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Updated   10th June 2024

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Trumping Makes you feel good like eating chocolate UGH 

By Harold Schogger

 

When students learn to play bridge, they like the fact that you can trump once you run out of a suit even when it is wrong to do so, even when it’s not gaining extra tricks.

When you play a trump there has to be a reason and not just

“BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. UGH”

  There are so many things at the bridge table to make you feel good without this overwhelming desire to want to trump something just to make you feel good.

 When you first learn to play bridge, you are told to draw the opponents trumps? But why do you need to do that?

 

Let us now look at the main reasons when and why we draw trumps or we don’t draw trumps.

Situation 1

We learn from the cradle that we need to draw trumps until the opponents have not got any left and then we can safely play the winners in the other suits without those top cards being trumped by the nasty opponents.

Let’s look at this hand here

 

 

ª

K 10 7 2

 

 

 

 

©

K Q J 8 6 5

 

 

 

 

¨

-

 

 

 

 

§

A 4 3

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

5 3

 

 

ª

9 8 6

©

10 9 7

 

W                         E

©

4 2

¨

A K 8 3 2

 

 

¨

Q J 10 5

§

J 10 9

 

 

§

8 7 5 2

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

 A Q J 4

 

 

 

 

©

 A 3

 

 

 

 

¨

 9 7 6 4

 

 

 

 

§

 K Q 6

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

1©

NO

1ª

 

NO

4¨

NO

4©

 

NO

5§

NO

6§

 

NO

6¨

NO

7ª

 

End

 

 

 

 

                   

You get to 7ª (the common suit 😊) from the South  seat

Here you have magnificent trumps and outstanding strength in Clubs and Hearts

So, all you have to do, when they lead a Club is to win first trick. Draw 4 rounds of trumps if the suit happens to break 4:1 – and claim 3 8 clubs and 6 Hearts and NO NEED TO TRUMP ANYTHING.

So, with good trumps and good strength outside indeed draw trumps- that’s what you are taught to draw trumps from the cradle

SO RECOMMENDED RULE 1-       you have good trumps and good outside suit then draw trumps - the situation in most contracts YOU DRAW

 

Situation 2

Sometimes you need to try and make all your trumps separately with a “Cross Ruff”. This term is banded about by people and is used incorrectly most of the time. A CROSS RUFF is when you have same number of trumps (generally 4:4  or 5:5 maybe 54 sometimes or better) and a shortage in one hand and a DIFFERENT SHORTAGE in the other hand

 

 

ª

 K 9 8 7 2

 

 

 

 

©

 K 5

 

 

 

 

¨

 7

 

 

 

 

§

 A 5 4 3 2

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

4

 

 

ª

5 3

©

Q J 10 2

 

W                         E

©

9 8 7 6 4

¨

8 3 2

 

 

¨

K Q J 10

§

K Q J 10 6

 

 

§

9 8

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

  A Q J 10 6

 

 

 

 

©

  A 3

 

 

 

 

¨

  A 9  6 5 4

 

 

 

 

§

  7  

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

 

1ª`

 

NO

4¨

NO

4©

 

NO

4NT

NO

5¨

 

NO

7ª

end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   

You get to 7ª from the South seat

Initially you have 8 winners without doing any work at all. You have no worthwhile suit to establish. However, you do have a different singleton in each hand.

The opponent leads ¨K and you now decide to count your winners differently as follows. You will award yourself

1 trump only (believe that or not😊 )

2 Top Hearts

1 Diamond

1 Club

You will make the remaining 8 tricks by trumping Clubs 4 times and Diamonds 4 times.

Since you have 5 trumps in each hand you can afford to draw only one round of trumps.

Now cash the two top Hearts, just in case one of your opponents has shed all her Hearts by the end of the game, while you are busy “cross ruffing” and could ruff at the 11th hour.

(NB Trumps broke badly on this hand and had you drawn trumps you would be 2 tricks short as you would only be able to do four cross ruffs)

 

SO RECOMMENDED RULE  2-     you have good trumps in both hands and each hand has a different shortage- now you need to generate EXTRA TRICKS by using YOUR TRUMPS SEPARATELY now DON’T DRAW ANY AT ALL- this is true cross ruff and the only time the term cross ruff should be used.

 

Situation 3

 

Many times, the dummy will be the hand with fewer trumps and if there is a shortage there then you can avail yourself of that shortage by delaying trump drawing and                               

“TRUMPING IN THAT SHORT HAND”

 

 

ª

 10 9 7

 

 

 

 

©

 K 7 6 5

 

 

 

 

¨

 7 

 

 

 

 

§

 A 8 7 5 2

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

6 4

 

 

ª

3 2

©

Q J 10

 

W                         E

©

9 8 4 2

¨

9 8 5 3

 

 

¨

Q J 10 6

§

K Q J 10

 

 

§

9 6 4

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

  A K Q J  8 5

 

 

 

 

©

  A 3

 

 

 

 

¨

  A K 4 2

 

 

 

 

§

  3  

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

 

2§`

 

NO

3§

NO

3ª

 

NO

4ª

NO

4NT

 

NO

5¨

NO

7ª

 

end

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                    
You get to 7
ª from the South seat

Initially without doing any work you have 11 winners by way          of 6 Spades 2 Hearts 2 Diamonds and 1 club

Therefore, you will have to delay drawing trumps until you have ruffed Diamonds in East, dummy, the short hand.

By trumping Diamonds twice in that short hand you have brought your total up to the requisite 13 tricks now.

Trumps in fact broke badly and had you drawn trumps immediately it would have taken 3 rounds and then you would be left with no trumps in that short hand to do your 2 Diamond ruffs.

SO RECOMMENDED RULE  3-       - you have good trumps and dummy has a shortage and maybe 3 trumps YOU DON’T DRAW UNTIL you trump in Short hand (dummy) first to generate the extra tricks needed.

 

Situation 4

You nearly to take an early dump- let me rephrase that “You need to dump a loser before they can quickly defeat you”.

 

 

ª

A K Q J 10

 

 

 

 

©

J 10 4 2

 

 

 

 

¨

A Q J

 

 

 

 

§

4

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

7 4 2

 

 

ª

8 6 5 3

©

8

 

W                         E

©

A 9 7

¨

10 9 8 3 2

 

 

¨

K 7 6 5

§

J 10 9  3

 

 

§

Q 8

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

 9

 

 

 

 

©

  K Q 6 5 3

 

 

 

 

¨

  7 4

 

 

 

 

§

  A K 7 5 2

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

 

`1©

 

NO

4NT

NO

5ª

 

NO

6©

end

 

 

                   

You get to 6©  from the South seat and North leads ¨10

Initially you have 8 winners from 5 Spades and 2 Minor suit Aces and the Club King - you have NO TRUMP WINNERS YET.

You cannot do anything about the Ace of trumps, but you can dump a Diamond Loser and you need to do that before letting them in with that trump Ace.

Therefore, you delay drawing trumps. You win the first trick with dummy’s Ace (no finessing that Queen in the dummy risking going off).

Now play two top Spades dumping your remaining Diamond.

Your problem has now gone away and now you can start drawing trumps.

You now lose just the Ace of Hearts and nothing else.

SO RECOMMENDED RULE  4-   You do not have trump Ace and must dispose of loser before tackling trumps

 

Situation 5

Some times you need to get a second suit going and you need to keep trumps in both hands as you do not wish to let the opponents take control of the trump suit.

 

 

ª

10 7 2

 

 

 

 

©

Q 8 5

 

 

 

 

¨

Q J 3 2

 

 

 

 

§

K Q 2

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

Q J 6 3

 

 

ª

8

©

A 9 4 2

 

W                         E

©

K J 10 6 3 

¨

A 5

 

 

¨

9 6  4

§

J 8 5

 

 

§

10 9 7 4

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

A K 9 5 4

 

 

 

 

©

7

 

 

 

 

¨

 K 10 8 7

 

 

 

 

§

A 6 3

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

 

`1ª

 

NO

2¨

NO

3¨

 

NO

3ª

NO

4ª

 

end

 

 

 

 

                   

You get to 4ª  from the South seat and North leads ©Ace and continues playing Hearts.

You trump the third round.

If you were to draw three rounds of trumps. Your dummy East will now have no more trumps.  And now the opponent will have control and merely play another top Heart and you will have to use your “last trump in your original Long hand” to win this trick. You have not forced out the Club Ace and you have no more trumps.

Let us now replay. After drawing just two rounds of trumps now leave the last trump out and turn your attention to forcing out their Club Ace to establish two tricks in the suit. The opponents get the lead but if they play another Heart you can ruff in dummy and if they play anything else you will be ok as you have established the clubs keeping trump control and not getting the long hand (hand with now only 4 trumps left) shortened.

(NB If you follow rule of 1 which says if the outstanding trump out is higher than all yours there is no need to draw it – not a good exchange rate - then this would have held you in good stead here )

 

SO RECOMMENDED RULE  5-     You need to keep trump control and also to get your second suit going- Get that second suit going first – Delay drawing trumps

 

 

Situation 6

Your trump in dummy is your only entry to dummy and you need to establish your side suit in dummy first

e.g. you end up in 6ª and the §Q is led

 

 

ª

 Q 5 4

 

 

 

 

©

 7

 

 

 

 

¨

 A K 9 7 5 3

 

 

 

 

§

 8 6 4

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

10 9 8

 

 

ª

7

©

K J 8 3 2

 

W                         E

©

A Q 10 9 6

¨

J 4

 

 

¨

Q 10 6

§

Q J 10

 

 

§

9 7 3 2

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

  A K J 6 3 2

 

 

 

 

©

 5 4

 

 

 

 

¨

  8 2

 

 

 

 

§

  A K 5

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

 

1ª`

 

NO

1NT

NO

3ª

 

NO

4ª

end

 

 

                   

 

As long as the Diamonds break 3:2 you will be able to set up the Diamonds. However you have no outside entries to dummy.

You draw two rounds of trumps with the AK leaving the Queen in dummy and discovering the expected 3: 1 break in the opposition’s hand.

Now stopping playing trumps while you get the Diamonds working. Play two top diamonds and  a third Diamond you ruff high with your Jack to avoid any embarrassing over ruff by North.

Now go over to the carefully persevered ªQueen entry and enjoy the established Diamonds- In fact you will now make all 13 tricks

 

And here too

           

 

 

ª

J 6 3

 

 

 

 

©

 Q 6 4

 

 

 

 

¨

 10 8

 

 

 

 

§

 A K 7 6 4

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

10 9 8 5

 

 

ª

K Q 7

©

3

 

W                         E

©

8 5 2

¨

A K 9 4 3

 

 

¨

7 6 5 2

§

9 5 2

 

 

§

Q 10 8

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

A 4 2

 

 

 

 

©

A K J 10 9 7

 

 

 

 

¨

Q J

 

 

 

 

§

J 3

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

NO

NO

1©

 

NO

2§

NO

3©

 

NO

4©

End

 

 

                   

South reaches 4©, and West has an easy lead of the ¨A. Having cashed the ¨A K, West switches to the ª10 and South's Count and Plan reveals four losers (two Spades and two Diamonds). With only nine winners this is not the time to draw trumps. The only source of extras is that long Club suit on the table, and the shortage of entries means that Clubs will have to break 3-3 for success. Accordingly, declarer should take the ªA at trick three, cash the §A K and ruff a Club (high, just in case). When all follow, the Clubs on table are winners, so South can play three rounds of trumps, ending with the ©Q, and dump two Spades on the master Clubs. That's an overtrick.

 

SO RECOMMENDED RULE  6-Leave a top trump in the other hand as a possible entry.- maybe delay drawing the last trump because  you need to use that trump  as an entry.

 

Situation(loser on loser play rather than ruffing)

e.g. you end up in 4© and the ªAce and  ªKing  are led

 

 

 

ª

 Q 5

 

 

 

 

©

 Q 8 5

 

 

 

 

¨

 A 7 5 3

 

 

 

 

§

 K Q J 10

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

A K 8 3

 

 

ª

10 9 7 6 4 2

©

10 7 6 3

 

W                         E

©

4

¨

J 9

 

 

¨

Q 10 6 2

§

A 7 3

 

 

§

8 6

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

J

 

 

 

 

©

A K J 9 2

 

 

 

 

¨

K 5 4

 

 

 

 

§

9 5 4 2

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

 

1©`

 

NO

2§

NO

3§

 

NO

4©

end

 

 

                   

Here you have a Diamond loser that cannot be despatched any where so when the second Spade is played, instead of ruffing, chuck the Diamond loser away. (This is known as Loser on Loser Play) This caters for a bad Heart break when one of the nasty opponents started life with a four card trump suit. If the opponent plays another spade, you can keep your trump length in hand and trump in the dummy. Now you can draw trumps not minding if the trumps break 4:1 as you will still have trump control and then be able to dislodge the opponent’s Club Ace to establish 3 more tricks and make your contract.

SO RECOMMENDED RULE  7-   Sometimes in order to keep trump control ,make a loser on loser play and don’t trump when the opposition tempts you to use up a trump before you want to do so.

 

Situation 8  (dummy reversal)

   e.g. you end up in 4© and the opposition cashes three top Diamonds followed by a Spade switch

 

 

ª

A J 3 2

 

 

 

 

©

10 9 4

 

 

 

 

¨

  J 6 2

 

 

 

 

§

K Q 3

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

ª

Q 10 6 5

 

 

ª

K 9 8 7

©

8 6 2

 

W                         E

©

7 3

¨

A K Q 7

 

 

¨

8 5 4

§

7 4

 

 

§

J 10 9 8

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

ª

 4

 

 

 

 

©

 A K Q J 5

 

 

 

 

¨

 10  9 3

 

 

 

 

§

 A 6 5 2

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

 

`1©

 

NO

1ª

NO

2§

 

NO

3©

NO

4©

 

end

 

 

 

 

                   

Your options here are to either draw trumps and rely on the clubs breaking 3:3 (35%) or to rely on the trumps breaking 3:2 (68%)

With this in mind, we will go for the trump break and make a Dummy reversal play and count our tricks as follows:-                         

 3 trumps (only) from dummy the short hand  1 Spade, 3 Clubs and 3 Spade ruffs bringing the total to Ten. Its called a dummy reversal because the hand with less trumps becomes the dominant hand with more trumps than the original long trump hand. Because of this you will have to delay drawing trumps while you focus on trumping Spades three times.  

RECOMMENDED RULE  7-  

    When you can see no way of generating enough tricks “Think DUMMY REVERSAL” and only count your trump winners in the short hand and see if you can trump ENOUGH TIMES to bring the total up to the required number of tricks you needed in first place.

(NB A lot of students merely ruff in long hand because it makes them fell good but does not usually generate the extra trick- most of the time trumping in the short hand will generate the extra trick- A dummy reversal is a low frequency occurrence).

 

 

   
 

 

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