Steer Clear of Trumping Losers in the Long Trump Hand in Bridge

By Eddie Kantar

If you can generate extra tricks in bridge by trumping your losers in the dummy, you may think that you can generate extra tricks by trumping the dummy’s losers in your hand. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

For a moment, turn things around and think about trumping a loser in your hand — the long hand. Let’s put this theory into practice. Assume that hearts is your trump suit.

trumping losers

You want to draw trump, so you play ♥AKQ, removing all your opponents’ trump cards. You remain with ♥J2, both of which are winners. You score five heart tricks. Agreed?

Now see what happens if your opponents lead a suit that you don’t have and you trump the lead with your ♥2. You remain with the ♥AKQJ, four tricks, plus the deuce you have already used. Same five trump tricks. Trumping with the ♥2 in the long hand doesn’t give you an extra trick. But if you can manage to trump a loser in the dummy, the short hand, you still have five winning heart tricks in your hand plus the ruff (trump) in the dummy. Six trump tricks!