Source: IBPA Bulletin Oct 2017

Dealer South. E/W Vul

J 10 9 6 4
8 6 4
K 6 4
7 6
8 5
K J 9 7 3
J 8
K J 9 3
7 3 2
10 5 2
Q 10 7 3
Q 10 4
A K Q
A Q
A 9 5 2
A 8 5 2
West North East South
2
Pass 2 Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass 4
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Pass

Opening lead: 5

West did not want to lead from an honour as that might be to declarer’s benefit. Instead he led the five of trumps. Declarer won in hand with the queen and crossed to the king of diamonds to take the heart finesse.

West won with the king and exited with a second trump. Declarer won in hand with the king of trumps and played the ace and another club. East won the trick and played a third trump to declarer’s ace.

Declarer now ducked a diamond, letting West’s eight hold. West continued with the king of clubs. Declarer ruffed in dummy and then cashed the ace of diamonds. When the diamonds proved to be 4-2 he was down one.

Declarer offered a weak apology to his partner and then muttered, “Nothing was right in the red suits.” North was not impressed. “You had nine top tricks,” he said. “A dummy reversal would have given you a tenth.

All you had to do was cash the ace of hearts at trick two and play the queen of hearts at trick three. West wins and leads a second trump to your king. Then you cross to dummy with a low diamond to the king and ruff its remaining heart with the ace of spades.

You would have a choice of suits to play next but I would try the ace and another club. After a defender wins this trick he cannot prevent you from entering dummy with a high ruff of a club to draw the last trump. You would have ten tricks – five trumps, one heart, a heart ruff and the three minor-suit tops.”

Dummy reversal:

(also known as reverse dummy) is a technique in contract bridge whereby declarer uses trump cards to ruff from the hand with more (longer) trumps, and retains the trumps in the other (shorter) hand to draw the opponents’ remaining trumps. Normally in play technique, ruffs are taken from the hand with shorter trumps, retaining trumps in the longer hand for control. Declarer, being the first to have bid the suit, usually has more trumps than his partner (the eventual dummy) and so the term “dummy reversal” is used to describe the case where during the play, dummy is made to have more.

The purpose of dummy reversal is to yield more tricks than the normal technique; the technique can be adapted for use in other tricktaking games.

Indicators:

Some indicators that a hand may lend itself to dummy reversal are:

  • shortness (singleton or void) in declarer’s hand with length in the same suit in dummy
  • loser(s) in declarer’s hand that cannot be ruffed or discarded on a side suit
  • adequate trump strength and length in dummy (typically a three or four card trump suit with at least two honors for drawing the final trumps)
  • entries to dummy outside of the trump suit