Larry's Bridge Quizzes

When to Switch to a Trump on Defense

When to Switch to a Trump on Defense

Any time declarer seems likely to ruff in the hand with shorter trumps, you want to strongly consider switching to a trump. Allowing declarer to ruff with the shorter trump hand is gifting declarer an extra trick. 

There are other reasons to switch to trump. Most commonly, a trump switch is the only "safe" play as anything else might give up an extra trick. See if you can spot the scenarios where it's right to switch to a trump. 


To improve your defense, you can purchase Larry's webinar series "Over My Shoulder Defense".

You are East. 

  West    North    East    South  
 Pass  1NT*  Pass  2♠
All Pass      



Dlr: South


♠ 43
♥ Q5
♦ Q7643
♣ K832



♠ 765
♥ AKJ2
♦ J1098
♣ Q6

The lead is the ♠3 (fourth best). Declarer plays low and your J wins the trick. What now?


Choose One:

Cash another high heart and then play a spade. 

Switch to a spade.

Play the ♠J. 

Play the ♠A

Something else. 

You are East. Both vul.

  West    North    East    South  
 Pass  2♠  Dbl  2♠
 All Pass      

Partner leads the ♠J. What is your plan?

Vul: None
Dlr: South
♠ K10932
♥ 83
♦ J76
♣ J74
    ♠ 65
♥ AKQ109
♦ Q985
♣ K6
Choose One:

Overtake and continue hearts. 

Overtake and switch to a spade

Overtake, play one more round of hearts and switch to a diamond

Overtake, play one more round of hearts and switch to the ♠K


You are West. 


  West    North    East    South  
 Pass  2♠  Pass  2♠
 Pass  4♠  All Pass  


Dlr: South


♠ AQ65
♥ 754
♦ Q3
♣ Q987


♥ KQ109
♦ K865
♣ J5


 You lead the ♠K and partner plays the ♠2. Standard signals. What is your next play?

Choose One:


♠10 or 9




You are East. 


  West    North    East    South  
   1♠  Pass  1♠
 Pass  2♠  Pass  4♠
 All Pass      

Partner leads the ♠3. You win the ♠A. What next?

Vul: None
Dlr: North
♠ KQ52
♥ 9
♦ AQJ87
♣ 532
    ♠ 987
♥ AJ65
♦ 654
♣ J109
Choose One:

Continue hearts

Switch to a spade

Switch to a diamond

Switch to a club

You are East. The auction is as follows: 

  West    North    East    South  
 1♠  Pass  2♠  Pass
 Pass  Dbl  Pass  2♠
 All Pass      

Partner leads the ♠5. 

What is your plan after winning the ♠A?

Dlr: W


♠ Q87
♥ 102
♦ KQ76
♣ K432



♠ A43
♥ A87
♦ J943
♣ 865

Choose One:


Low spade

Continue with the ♠8

Play the ♠3

Play a club