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Scissors coup is a type of coup, named so because it cuts communications between defenders, most commonly by discarding a key card from either the declarer's own hand or dummy. This enables declarer to prevent the defenders transferring the lead, usually for a defensive ruff.
|South in 5♦||♠||K 9 7 5|
|♣||K 10 7 4 3|
|♠||10 8 3||
|♠||6 4 2|
|♥||8 4||♥||A Q 10 9 7 6 5|
|♣||A J 9 6 5 2||♣||Q 8|
|Lead:♥8||♠||A Q J|
|♦||K Q 10 9 8 5 4 3|
Consider this hand and auction with an opening lead of the eight of hearts.
Superficially, it looks like there are only two losers: a heart and a diamond. However, if East plays the queen on the opening lead so South must win with the king, he can next get in with the ace of hearts and lead a third round to give his partner a trump promotion. The solution is elegant; upon winning the king of hearts cross to the king of spades and lead the king of clubs, throwing the jack of hearts. This Scissors coup has negated the heart entry to East's hand by enabling South to ruff on the second round of hearts and thereby eliminate the threat of a trump promotion.