The basic concept behind the Hold Up Play is, first, to refuse to take a trick with the intent of keeping control of that particular suit, and, second, to break the line of communication between the opponents and/or third, to prevent the transportation from and to the hands of the declarer and dummy. The following illustrations should clarify this concept.

Q64
K84
AJ983
83
1073
Q1065
7
KJ952
J982
J93
K65
Q104
AK5
A72
Q1042
A76

South is declarer. The contract is 3 No Trump. West leads the 5 of Clubs. Since South only has one Club stopper, it is important for South to disrupt the line of communication between East and West. South must not play the Ace of Clubs before the third trick. South must hold up playing the Ace of Clubs, because if South wins either the first Club trick, or even the second Club trick, East will have a third Club to lead after East wins the King of Diamonds.

The King of Diamonds cannot be finessed and is therefore a definite winner. But if South wins with the Ace of Clubs on the third trick, then East can no longer lead a Club, and South fulfills the contract with an overtrick by taking 1 Club trick, 4 Diamond tricks, 2 Heart tricks and 3 Spade tricks.

Second example:

842
A64
AK754
54
Q105
K108
J2
KQ1093
J9
J952
Q1093
J87
AK763
Q73
86
A62

South is the declarer. The contract is 4 Spades. West leads the King of Clubs. In this deal, the plan for the declarer is to time the hold up play. South has at most 4 trump tricks, 1 Heart trick, 2 Diamond tricks, and 1 Club trick. The tenth trick must come from the long Diamond suit in the dummy. If South wins the first trick with the Ace of Clubs and returns a Club for ruffing purposes, then the opponents will lead a third Club, which will force South to use one of his entries to the dummy too soon. South must refuse the first Club trick and win the second Club trick.

South then cashes the Ace and King of Diamonds, and ruffs a Diamond. West can overruff, but this play brings no advantage to the opponents. West has one certain trump trick in any case, and if West leads another Club, this is only to the advantage of South, whose strategy is to ruff a Club. South then collects the outstanding trump and then South returns to the dummy and wins the Ace of Hearts and plays the good Diamond trick.

 

 

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.

 


     
Email Conventions Bridge Sites
     
Home Page I Glossary Home Page II