THE CROSSRUFF
  One way to get rid of a loser, when playing in a suit contract is to ruff it in Dummy (or the hand with the short trump suit). To ruff in the hand with the long suit - usually the Declarer's hand - will not produce an extra trick. 
        One reason to ruff in the hand with the long trump suit is for an entry. In EXAMPLE 1 (right), Spades are trump (Defenders have none) and the lead is in Dummy. Declarer wants to get to his hand to take the Heart finesse. Easy solution - for some. Lead the A D, ruff it, then play the J H for the finesse. We will soon see that this ruffing for entries is the procedure used for the Crossruff. 
        If Declarer has 5 or 6 solid trumps in his hand, then these are always winners. It is a gross illusion to think that you will gain a trick if you ruff in your hand. In EXAMPLE 2  (right) Declarer always has 6 tricks. If he ruffs in his hand he still has 6 tricks. But if he ruffs in the Dummy, then the trump are in effect used separately and he will make 7 tricks: 6 trump from his hand and 1 ruff in Dummy. And better still, if he can ruff 3 cards in Dummy he will make 9 tricks. In EXAMPLE 3 right, Spades are trump and the lead is in Declarer's hand. Ruff a Heart in Dummy; back to the closed hand with the 
D; and ruff the last Heart in Dummy. Here the Declarer used the A D as an entry so he could ruff that last Heart. Declarer made 8 tricks: A D, 2 Heart ruffs, and 5 trump.

 
 
 
 
EXAMPLES
1.
DUMMY
S  A K Q 
H  A Q 5 3
D  A 

HAND

S  J 10 9 8 
H  J 10 9
D  -------
2.
 DUMMY
S  8 7 6
 
 

HAND

S  A K Q J 10

 
3.
DUMMY
S  8 7 6 
H  ------
D  9 8 7 6 5 
 
 

HAND

SA  K Q J 10
H  4 3
D  A 

 
  In EXAMPLE 4 right, the Declarer has a void in Diamonds instead of the Ace. Spades are trump and the lead is in Declarer's hand. You can Ruff a Heart, but how do you get back to ruff the other two Hearts? Answer: use the power of the trump as the entry. That is, ruff a Diamond in Declarer's hand, then ruff a Heart; ruff another Diamond in the hand, then ruff the last Heart. This type of situation, where the ruffing power of trump used as an entry to one hand in order to play a card and ruff it in the other hand, is known as The Crossruff. By ruffing back and forth in both hands, trump tricks will be made separately. In example 4 the 3 trumps in Dummy were made plus the 5 in the hand for a total of 8 tricks. 

The Count
Usually in a suit contract you count losers. But when considering a Crossruff count winners. That is, count the number of trump tricks you will make in each hand plus any other winners that are available. In EXAMPLE 5 right, there are 9 winners: 4 trump in Dummy, 4 in the hand and the A C.

The Danger
In EXAMPLE 5 right, the Declarer has the lead and starts the Crossruff. Ruff a Heart, ruff a Diamond, ruff the 2nd Heart, ruff the 2nd Diamond, ruff the 3rd Heart, ruff the 3 Diamond, ruff the last Heart, ruff the last Diamond. Now play the A C. Gabang!! A Defender ruffs your A C for the setting trick. What happened? As you were merrily Crossruffing, the Defenders were busy discarding Clubs. Was the contract always doomed. No! Declarer had to play the A C BEFORE starting the Crossruff. Then the 9 tricks are there for the taking.
 
 

CROSSRUFF RULE: it is imperative to take winner(s) in the side suit(s) BEFORE starting the Crossruff.

4.
DUMMY
S  8 7 6 
H  ------
D 9 8 7 6 5 
 
 

HAND

S  A K Q J 10
H  4 3 2 
D  ------


 
 
 
 
 
 
5.
DUMMY
S  10 9 8 7 
H  ------
D  9 8 7 6 
C  A  
 
 

HAND

S  A KQ J 
H  5 4 3 2 
D  ------ 
C  5

.
 QUIZ 37                                                                              THE CROSSRUFF

 
  xxxHow would you make these xxxtwo hands? Assume perfect xxxdefense.
 
1.
DUMMY
S  9 8 3
H  K Q 8 7
D  K 9 7 6 4
C
 
 

HAND

S  A 10 2
H  A J 10 9
D  5
C  A Q 7 4 2
XXXContract is 4 H.
XXXOpening Lead: K S.
xxxHow would you make these xxxtwo two hands? Ast defense.
 

2.
DUMMY
S  9 
H  A J 5 2 
D  A 9 4 
C  A 8 6 5 4 
 
 

HAND

S  A 8 6 4 
H  K Q 10 9 7
D  A 6 3 
C  2
XXXContract is 6 H.
XXXOpening Lead: K C.

ANSWERS to Quiz 37

 

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