The strategy behind the concept of ducking a winning trick has several logical reasons. In suit combinations, a duck is applied to maximize the number of tricks in a No Trump contract, when the declarer has no side entry to the dummy. This concept is also used in a No Trump contract when the split of the suit denomination held by the opponents requires that the declarer duck not only once, but possible two or more times, to maximize the number of tricks. It is a concept also used by the opponents in preparation for a ruff by the opponent or to prevent the declarer from ruffing.

Illustration of the Concept

The following illustration should clarify the concept of the ducking option in a No Trump contract, which is the only means to fulfill the contract.

North

 

East

 

South

 

West

1

 

Pass

 

1

 

Pass

2

 

Pass

 

3 NT

 

Pass

Pass

 

Pass

 

 

 

 

763
K8
AKJ3
KJ42
AQ982
Q932
84
107
J105
J105
9652
Q98
K4
A764
Q107
A653

Contract:

3 No Trump

Declarer:

South

Lead:

10

West, using his bridge experience, may have decided to lead 4th down from his longest and strongest suit, but he reasoned that a Spade lead might give South not only the trick to fulfill the contract, but maybe also an overtrick. West is absolutely correct. If West leads a Spade, then declarer has no problem in counting his nine tricks to fulfill the contract. West decides not to lead a Spade.

West leads the 10 of Clubs. The dummy is faced. The declarer counts 28 high card points, which is more points required to fulfill the contract. The declarer counts 8 certain winners: 2 Heart tricks, 4 Diamond tricks, and 2 Club tricks. The declarer realizes that if the opponents discover the weakness in the Spade suit. If one opponent has the chance to lead through his King of Spades, and if one opponent has a 5-card Spade suit, then he can not fulfill the contract.

The declarer than decides to apply the duck concept. He ducks the 10 of Clubs. East will not overtake, because East can see that only the Ace is missing, which declarer must have. Therefore, East will not overtake the Ten of Clubs played by his partner, and plays the 8 of Clubs. Declarer ducks by playing the 3 of Clubs.

West has won the trick, and knows that he can not lead a Spade safely, knowing that the declarer has the King of Spades. A Heart lead does not seem correct, and a Diamond lead will not establish any tricks for the opponents. And, in addition, East played the 8 of Clubs, an encouraging card. If East had played the 9 of Clubs, which is rather a neutral card, then West may have chosen another suit to lead.

The declarer has put West in the position of leading to the second trick. West must lead up to the concealed holding of declarer. West may play a Spade, but this will eventually result in King of Spades becoming a winning trick, which will fulfill the contract.

West sees no other better lead than the 7 of Clubs. This lead by West to the second trick gives declarer the contract: 3 Club tricks. 4 Diamond tricks, and 2 Heart tricks.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible formation as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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