Trump Play Techniques - Facts

  1. Usually draw trumps first, unless you miss the trump Ace and have to get rid of losers first. (Ex 9)

  2. Only draw Opponents' losing trumps, then let them ruff one of your side suit winners with their outstandng high trump. (Ex 1)
    A K 8 5 2
    9 7 6

    Exception : draw all trumps when Opponent's remaining high trump can cut you off from Dummy's winners. (Ex 2)

  3. When holding the trump Ace only as top Honour card draw two rounds of trumps. Play low first round, win with your Ace the second round. (Ex 3)
    A 8 5 3
    9 7 6 5

  4. When your trumps are K x x x (x) opposite (x) x x Q play low from one hand towards the high card in the other.
    K 8 6 5
    Q 9 7 4
    If your high card wins, play next round low in both hands, hoping to drop Opponent's doubleton A♥.

  5. Trumping only gains an extra trick when made in the hand (usually Dummy Ex 7) that has an equal or less number of trumps than the other hand (usually Declarer).
    No gain
    A K J 4 2
    9 7 5

    A K J 4

    9 7 5 2

    Exception : a Dummy Reversal, where you ruff 3 or 4 times with Declarer's long trump suit. (Ex 12)
    Ruff 3 or 4 times
    A K 9 8 4
    Draw trumps here
    Q J 10

  6. Wit 5-3 trump distribution, ruff in Dummy before drawing all three rounds of Opponents' trumps (Ex 7).
    A K Q 8 5
    Ruff first
    9 7 6

  7. After a pre-emptive raise (1♥ - 4♥ or 1♠ - 4♠) make sure to ruff at least two tricks in Dummy. (Ex 9)

  8. When both hands are unbalanced do not draw Opponents' trumps but play a cross ruff.   Before you start cross ruffing first cash in all your sure winners (Ex 4).

  9. You can use your trumps to :
    1. Gain extra tricks (see 3 and 5 above)
    2. Control your weak side suit(s)
    3. Provide an entry to Dummy (Ex 11)
    4. Develop a long side suit (usually in Dummy (Ex 10)
    5. Execute a ruffing finesse (Ex 9)

  10. Do not ruff
    1. when you can discard a loser from another suit instead and promote a card in the opposite hand as a winner. (loser on loser play (Ex 8)
    2. When your LH Opponent is likely to over-ruff
      Exception : when LH Opponent (especially Declarer) would otherwise be able to discard a loser, force him to over-ruff by ruffing yourself.