Can the Dummy ever play a card without direction from Declarer?

What if an Ace is led by the defense and there are 1 or more cards in the same suit in Dummy?

What if a card is led by a Defender and Dummy cannot take the trick with a card in that suit or with a Trump card?

What if a card is let by a Defender and Dummy has no cards in that suit and no Trump cards?

  • It happens often that dummies play small cards when the declarer would probably tell the dummy to do so if they didn't. Many partners are okay with that. Also fun fact: if the declarer tells the dummy "meh, choose one", a rule states the opponents get to choose.
    – Tvde1
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


The dummy can't decide what card to play, ever.

Of course, practically there are some shortcuts when the dummy has only one card in a suit, or all remaining cards in the suit are for instance 'seven-eight-nine', or the dummy has a long run of al the high cards in a suit which can't be trumped anymore (either by playing NT or because the trumps are out already) and the declarer simply states "play 'm from the top". The last example is a 'direction from Declarer' for several tricks

The dummy can never just throw a small card under a leading ace without direction. There are situations that the declarer would like to get rid of another card in the dummy to prevent locking up later on.

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