Teacher's Manual

We play with a trump

Session 3.1 : We play with a trump

Session Program

  • Introducing the notion of trump
  • Game rules with trump
  • The power of trump: the ruff

Before speaking of trump, have them play the first hand of the session, and – for once – at the end, analyze what happened in this hand. Don’t give the score for the hands of this session.

Session first hand (3.1.1)

Hand 3.1.1     Dealer North

  J 9 8 6 2
  K Q J
  K 9 8 7
  5 4
  9 6 3
  10 6 3
  A K Q 10 2
 10 8 7 4
  J 5 4
  8 7 5 4 3
  K Q 10 7 3
  A 5 2
  A Q 2
  J 6

Lead: A
Let them play the hand in No Trump; 3NT goes down on the opening lead of the Ace of Clubs: the defence takes five tricks in Clubs and the Ace of Spades

At the end of the deal, have them spread their cards on the table, and ask the pupils if South played badly:
They will probably answer that he could do nothing because West had a lot of high Clubs.
Ask them if some of them have already played with a trump.

The notion of trump

At bridge, you can choose one of the four suits as trump, the one in which the side owns the greatest number of cards.
We will see how in the next session.

The trump is a suit stronger than the others with a special power: to win a trick, even with its smallest card. When you have no more cards in the requested suit: you ruff.

Suggest the unlucky South to play the hand again, with Spades as a trump (you must not leave them on a failure when they had no means to avoid it …).
The second round of Clubs is ruffed with the 2 of Spades. South will only lose the Ace of Spades...

As in all the other games, you can only ruff if you have no cards left in the requested suit. On the other hand, you are not obliged to ruff.

Dans cette séance, on imposera l’atout, il s’agit pour l’instant de voir dans quel cas on peut couper et de préparer la séance suivante où l’on introduira les points de distribution.

It is always the player with the greatest number of trumps who is the declarer.
His partner is the dummy.

The power of trump: the ruff

Session second hand (3.1.2)

With a suit contract, you can prevent opponents from cashing their long suits and you can take more tricks than when playing No Trump.

Hand 3.1.2     Dealer East

  7 6 2
  Q 8 4 3
  K 7 2
  A 7 3
  J 10 9 8 4
  6 2
  6 5 4
  J 9 6
  A K Q 3
  J 9
  10 9 8
  10 8 5 2
  A K 10 7 5
  A Q J 3
  K Q 4

Lead: J
East passes and South opens. The instructor tells the table that they will play with a Heart trump.  North announces that he has 9 HCP. The total number of HCP is 28 and we are going to see how many tricks we are going to take.
West leads the Jack of Spades. The second round of Spades is ruffed. South can take all the other tricks..
Make a point telling them that they won twelve tricks instead of the ten promised by the 28 high-card points.


Session third hand (3.1.3)

Playing with a trump allows you to take more tricks than forecasted in the Decision Table.

Hand 3.1.3     Dealer South

  K 7 3
  A 10 9 2
  K Q J 7 4
  Q J 10 9 2
  J 6 4
  J 10 9 4
  A 8 6 5
  Q 8 7 3
  K Q 6 3
  K 5
  A 7 5 2
  9 8 6 5 3 2

Lead: Q
North opens and it is decided that the contract will be played with a Club trump.
You ask who is going to play the contract (South will play it because he is the one with the greatest number of trumps).
The contract is not bid, but you can make a point afterwards showing them that they had only 20 HCPs and that some of them won eleven tricks (the ones who ruffed three Diamonds, but you will not put a stress here on the card play).
Ask them what was the most useful (owning a lot of trumps or only one card in Spades and one card in Diamonds). You can take advantage of this hand to introduce the word singleton.

Session fourth hand (3.1.4)

Opponents can overruff

Hand 3.1.4     Dealer West

  9 4
  K J 7 4
  Q J 9
  K 8 7 4
  A K Q 10 5 2
  10 5 3
  6 5 3
  8 3
  9 8 3
  A 8 4 2
  Q J 10 9
  J 7 6
  A Q 10 6 5
  K 7 6
  A 2

South plays with a Heart trump.
West leads the Ace of Spades. South will win ten tricks if he ruffs the third round of Spades with a high Heart, otherwise the opponent will "overruff".