Does the dummy hand lay down trump before or after the first card is played?


After the opening lead has been made by Declarer' left-hand opponent.

From Laws of Rubber Bridge (2014):

Law 41 – Opening Lead, Review, Questions

After the auction closes, presumed (see Law 54C) declarer’s LHO makes the opening lead. After the opening lead, dummy spreads his hand in front of him on the table, face up, sorted into suits, the cards in order of rank in columns pointing lengthwise toward declarer, with trumps, if any, to dummy’s right.


  • 1
    Why did you pick rubber bridge and not the general contract bridge rules? – Tvde1 Aug 5 '19 at 7:32
  • @Tvde1: Because as noted in its Preface: "The Laws of Rubber Bridge 2014 replace the 1993 Laws of Contract Bridge." Both are/were promulgated in the Western Hemisphere by the American Contract Bridge League. – Forget I was ever here Aug 5 '19 at 12:07
  • I don't remember "laying down the trump suit before the opening lead" as being "official," but it was the practice in some "home" games I' played in the 1970s.. Where might such "house rules" have come from? – Tom Au Aug 23 '19 at 16:32
  • @TomAu: Laying down Dummy prior to the opening lead was never legal or recommended even in Auction Bridge and Plafond. It was basically a cheat engaged in by incompetent players, unable to make any sensible inferences from the auction, trying to figure out how good players made strong leads. – Forget I was ever here Aug 23 '19 at 16:36
  • @TomAu: My copies of Laws of Contract Bridge (1981) and Official Rules of Card Games (1989) by United States Playing Card Company both provide the same wording as above. – Forget I was ever here Aug 23 '19 at 16:42

Dummy's hand is exposed once the opening lead has been accepted and is face up.

Normally declarer's left hand opponent makes the opening lead face down and then asks their partner if they have any questions. Once all questions are answered the card is exposed - and then declarer's partner exposes his hand and becomes dummy.

Sometimes declarer;s RIGHT hand opponent makes the opening lead face up. In which case the presumed declarer is entitled to either accept the lead, remain as declarer and dummy comes down; accept the lead AND BECOME DUMMY! (and then display his hand) or refuse to accept the lead - in which case the left hand opponent has lead restrictions (the exposed card is a major penalty card) - and when they make a lead dummy goes down as normal.

  • Your wording of "Sometimes declarer;s RIGHT hand opponent makes the opening lead face up." seems to suggest that this is an acceptable practice for Declarer's Right-Hand Opponent to deliberately engage in. It is not. If deliberately engaged in it is cheating, and will be dealt with as such. – Forget I was ever here Feb 10 '20 at 19:04

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