see A above) he may play any card, as provided in Law 59.
Declarer or Dummy Has Played
- A defender is not subject to rectification for playing before his partner if declarer has played from both hands. However a card is not considered to be played from dummy until declarer has instructed (or otherwise indicated*) the play.
- A defender is not subject to rectification for playing before his partner if dummy has of his own volition prematurely selected a card before his RHO or has illegally suggested that one be played.
- A premature play (not a lead) by declarer from either hand is a played card and if legal may not be withdrawn.
Premature Play at RHO's Turn
When a defender attempts to play (not lead) to a trick at his RHO’s turn, Law 16 may apply. If his card can be legally played to the trick, it must be played at his proper turn: otherwise, it becomes a major penalty card.
* as by a gesture or nod