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How to Trump in the Short Hand in Bridge

When you trump your loser(s) in the dummy, you’re usually trumping in the hand that has fewer trumps. For that reason, the dummy is called the short hand. Each time you trump a loser in the short hand, you gain a trick.

This image presents a best-case scenario of trumping losers in the short hand:

image0.jpg

The dummy starts out void in spades, so you plan to start trumping your spade losers as fast as you can. The basic technique for trumping losers in the short hand, usually the dummy, works like this:

  1. Identify a side suit in which your hand has more cards than the dummy, and the dummy has zero, one, or two cards in the suit.

  2. Lead the suit until the dummy is void.

  3. When the dummy is void, trump your remaining losers in that suit.

The cards in this image show you how the miracle of trumping losers in the short hand plays out in a sample hand. You have the following losers:

image1.jpg
  • Hearts: One immediate loser because you don’t have the ♥A.

  • Spades: One eventual loser, the ♠2, unless you can find some way to cover it.

  • Diamonds: No losers. The dummy’s ♦AK cover your two little ones (♦43).

  • Clubs: Two immediate losers, the 94; the dummy is no help at all.

On this hand, your contract is for ten tricks, and hearts is the trump suit. West leads the AKQ:

  1. When West plays the Q, you’ve run out of clubs, so you trump the Q with a low heart, the ♥8, and it’s your lead.

    You’ve lost two tricks, you have a certain loser in hearts, and you also have the little matter of the ♠2 to deal with. You need to win ten tricks to make your contract, so you can afford only three losers, and you’ve lost two clubs and are sure to lose a trick to the ♥A.

    You have three spades and the dummy has two spades, the signal that you may be able to trump your losing ♠2.

  2. Play the ♠AK, voiding the dummy of spades.

  3. Lead the ♠2, trumping it with the lowly ♥4 in the dummy.

    Don’t look now, but you just got rid of that losing spade. Your only remaining loser is the ♥A, a card one of your opponents still holds.

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