An uppercut is a type of trump promotion for the defense. It occurs when a defender ruffs a trick and forces declarer (or dummy) to overruff. Partner's trump holding is then elevated as an extra winner.

The uppercut presumably got its name because the defense's ruff is like a punch that knocks out one of declarer's trump winners.


Examples

Dummy
9875
Q432
WestT8East
Q2AQJJ6
AK98765
753DeclarerQJ642
T97SAKT43K542
HJT
DAK9
C863


South plays in 4S. On the surface, it looks like only two hearts and a club will be lost. However, West starts the defense by leading three rounds of hearts. East ruffs the third round with the SJ. Declarer is forced to overruff with a top spade. West's SQ is now promoted into the setting trick.


In the next deal, South is playing in 4H:

Dummy
9875
532
WestJ8East
AT2AK74J643
A97Q8
KQ542Declarer97
T9SKQQJ532
HKJT64
DAT63
C86


West's opening lead is the DK, won by South's ace. South crosses to dummy with a club and takes the double finesse in hearts, losing to West's ace. The layout is now:

Dummy
9875
53
WestJEast
AT2K74J643
97Q
Q542Declarer7
TSKQQJ53
HKJ64
DT63
C8


If West returns anything but a diamond, declarer will win and try to finesse in hearts again. East's queen will pop up and South can draw the remaining trumps to make the contract.

However, if West cashes the DQ and continues with a diamond, East can ruff with the HQ, forcing declarer to overruff. West's H9 then becomes the setting trick.

See also

  • Trump Promotion
    Any defensive play that "promotes" a trump holding into an extra winner.

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