INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE COURSE
PLAY OF THE HAND
ELIMINATING LOSERS - TRUMPING AND DISCARDING: - Two specific ways of ridding oneself of losers exclusively in trump contracts are: (1) the ruffing of losing tricks from side suits other than trumps (TRUMPING), and (2), the discarding of losers upon extra winners in side suits other than trumps (DISCARDING).
A. TRUMPING LOSERS: - Several conditions and patterns of card placement must exist for this procedure to work to its fullest potential yielding the most number of additional tricks. They are as follows:
1. The side suit desirous of being trumped must be unevenly divided with there being fewer cards in dummy’s hand than in declarer’s hand; i.e., it is usually beneficial to trump ONLY in the hand with the shorter trump suit, not the longer. (Remember: when counting losers, you must focus on declarer’s hand for losers to be ruffed in dummy, not upon losers in dummy’s hand, because it rarely pays to trump in declarer’s hand; i.e., the hand with the longer trump suit. In the following examples, does the side suit shown provide an opportunity to trump losers in the dummy, and if so, how many?
DUMMY: 8 10987 42 ---- AK6
DECLARER: A42 AK QJ 965 5
Yes-2 No No Yes-3 No
Conclusion: Side suits that are equally divided between your hand and the dummy do not provide an opportunity to trump losers. The cards in a side suit have to be unevenly divided with the shortness existing in the dummy, not in declarer’s hand. The exception to this would be either for a CROSS-RUFF scenario and/or for DUMMY REVERSAL situations.
2. The management of the trump suit is critical. There is always a dilemma; i.e., it is generally a good idea to draw the opponent’s trumps because they might otherwise be used to turn some of your winners into unexpected losers, but, on the other hand, dummy’s trumps must be preserved for necessary ruffing power to eliminate tricks that would otherwise be lost. In the following hands, how many trumps are needed in dummy to take care of declarer’s losers in the suit shown?
DUMMY: K4 --- A Q2 QJ
DECLARER: A85 1053 753 AK7 853
1 3 2 0 1
Conclusion: When declarer decides that the best way to get rid of a loser from his/her hand is to trump it in the dummy, declarer must calculate how many trumps will be necessary to do the job. Trumps can be drawn as long as declarer makes certain to leave enough trumps in the dummy to accomplish the desired number of ruffing tricks by the dummy hand.
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3. Sometimes declarer can start to trump losing tricks in the dummy without giving up the lead to the Opponents. However, it is sometimes necessary to relinquish the lead once or even several times before the conditions are right to trump a loser in dummy. In each of the following example, how many times must one forfeit the lead before losers in declarer’s hand can be trumped in the dummy hand?
DUMMY: A5 Q 65 ---- 7
DECLARER: 986 1098 1072 J78 A92
1 1 2 0 0
Conclusion: At times, the only way to promote an extra trick in order to make a contract is to give up the lead to the opponents before declare has the ability to trump a loser in the dummy hand.
B. DISCARDING LOSERS: - An alternative to trumping a loser in dummy is to throw away a loser from declarer’s hand upon one of dummy’s extra winners. The pattern of card distribution, this time, is that dummy has more cards in the suit than does declarer. In the following exercise, how many losers can be discarded on extra winners in the dummy, and what does declarer have to do in order to prepare the side suit shown for discarding losers?
DUMMY: AKQ KQJ AKXXX AQJ QJ109
DECLARER: 98 64 932 74 86
1 1 2 1 2
Nothing Promote Duck 1 Trick Finesse Twice Promote
Conclusion: When searching for alternative ways of disposing of losers in a trump contract, look to see if dummy has additional winners in a side suit (other than the trump suit) on which to throw your losers.
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