Defensive play which consists in drawing the 21 of trump to save a possible Petit in defense. This play is done especially when the 21 is backed only with small trumps and thus vulnerable to an uppercut. However, the ambulance is a not a very dynamic play and has often the disadvantage to set up declarer's trump.
Play which consists in trying to prevent a particular player from gaining the lead.
Demenagement Constantineau


Quality of a hand, a suit or a dog which does not contain any good card
Situation of play when a suit cannot be played (or continued) anymore because the player on lead does not have cards in this suit, or holds only master cards that lock his hand. Classic example at trump play: my partner leads the 7 of trump to hunt for the Petit, and I hold 21-20-10. If I play the 10, I block the trump continuation. I must play 21-20 then the 10 to allow a trump continuation (unblocking).
In a duplicate tournament, the worst result obtained by a team for an hand comparison.


Discard of an honor by a defender on a trick won (hopefully!) by a partner.



Residue of 6 cards which the taker withdraws from his hand before the play of the hand. Some advices to make good discards:

  • Avoid making 2 voids with weak hands.
  • Discard from weak suit rather than the stronger one (Q-10-9 will produce a trick more often than Q-2-1).
  • Discard isolated and badly garded honors, especially if they were seen in the dog.
Residue of 6 cards which the taker must incorporate in his hand after having shown it to the defenders and before making his discard.
Suit containing 2 cards in a hand

Play in a suit or in trump, made by leading small cards first whereas we holds one or several master cards. Example: I am declarer and I want to hunt the Petit with 21-20-19-15-12-9-7-6-2. I have the choice between drawing top trumps immediately (optimistic since only rewarded when the Petit is not more than third in a hand) or leading the 2 of trump, wishing that the Petit will not escape here (definitely better in probabilities).

Another example: I am declarer, there is no more trump in play and I have the following suit to handle: R-D-C-2-1. I still have the choice between cashing from the top (I will make 5 tricks when the suit is distributed 3-3-3 in defense, but the chances of such a distribution is around 10%) or to duck the first round by playing the 1. As I probably have a loser in the suit (9 times out of 10), the ducking play is better to avoid valuable discards which would occur if I cash the top honors and found the suit distributed 4-3-2 (since 2 players will be able to discard on the fourth round). The ducking play concedes the loser while everyone follow the suit; it is thus a safety play which we make to protect ourself against bad break.

Demenagement Constantineau


To lose a high trump by an uppercut.


Play which consists to try to make a trick with a card of intermediate value. The finesse is a "free fineese" when the player who does it plays the last (and consequently, without risking to lose the trick).
To play a high ranking card, in trump or in a suit, to prevent opponent low cards to make the trick, or to set up a card in our hand or in partner's hand.
Sequence of cards organized in such way that intermediate card are missing between each of them. Example: R-C, 21-19, R-C-10 etc.
In the expression "free excuses", qualifies the play of the excuse by the taker on a blank trick, or on a trick impossible to win, for example on the lead of the 21.


To prevent the opponent to play or save a card (Petit, honor or any card that is set up) either by the threat of a ruff, or by keeping this opponent off lead.

Updated: 07/02/2016

Demenagement Constantineau
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