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What rules do you ever let "slide" based on experience level?

I'll give you an example from last night.  I'm sitting there playing at a table (yes, I'm a playing director ... it's a small club that needed a half table filled).  I'm dummy.  We are in 2.  Comes down to the last two tricks.  Declarer (West) has the king of .   Declarer's LHO (North) has ace/queen of .  Not realizing for a split second that declarer trumped with the king, LHO lowered her queen, but before letting it hit the table, she switched to the ace after recognizing the king had been played.  I told her that I felt bad, but I had to accept the queen as being played, because it wasn't an "accidental pull" situation, even if it didn't touch the actual table.  Mind you, that one extra trick didn't mean anything.  We were the only E/W with a positive score (making 3 instead of 2) and they should have possibly been in game somewhere themselves, etc.

Rules are rules, but if you're with a bunch of beginners, what do you let go?  Certain hesitations?  Lack of convention card?  Lack of proper explanations?

What methods do you use to explain to your players that rulings may not "seem" fair, but they help the player learn for the future not to do certain things?

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