Scissors coup

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Scissors coup (or, Scissor coup, also at one time called The coup without a name[1]) is a type of coup in bridge, so named because it cuts communications between defenders. By discarding a card or cards either from declarer's hand or from dummy or both, declarer can stop them from transferring the lead between each other, usually to prevent a defensive ruff.

South in 5 K 9 7 5
3 2
7 6
K 10 7 4 3
10 8 3


W               E


6 4 2
8 4 A Q 10 9 7 6 5
A J 2
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.

West North East South
3 5
Pass Pass Pass

Superficially, it looks as if there are only two losers: a heart and a diamond. However, if East plays the queen, South (declarer) must win with the king, or else his contract will be quickly defeated. The danger is now, that West will win the first diamond (trump) lead, play his other heart - and benefit from a trump promotion when his partner, East, wins the ace, and plays a third round of hearts. The solution is elegant: upon winning the king of hearts declarer must cross to the king of spades and lead the king of clubs, throwing away the jack of hearts! By this Scissors Coup, East can no longer gain the lead

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Bridge Players' Encyclopaedia, Paul Hamlyn, International Edition 1967