9.7 Ruffing 

 Keep in mind: Ruffing in the short suit both helps you and your opponents to win additional tricks.. 




Op. lead=A
Q 9 8 3
9 5 3 2
J 8 7 5 4 

J 10 8
A K Q 7 4
10 8 7
Q 9 

7 5
J 10 9 6 2 
Q J 6 4 
R 3

A K 6 4 2
8 5 3
A K  
A 10 6




















  J 7


A 10 

Ruffing can help you to win additional tricks. in trump suit contracts. 
Spades are trumps in the hand diagram shown at the left. Normaly declarer can count the winner tricks as,
5 trump suit (for 3-2 split)
2 diamonds
1 clubs
totally eight tricks which is not enough to make the contract. Contract needs at least ten tricks. So, declarer (South) must seek to establish two tricks by ruffing. Dummy must ruff the opening lead for the first missing trick. South crosses to hand (with any suit) and ruffs another heart in dummy which provides second missing trick...

Opponents also can make tricks by ruffing. So you must learn trump control. In order to avert a ruff you must collect opponents' trumps as soon as possible. Since the number of your trumps must be more than your opponents, collecting must not be a problem. If you can not prevent ruffing then you must protect your honors to be ruffed:

Look at the hand diagram at the left. If West's opening lead is 9, this card is probably singleton in West's hand.  Because with a distribition like QJ109 West wouldn't lead 9. So you must win West's 9 (singleton) lead, from hand, not from dummy. If you won  West's 9 lead from dummy (with your ace) he will ruff your winner ( K)later. If  West opening lead was Q instead of 9, queen is probably the higest card of a distribution like QJ109. So, heart suit can be singleton at East's hand. So, you must win West's A lead from dummy in order to protect your A to be ruffed later.

Ruffing Finesse:
Your (or dummy's) void in a suit can provide extra tricks for you. If your opponent plays his master card in this suit you can ruff from dummy (or from hand). Ruffing the opponents master card may promote your non-master cards.. 

Ruff and Discard:
If you and your partner are void in a suit you can make extra tricks by ruffing and discarding.

Spade is trump in hand diagram at the left. If opponents plays other suits than heart, South can make only 3 tricks:
2 trumps 
1 club. 
You can not win any trick in diamond suit. 

If West plays a heart, ruff and discard method works like that: Dummy ruffs heart lead from West with 7, and you discard 2 from hand. At the next round you ruff dummy's 3 with 10 in hand.. In this way you already won two tricks. Trump ace and club ace will also win two tricks, so, by "ruff and discard" method you obtained 4 tricks.

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