A crocodile coup is the second hand play of an unusually high card to prevent partner from being endplayed
| ||Dummy|| |
Declarer is on lead and needs two more tricks. Out comes the 6
from his hand. West must hop up with the A,
instead of the 7.
Otherwise, East will be thrown in and forced to lead a spade into dummy's tenace.
Note that the play is slightly different if a heart is led from dummy. In that case, East follows with the K
and West simply overtakes with his ace. As such, this is not a crocodile coup.
The crocodile coup is so named because second hand must "swallow" or "snap up" his partner's winner like a hungry crocodile.
| ||North|| |
South ratchets the auction up to 6
with his strong diamond suit. West leads the Q,
which South wins in dummy.
There are only 11 top tricks available, and South assumes the spade finesse will fail due to East's overcall.
South therefore cashes the
A at trick two and ruffs a spade. Next, he crosses back to dummy with a trump and ruffs another spade with a top diamond. This would establish dummy's queen in case West started life with Kxx,
but no such luck this time. So, South cashes dummy's K
and ruffs a heart. Back to dummy with a diamond to draw the last trump from West, with East discarding a heart. Finally, dummy's last spade is ruffed in hand.
The layout is now:
| ||North|| |
The contract still has a pulse. Based on the auction and play of the hand, it's clear that East started with 5-5 in the majors and a singleton diamond. Therefore, he must have two clubs. On a miracle day, East would hold KQ
doubleton. But as an extra chance, South can also hope for an honor doubleton and a defensive miscue. So he cashes the A,
with East mistakenly playing low. Now South exits a club.
West has been counting the distribution too, however. He knows partner is 5-5-1-2 and realizes that South is playing clubs quite strangely if holding AQx opposite T98.
West therefore suspects the need for a crocodile coup. He plays the K
under the A
and then cashes the JT
for two tricks. Whew!