Main     Quiz 7H11 by Richard Pavlicek    

How Many Rounds of Trump?

As South, assume you are declarer in 4 S on each deal. How many rounds of trump do you draw at once? (Assume a 3-2 trump break)

1. 4 S by South

S Q 4 2
H A 5 4 2
D Q J 10 2
C A 3
Lead: H JTable
S A K J 10 9
H K 3
D 9 4
C Q 10 9 4


Win the H K and draw all the enemy trumps. You have eight top tricks, and by leading diamonds you can establish two more tricks to ensure your contract. Note that if an opponent leads a club, the Q-10-9 will ensure a second club trick for you regardless of the location of the king or jack.

It would be an error to play clubs yourself to try for a ruff in dummy. This might work, but you don’t need it. You might run into foul distribution and be defeated in an ice-cold contract.

2. 4 S by South

S Q 4 2
H 9 7 6
D Q 8 6 4
C A 6 3
Lead: H QTable
S A K J 10 9
D A 3
C 9 8 7 4


Do not draw any trumps. You have nine top tricks, and your 10th trick can be made in clubs — and you don’t need a 3-3 club break because you can ruff your last club in dummy with the S Q. The best play is to win both top hearts, the C A and D A, then give up a club. The opponents can lead at most two rounds of trumps, so they’re helpless to stop you.

If you led just one round of trumps, you might be defeated if the opponents played back a trump at each opportunity.

3. 4 S by South

S Q 4 2
H 9 7 6
D Q J 10 4
C A 6 3
Lead: H K-ATable
S A K J 10 9
H 2
D 7 6 3
C K Q J 4


Ruff the second heart lead, draw two rounds of trumps then lead a diamond. You have nine top tricks and need to establish a diamond trick to make 10. If you drew all the enemy trumps, you would be forced out of trumps before you could win a diamond trick (try it). To cope with heart leads it is necessary to keep a trump in dummy.

Note that you must endure the risk of a diamond ruff — if they can get it, you’ll be set — but drawing the last trump would give you almost no chance to succeed.


© 2013 Richard Pavlicek