Eddie Kantar



Double Dummy Problems

Most double dummy problems are so hard that the average reader usually doesn't even try to solve them.
Most of the following double dummy problems are much easier. Good luck.

#1    HARD TO IMAGINE   (A toughy) 

                                 S. K742
                                 H. 8 
                                 D. 87532 
                                 C. 1098 

West                                               East
S. J53                                             S. AQ10
H. Q97653                                     H. J42 
D. AKQJ                                          D. 10964 
C. -                                                 C. 543 

                                 S. 986
                                 H. AK10 
                                 D.  -
                                 C. AKQJ762 

South to make 5C after West leads the DA. 


Ruff the diamond with the CA; over to  dummy using  the C6 and ruff a diamond with the CK. Continue with a club to dummy 7, ruff a third  diamond with the CQ and play the AK10 of hearts ruffing with dummy's last trump and ruff a fourth diamond with the CJ leaving your hand with the C2 and three small spades. 

Dummy has Kxx of spades and a high diamond and East has the C3 and the AQ10 of spades. Can you see it coming?  Toss  East in with the three of clubs, discarding a spade from dummy. East has to play the ace and a spade and dummy takes the last two tricks with the SK and a small diamond. 

#2     SEE IT? 

                                            S. AK432
                                            H. 102
                                            D. A43
                                            C. K32

West                                                                                East 
S.  J 10                                                                           S. Q987 
H.  9876                                                                         H. 5
D. J109                                                                          D. KQ852
C. J987                                                                          C. Q106

                                            S. 65
                                            H. AKQJ43
                                            D. 76
                                            C. A54

Contract:  6H     Opening lead:  DJ


Win the DA and play the S. AK followed by a third spade upon which you discard your diamond.   East does best to return a club which you must win in your hand.    Now the ace and a heart to dummy's ten followed by a spade ruff high.   West's last two trumps are removed and you enter dummy with the CA to discard your losing club on the dummy's established spade.


                                            S. Q 
                                            H. J54
                                            D. A1098765
                                            C. 82 

West                                                                          East
S. J1076                                                                   S. 9854   
H. AKQ102                                                                H. 98763 
D. QJ                                                                         D. K43           
C. A9                                                                         C. 3

                                            S. AK32
                                            H. -
                                            D. 2
                                            C. KQJ107654

Contract:  6C   Opening lead ace of clubs followed by the 9 of clubs.


Cash three more clubs to reach this forced ending:

                                                S.  Q  
                                                H.  J5
                                                D. A10987
                                                C. -

West                                                                           East                 
S. J1076                                                                    S. 9854     
H. AK                                                                         H. 9                         
D. QJ                                                                         D. K43      
C. -                                                                            C. -   

                                              S. AK32
                                              H. -
                                              D. 2
                                              C. 654

When you play yet another club, discarding a diamond, West must discard a spade. A diamond discard allows to you cash the ace and run the ten through East; a heart discard allows you to cross to dummy with a spade and ruff a heart establishing the jack.    East discards a heart.

Cross to dummy with the SQ, ruff a heart, cash the  AK of spades to this three card end position:

                                             S. -
                                             H. J
                                             D. A10 
                                             C.  -

West                                                                              East
S.  -                                                                                 S.  9
H. A                                                                                H. -
D.  QJ                                                                             D. K4
C. - -                                                                               C. -

                                            S.  3
                                            H.  -
                                            D.  2
                                            C. 4

When you play your last club, West must discard a diamond to protect the HA, dummy discards a heart and East must discard a diamond to protect  the S9.    Voila, both diamonds in dummy are now high.


                                         S. J10 
                                         H. AQ54 
                                         D. 76
                                         C. A10987  

West                                                                    East
S. 654                                                                  S. 32          
H. KJ97                                                               H. 1032
D. AQ32                                                              D. 109854  
C. QJ                                                                   C. K32                     

                                        S. AKQ987  
                                        H. 86
                                        D. KJ
                                        C. 654

Contract: 4S   Opening lead:  S5


Win the opening lead in your hand, lead a heart to the queen, cash the HA and ruff a heart; reenter dummy with a spade, ruff dummy's last heart, and draw the last trump discarding a diamond (or a club) from dummy.    The stage is now set for playing the ace and a club.    If West wins, West has to lead a diamond from the  AQ.    If East overtakes to lead a diamond, you make an extra club trick.


                                                S. Q2
                                                H. K32
                                                D. A9832
                                                C. A32

West                                                                             East 
S. -                                                                                S. J10843
H. 987654                                                                   H. J10
D. -                                                                                D. 107654
C. J1098764                                                               C. 5

                                            S. AK9765
                                            H. AQ
                                            D. KQJ
                                            C. KQ

South to make 7S!  Opening lead:  CJ


Win the CA and lead a low spade. East does best to play the ten which you win with the king.    Continue with the KQ of diamonds and overtake the jack with dummy's ace to lead the D9.    East might as well cover which you ruff.    Now the AQ of hearts overtaken with dummy's king and a club pitched on the high D8. East and South are both down to four trump.    East has the J843 and you have the A976, dummy has the stiff queen.    The lead is in dummy and you lead a club or a heart.    East trumps low, you overtrump, return to dummy with the SQ and take the last two tricks with the A9 hovering over East's J8.  l


                                                    S. AKQ
                                                    H. 9876
                                                    D. K2
                                                    C. 10987

West                                                                            East
S. 876                                                                          S. 5432 
H. QJ10                                                                       H. 543
D. Q97                                                                         D. A
C. KJ43                                                                       C. AQ652

                                                    S. J109
                                                    H. AK2
                                                    D. J1086543
                                                    C. -

South to make  5D   Opening lead:  C3   East plays the A.


Ruff the opening lead and cross to dummy three times in spades to ruff dummy's three remaining club.    Now exit with the AK and a heart to West' s queen.    West remains with three trump as do you.    Dummy has two trump and a heart and East has the blank ace of diamonds along with a spade and a club.

West must lead a diamond which you duck to East's ace.    When East leads a black card you play the DJ.    West cannot take a trick with the guarded queen even though dummy has a stiff king; a smother play. 


                                              S .KJ2 
                                              H. J10954 
                                              D.  84 
                                              C.  752  

West                                                                          East
S. 108753                                                                 S. Q
H. K85                                                                       H. Q6
D. Q2                                                                         D. KJ10763
C. AQ10                                                                    C. 8643 

                                              S. A964
                                              H. A73
                                              D. A95
                                             C. KJ9

South to make 3NT against best defense.    The opening lead is the DQ.


East overtakes the first diamond which South must duck and returns a club which West wins cheaply.    West exits with a low spade to dummy's king and the HJ is run to West.    If West wins and exits a diamond, South wins and reels off four rounds of hearts pitching a diamond and a club reducing to the SA9 and the blank CK.    West must hang on to the guarded ten of spades and must blank his CA. Dummy exits a club to the ace and South takes the last two tricks with the SA9.  

If West ducks the HK, it leads to the same ending.    South cashes the DA and exits with the ace and a heart.    West wins and leads a spade taken by dummy's jack.    When dummy cashes both hearts it leads to the same ending.   


                                                    S. A Q 8 6
                                                    H. -
                                                    D. A 10 4
                                                    C. Q J 10 9 3 2

 West                                                                                East
S. 9 5 3 2                                                                          S. -
H. Q J 10 9 3                                                                   H. 5 4
D. Q 8 6 3                                                                         D. K J 9 7 5 2
C. -                                                                                    C. 8 7 6 5 4

                                                    S. K J 10 7 4
                                                    H. A K 8 7 6 2
                                                    D. -
                                                    C. A K

Contract 7S
Opening lead: HQ


Discard a club from dummy at trick one (key play), cash a second heart discarding another club, lead the SJ to the SQ and ruff a low diamond with a high honor, say the ten.    Next lead the S4 to the 6, ruff the D10 with the SK and lead the S7 to the eight.    You are now ready for the grand unblock.    Play the SA and the DA discarding the AK of clubs from your hand.    Dummy remains with the C QJ109 for the last four tricks.    Applause.

If you discard a diamond from dummy at trick one, or neglect to ruff both diamonds high, you wind up with egg on your face.


                                  S. J
                                  H. A K 2
                                  D. A 9 4 3
                                 C. K J 10 8 7

West                                                    East
S. 10 5 4 3                                          S. Q 8 7 2
H. 10 9 8 7                                          H. 6
D. J 8 7 6                                            D. Q 10
C. 5                                                      C. Q 9 6 4 3 2

                                 South (you)
                                  S. A K 9 6
                                  H. Q J 5 4 3
                                  D. K 5 2
                                  C. A

Contract:  South to make 7H

Opening lead: H10


Win the opening lead in dummy and play the SJ which East must cover and you take the trick with the ace.    Next, lead the S9 which West must cover and you ruff low in dummy.    Cash dummy's remaining heart, cross to the CA and play your three remaining hearts.    As you lead your last heart this is the six card end position:

                                  D. A 9 4
                                  C. K J 10
West                                                    East
S. 5 4                                                   S. 8 7
H.                                                         H.
D. J 8 7 6                                            D. Q 10
C.                                                         C. Q 9

                                      S. K 6
                                      H. 3
                                      D. K 5 2

West discards a diamond (or a spade), dummy discards a club and East is squeezed in three suits.    If East discards a spade, the S6 is your thirteenth trick.    If East discards a club, cash a high spade, discarding a diamond and takes the last four tricks with the AK of diamonds and the KJ of clubs.    Finally, if East discards the D10, cash the SK discarding a club, and play the king and a diamond to the nine.


                                      S. A 8 2
                                      H. Q 6 5
                                      D. A 4 3
                                      C. Q 9 6 2

West                                                            East
S. 10 9 4                                                     S. K Q J 7 6 5
H. -                                                              H. J 10 2
D. Q J 9 7 5                                                D. 2
C. A 10 8 7 5                                              C. J 4 3

                                          S.  3
                                          H. A K 9 8 7 4 3
                                          D. K 10 8 6
                                           C.  K

South to make 6H against best defense.   West leads the S10.

SOLUTION to #10 

Win the SA and lead a club to the king at trick two.   If West wins and gets out with the DQ (best), win the king, draw trump ending in dummy, discard a diamond on the queen of clubs, ruff a club, and play all of your trump.   The last trump squeezes West in the minors.

If West ducks the king of clubs, draw trump ending in dummy and lead a low club discarding a diamond. If a diamond or a spade is returned, win in your hand and play all of your remaining trump once again squeezing West in the minors.


                                      S. A J 10 6
                                      H. K Q 5 4
                                      D. K Q
                                      C. A K J

West                                                         East
S  9 8 7 5                                                 S. K Q 4 3 2
H. J 10 3                                                  H. 2
D. 10 9 8 7 6                                           D. A 5 4
C. 10                                                        C. Q 4 3 2

                                         H. A 9 8 7 6
                                         D. J 3 2
                                         C. 9 8 7 6 5

South to make 6H against best defense after West leads the D10 and East wins the ace and returns a diamond. 

SOLUTION to #11 

Play three rounds of trump ending in your hand and play the DJ discarding a club. East has to make two discards on the hearts.   East cannot afford to discard a club because you can set up the club suit with just one ruff in dummy.    Therefore, East does best to discard a spade and a diamond.    However on the jack of diamonds, East must discard again.   This time East is squeezed.   If East discards a club, cash the ace-king of clubs, ruff a spade back to your hand and ruff a club setting up your remaining clubs.   You don't even need dummy's ace of spades!    If East discards a spade on the DJ reducing to KQx, use your club entries to ruff two spades in your hand setting up dummy's jack of spades for the 12th trick.


                           S. J10
                           H. AQ54
                          D. 76
                           C. A10987

West                                          East
S. 654                                       S. 32
H. KJ97                                    H. 1032
D. AQ32                                   D. 109854
C. QJ                                        C. K32

                            S. AKQ987
                            H. 86
                            D. KJ
                            C. 654

Contract 4S     Opening lead:  S4 

SOLUTION to #12 

Win the opening lead in your hand, take the heart finesse, cash the ace and ruff a heart. Return to dummy with a spade and ruff dummy's last heart. Now draw the last trump and lead a club to the ace and a second club. If West wins the trick, he must lead a diamond reducing your losers to three; two clubs and one diamond. If East overtakes the second club with the king to return a diamond, it costs East a club trick to do so and you still make your contract losing two diamonds but only one club. 

#13  The Dentist's Coup    

                        S. AK86
                        H. AKQ43
                        D. A 
                        C. AJ2 

West                                      East 
S. Q1075                               S. -
H. J9                                      H. 1082
D. J532                                  D. KQ109874
C. K108                                 C. 965

                        South (you)
                        S. J9432
                        H. 765
                        D. 6
                        C. Q743

Contract:  6S by South  Opening lead: D2 


Win the DA (nice play), cash the AK of hearts stripping West of hearts, and exit dummy with the S8 to West's 10. West does best to lead a diamond which you ruff in your hand while discarding the C2 from dummy. Now the SJ from your hand. If West covers, draw trump ending in your hand with the S9 and take the club finesse. If West plays low, play low from dummy, take the club finesse, draw trump and get on to the next hand. 


                         S. 87
                         H. 7 
                         D. Q87432 
                         C. 10852 

West                                     East 
S. 10954                              S. KQJ632 
H. 43                                     H. 8652 
D. AJ9                                  D. 106 
C. J973                                C. 4  
                          S. A 
                          H. AKQJ109 
                          D. K5 
                          C. AKQ6

Contract: 6H     West leads the S10  


Win the SA, cash five rounds of hearts and ONE club, leaving: 

                            S. - 
                            H. - 
                            D. Q87 
                            C. 1085  
West                                           East 
S. -                                              S. KQJ6 
H. -                                              H. - 
D. AJ9                                        D. 106 
C. J97                                        C. -  
                            S. - 
                            H. 9 
                            D. K5 
                            C. KQ6 

When you play the H9, West must discard a diamond as you discard a club from dummy. Now the DK which West must duck. When you play a second diamond, West must win and lead away from the CJ. 

Had you cashed two rounds of clubs before leading the last heart, you would not make the hand. You would have to discard a club from dummy leaving the ten bare. Now West can win the second diamond and exit with the CJ securing the C9 as the setting trick. 

If West reduces to one spade, two diamonds and three clubs. Play the DK before the last trump which West must duck. Now the last heart forces West to discard a spade and a diamond exit forces West to win and lead away from the CJ.



                         S. AJ10

                         H. 10654

                         D. KQ

                         C. QJ92

West                                         East
S. Q654                                     S. 2

H. K8                                         H. QJ972

D. A1082                                   D. 9763

C. 874                                       C. K105


                        S. K9873

                        H. A3
                        D. J54

                        C. A63

Contract 4S   Opening lead:  HK


Win the second heart, lead a spade to the ten and exit dummy with the DK. West does best to win and exit a diamond to the queen. Next, the CQ from dummy which East ducks, say. It doesn't matter. You enter your hand with the CA, discard a heart on the DJ, repeat the spade finesse and ruff dummy's last heart with the SK before exiting your hand with a club to East's ten.

Everyone remains with two cards. Dummy has the SA and a club, East a diamond and a heart, you have the S98 and West, the Q6 of spades. When East leads a red card you ruff with the eight. If West overtrumps with the queen, you overtrump with dummy's ace and your S9 takes the tenth trick. If East underruffs, the SA takes the 10th trick. A smother play.



                               S. A432

                               H. A107654

                               D. A75

                               C. -

              West                                East

              S. 6                                  S. -

              H. 982                              H. QJ3

              D. 2                                  D. KQ1096

              C. KJ1098432                   C. AQ765



                                 S. KQJ109875

                                 H. K

                                 D. J843

                                 C. - 

South to make 6S. The opening lead is the D2.  


The idea is to set up the hearts to pitch diamonds, but dummy "appears" to be one entry short. You must win the opening lead in dummy, cross to the HK and lead the S5. When West produces the S6, play low from dummy!  West remains with hearts and clubs. If a heart is returned it is easy enough to set up the heart suit with one ruff using the SA as the reentry. Ditto if a club is returned, ruff in dummy, discarding a diamond, discard another diamond on the HA, ruff a heart and enter dummy with the SA to shed your last diamond on an established heart. Hand played by Henri Svarc of france.



                                    S. K109

                                    H. 107432

                                    D. 2

                                    C. AKQ3

                 West                                 East       

                 S. 64                                 S. 8532

                 H. AQJ86                           H. K95

                 D. KQ                                D. J853

                 C. 10872                          C. J9


                                   S. AQJ7

                                   H. -

                                   D. A109764

                                   C. 652

Contract: 4S   Opening lead: Four of spades


Win the lead in dummy, ruff a heart, cross to a club, ruff a heart, back to a club, ruff a heart, play the DA and ruff a diamond and cash the SK. Don't look now but you have taken the first nine tricks and this is what is left:


                                       S -

                                       H 107                                      

                                       D. -

                                       C. Q3

                     West                            East

                     S.                                 S. 85

                     H. AQ                           H.  -

                     D. -                              D. J8

                     C. 108                         C. -


                                      S. -

                                      H. -

                                      D. 1097

                                      C. 6

North plays the CQ, East ruffs but must concede the tenth trick to South's D10. Without the (&*%$#) trump lead, of course, there are 10 easy tricks on a crossruff.



#18   TRICKY

This one comes from the Italian monthly Bridge d'Italia 


                                       S. AK

                                       H. AK

                                       D. 65432

                                       C. Q532

                  West                                East

                  S. Q975                            S. 10432

                  H. Q1076                          H. 932

                  D.                                     D. 10987

                  C. AKJ109                         C. 87


                                      S. J86

                                      H. J854

                                      D. AKQJ

                                      C. 64



Solution to #18

You must play the CQ (you can't afford to ruff unless East's ruffs). East ruffs and you overruff. Cash the AK of both major suits, return to your hand with a diamond, ruff a heart and play your last diamond in this forced three card ending.


                                             S. -

                                             H. -

                                             D. 65

                                             C. 5

                          West                           East                                              

                          S. Q                             S. 104

                          H. Q                             H. -

                          D. -                              D. 10

                          C. 10                           C. -


                                           S. J

                                           H. J

                                           D. J 

                                           C. -

On the last diamond West is squeezed in three suits. Whichever card he gives up, give South his 11th trick in that suit.

Note: If East discards a heart at trick three, South discards a heart and arrives at the same ending.            



                                          S. AKQ9

                                          H. 954

                                          D. AKJ

                                         C.  975


                      West                                East

                      S. 2                                  S. J108543

                      H. AQ108732                    H. 6

                      D. 7654                            D.  2

                      C.  3                                 C.  QJ1082


                                         S. 76

                                         H. KJ

                                         D. Q10983

                                         C. AK64

After West preempts in hearts you wind up in 3NT and West cleverly leads the D7.  The good news is that you have 10 top tricks. The bad news is that you are playing in a tournament and overtricks can be crucial. Your job is to make 5NT! 

Solution:  Win the DK, underplaying the D8 and cash the SA and the CA stipping West of black cards, and the DK and overtake the DJ retaining the D3. Now comes the big play: exit with the D3 forcing West to win the trick. At this point North has to lead a heart. 

Diagram A.  West leads the ace and a heart leading to:


                                          S. KQ9


                                          D. -

                                          C. 97

                       West                               East

                        S. -                                 S. J108

                        H. Q10873                      H. -

                        D. -                                 D. -

                        C. -                                 C. QJ


                                           S. 7

                                           H. -

                                           D. 10

                                          C. K64        


South leads the D10, discarding a club from the table, and East is squeezed in the blacks. The diamond trick that South has conceded has come back in the form of a heart trick and now the count has been rectified for a squeeze. 

Diagram B. West exits with a low heart leading to: 


                                           S. KQ9

                                           H. 9

                                           D. -

                                           C. 97

                       West                             East

                        S.  -                              S. J108

                        H. AQ10873                  H. -

                        D. -                               D. -

                        C. -                               C. QJ10


                                            S. 7 

                                            H. K

                                            D. 10

                                            C. K64

South leads the D10 discarding a heart from dummy and East must part with a club. South now ducks a club and take the rest. Once again 11 tricks.  Give yourself a triple gold star if you came up with this one!


#20 If I Ever Saw Three Losers


                                          S. K75

                                          H. 73

                                          D. 8642

                                          C. A632

                   West                                        East

                   S.  Q1098                                S. -  

                   H. J108                                    H. 96542

                   D. J7                                        D. Q1095

                   C. Q1085                                C.  KJ97


                                        S. AJ6432

                                        H. AKQ

                                        D. AK3

                                        C. 4

Your contract is 'only' 6S.  The opening lead is the HJ   Good luck. 

Solution.  Win the opening lead (nice play), cross to the CA and ruff a club. Play two more hearts ruffing the third in dummy, ruff another club, ross to the SK, ruff another club, and finally, cash the AK and exit a diamond.  Don't look now, but West, trump flush, has to trump East's winning diamond and lead a spade smack into your AJ for your 11th and 12th tricks. You play so beautifully.


 #21  There must be a way



                                            S. K2

                                            H. AQ3

                                            D. A64

                                            C. A6543 

                   West                                          East

                    S. Q10863                                 S. J9754

                     H. J109                                     H. 8

                     D. K109                                     D. Q87

                     C. J7                                          C. Q1098 


                                           S. A

                                            H. K76542

                                            D. J532

                                            C. K2

You are in 6H and West leads the HJ.   You can do it!

Solution:  Win the HK, cash the SA, cross to the HA, discard a club on the SK, and ruff a club low. Back to the HQ, drawing West's last trump and now the CA, discarding a diamond, and a second club ruff setting up dummy's fifth club. Cross to the DA and pitch a diamond on the established fifth club. When the smoke clears you have lost one diamond trick and have made your slam by setting up dummy's fifth club without allowing West to use one of his trumps to overtrump any club ruff. 

#22   Terrible trump break


                                          S. 7532

                                          H. J2

                                          D. 8642

                                         C. A75

               West                                          East

               S. J8                                          S. Q10964

               H. A7654                                   H.  -

               D. AK93                                     D. QJ105

               C. 106                                       C. J983


                                        S. AK

                                        H. KQ10983

                                        D. 7

                                        C. KQ42

The contract is 4H.   The opponents begin with two rounds of diamonds. 

That terrible trump break does not bode well for you. If you start to draw trumps, West wins the ace and plays third diamond forcing you again. Now West has more trumps than you and you are destined to be limited to nine tricks: five hearts, two spades and two clubs. West will trump the third club with the outstanding trump and have a diamond to cash.

What you have to do after ruffing the diamond at trick two is cash the AK of spades and then the AK of clubs and then a low club! The opponents have no answer.  If East wins the club and continues with a diamond, you trump, and then trump your winning CQ with the HJ.  Your 10th trick.

#23      What kind of a question is this?                          

                                     S. 87542
                                     H. KJ
                                     D. 973
                                     C. Q102 
             West                                       East
             S. J63                                     S. 9  
             H. 987652                               H. AQ
             D. AQ10                                  D. 6542
             C. 5                                         C. AKJ764
                                   S. AKQ10
                                   H. 1043
                                   D. KJ8
                                   C. 983 

You are playing 4S doubled and redoubled with a low club lead. How do you like your chances?  No, silly, you are not South, you are West. Now how do you like your chances. You can do it!

Win the DJ and take two more high clubs pitching hearts. Now a diamond to the 10, a heart to the Q, cash the HA and now a diamond to the queen followed by the DA and a heart ruff with the S9. Don't look now but you have taken the first nine tricks and the lead is in the dummy where three clubs and a diamond reside. You have the J63 of spades and a heart, and East is looking at the AKQ10 of spades. When you lead a minor suit card from dummy, East cannot prevent you from taking your 10th trick with the SJ.

A spade is the only lead that would have defeated the contract, but even so it is difficult to see how East-West arrived at this contract. I guess all this we hear about how important it is to have a strong trump fit has to be taken with a grain of salt.   



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