In bridge, a trump promotion is any defensive play that "promotes" a trump loser into a winner. This is commonly done by forcing declarer to ruff a trick with a trump honor. When a defender ruffs a trick to force declarer to overruff with an honor, this is a particular type of trump promotion called an uppercut.


Examples

Dummy
Q432
9875
WestT8East
65AQJAK987
QJ62
QJ7653Declarer42
T97SJTK542
HAKT43
DAK9
C863


South declares 4H and appears to have two spade losers and one club loser. However, look what happens if West's opening lead is a spade. East cashes the top two spades and leads a third one. If declarer discards, then West will ruff. If declarer ruffs low, West will overruff. Finally, if declarer ruffs with a high heart, West's HQJ holding is promoted into the setting trick.


A trump promotion can also occur when a defender has the opportunity to overruff declarer (or dummy), but chooses not to. This is the case in the following deal:

Dummy
875
Q8432
WestT8East
K932AKQ6
97AK65
7543DeclarerQJ62
T97SAQJT4J542
HJT
DAK9
C863


South is playing in 4S. It looks like there are only two heart losers and one spade loser. But if West leads a heart, East can win the top two hearts and play back a third round. South may well ruff with the ST. In that case, West can discard a club or diamond and thereby score two trump tricks later. If West makes the mistake of overruffing with the SK, South can win any return and draw the remaining trumps to make the contract.

See also

  • Uppercut
    A trump promotion that occurs when the defense ruffs a trick and forces declarer to overruff.

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