Main   Puzzle 8N67 by Richard Pavlicek  

Deuce Trey Exchange

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As declarer in notrump, suppose you need two tricks from the spade suit below. At the table, of course, you wouldn’t see the East-West cards, but at PavCo we reveal everything (except our ledger books).

Notrump S J 10 7 2 
S A 9 8 3Table S Q 5 4
North or South leads S K 6 

You start by leading the S J from dummy, which East (also seeing all) covers, lest his queen later fall on air; king, ace. West exits safely in another suit, then you next lead the S 6; eight, 10. Only dummy can lead now, and its remaining 7-2 cannot win a trick against West’s 9-3; hence you fail, winning just one trick. (Starting with low to the king would also fail.)

This brings me to the puzzle scheme: If you exchange the deuce and trey, an extra trick can be won. The play would be the same, but North would remain with 7-3 against West’s 9-2, then the lead of the seven squashes East’s five to establish the three.

This phenomenon — altering a suit’s trick outcome by swapping its deuce and trey — can occur only when the hands with the deuce and trey have 4+ cards each and are on different sides. That is, it cannot occur between partnership hands. Now it’s your turn!

Create two suit layouts where exchanging the deuce and trey allows North-South to win an extra trick.

Layouts must fit the distributions below, with the deuce and trey originating in the hands shown. Fill in the remaining 11 cards (one per box) for each layout. Tab key will advance to the next box. North or South must always lead, whichever for best advantage, so assume adequate entries in another suit if needed for transportation. Play by both sides is with open cards.

Many solutions exist. Tiebreaking goals are (1) to win the most tricks, and (2) for the North hand to be as weak as possible, in that order of priority. Strength is judged by the sum of all card ranks: Ace = 14, king = 13, queen = 12, jack = 11, etc.


1. Notrump S  2
S  3 Table S
North or South leads S    


2. Notrump H  2
H Table H  3
North or South leads H    



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If desired, you may submit your solutions using the form below. Solutions may be submitted only once, and doing so will add you to the list of successful solvers, ranked according to the indicated tiebreakers. You will also receive an automatic reply with a copy of your solutions and what Richard believes are the optimal solutions.

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