Below are the answers to the declarer play quiz on whether or not you should be looking to draw the trumps. If you have arrived here before taking the quiz then make sure you don’t continue reading! Here is the answer-free version (do this first!).

In all of the below hands, you can see your hand, the dummy, the lead, and what contract you are in. Would you attempt to draw the trumps or not in each example?

    1. Hand Dummy
      x Q10xx
      KJ9xx AQ10x
      K10x AQx
      xxxx Qx
      Contract: 4 Lead: ♣A

      Don’t draw – Here you need to avoid losing more than 2 clubs so you need to ruff your third and fourth club in the dummy. You need to void dummy of clubs by leading them as soon as you can, their lead has helped you! You can ruff the clubs high to be safe.

    2. Hand Dummy
      AKxxxx Qx
      Kx Ax
      J9x Kxx
      Kx AQxxxx
      Contract: 4♠ Lead: Q

      Draw – Your intention should be to draw the trumps and immediately tackle those clubs. If the trumps and clubs break you will have 14 tricks (6 spades, 2 hearts and 6 clubs) in total! Obviously that’s a silly amount but you need to maximise the impact of that amazing long side suit so draw trumps pronto to stop the opponents ruffing your club winners.

    3. Hand Dummy
      KQx 10xxx
      xx AQxx
      QJ109xx xx
      Ax J9x
      Contract: 2 Lead: ♠4

      Draw – Even though you are missing the top 2 trumps you still want to draw the trumps as there is no ruffing to be done in the dummy.

    4. Hand Dummy
      AKx Qxxx
      x Axx
      Axxx xx
      AQJxx K109x
      Contract: 6♣ Lead: ♠J

      Don’t draw – Your losing diamonds in hand are your problem in this small slam. Your only option is to ruff them in the dummy as there is no long suit to discard them on. This means you don’t want to draw the trumps as you need your trumps on the dummy!

    5. Hand Dummy
      KQ xxxxx
      KQ10xx J9x
      xx KQ10x
      J10xx Q
      Contract: 2 Lead: ♣3

      Don’t draw – Your short trump holding in dummy should be exploited by ruffing clubs there. The singleton club with the short trump holding means that drawing trumps would be incorrect. The opponents have even been kind enough to lead a club and void dummy of clubs for you!

    6. Hand Dummy
      A9x Kxx
      AJ109x KQxx
      A10xxx x
      Contract: 6 Lead: A

      Don’t draw – A classic cross ruff hand. When you have shortage in both hands you can ruff in each hand and make trumps individually, occasionally all of them! Here you want to cash your ♠AK and ♣A and then cross ruff clubs and diamonds in each hand. I have done a video on cross-ruffing if you want to have a look at the technique in more detail.

    7. Hand Dummy
      AQJ10xx xxx
      Ax Kx
      Qx KJ10xx
      KJx xxx
      Contract: 4♠ Lead: Q

      Draw – With no ruffing to be done in the dummy it is right to draw trumps. Here you want to finesse in trumps whilst drawing them all and then knock out the A in an attempt to set that suit up as tricks.

    8. Hand Dummy
      K109xx xxxxx
      AKQxxx xx
      x Axxx
      x Qx
      Contract: 5♠X Lead: K

      Draw – You are in a doubled contract but that doesn’t mean you should be put off by drawing trumps. You want to run that lovely heart suit but first you must knock the spades out to stop the opponents ruffing your heart winners. With 10 trumps it is often right to draw trumps as you have such a huge majority.

    9. Hand Dummy
      xx AQxx
      x xxxx
      xxx K10xxx
      Contract: 3♣ Lead: A

      Draw – Even in a misfit such as this one, you should still draw trumps. There is obviously no ruffing to be done in the dummy (they have no trumps!) so drawing trumps is correct. Each club you play will draw 2 of the opponents’ trumps, so it is 2 for 1, a good deal!

    10. Hand Dummy
      AKQJ10x xxx
      xxxx x
      KQ10 AJx
      x J9xxxx
      Contract: 4♠ Lead: ♣2

      Don’t draw – Your heart losers are your problem here. You want to make use of the shortage in dummy in that suit, which means you can’t afford to draw any trumps. Ideally you would like to ruff 3 hearts losers on dummy using all of dummy’s trumps separately. When in you should play a heart immediately and hope that the opponents don’t switch to trumps!