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In most Trick-taking-games like Bridge, Spades and Whist, after the first seat plays a card, all other players must follow suit if they can.

  1. If second seat plays a card of the same suit, one can say: she followed suit.

  2. If second seat played a card of a different suit, one can say: she did not followed suit. However most of the times the name of the her action would depend on the suit she played:

    a. If she played a trump it is called cut/ruff/trumped,

    b. If she played a side-suit it is called a discard.

I am looking for a term that does not determine if she played a trump or a different side-suit (combine both options 2a+2b)

  • I could not find it at https://ababridge.org/bridge-terminology
  • Revoke/Renege does not fit here, it means: fail to follow suit when able.
  • Context: a player did not followed suit, therefore we know she is void in that suit. For that matter we do not care if she trumped or discarded a different side suit.
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    Maybe yield? Or discard?
    – npst
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 8:43
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    There's slough (Entry 4 of 4) but that excludes the possibility of trumping.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 10:20
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    (Otherwise, I'd simply go for "she did not follow suit" - sometimes clarity trumps brevity (pun intended))
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 11:27
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    It's 'seat', not 'sit'.
    – TonyK
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 13:04

3 Answers 3

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As the strategy of all players is immediately effected by second hand not following suit, all terms for this distinguish - of necessity - between discarding a side suit and playing a trump. The latter is always an attempt to win the trick while the former abandons ability to win the trick. In over 6 decades of playing a wide variety of trick-taking card games, the notion of being able to proceed in any manner without knowing second hand's choice has never arisen.

Including terms identified in comments above:

Synonyms for not following suit with a trump:

  • trump
  • ruff
  • overruff or overtrump - when an earlier hand to the trick has already ruffed
  • be tapped - forced to ruff in a context where control of the hand is at stake and one would have preferred not to trump
  • uppercut - trumping to force opponents to over-trump high (due to some other threat in hand), thus establishing a trump trick in partner's hand through either length or power

Synonyms for not following suit with a non-trump:

  • discard (the technical term preferred in writing Rules and Laws)
  • slough or sluff
  • pitch
  • dump
  • jettison
  • unblock - discard of specifically a blocking high card in a side suit, to improve communication between hands
  • shed
  • throw off
  • cast off
  • ditch
  • drop
  • dispensed with - would apply when discarding a card being held for a purpose that no longer applies, such as in squeeze defense

Combined:

  • sluff and ruff - the circumstance where a loser is eliminated (and extra winner created) because both hands of a partnership are out of the suit led; thus one can sluff the loser while the other ruffs with an otherwise non-winning trump card

In enlivening a narrative, one could consider almost any synonym for "to throw away" as a possible alternative phrasing for the act of discarding another side suit

Note:

Another answer proposes the term break. This terminology only applies to games such as Hearts, where the general goal is to avoid taking tricks in order to avoid capturing penalty cards. Though non-standard, many play house rules where certain suits, such as Spades and Hearts in Hearts, cannot be led until they have been discarded. In trick-taking games the term of having "broken" a suit instead refers to having initially (at disadvantage) led it, not discarded it.

The reason for the term is that there is an inherent disadvantage to being the first side to lead a suit, whether from a guaranteed end-play situation or the necessity of giving up on possible safety plays against a bad break in one direction.

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    I feel this doesn't answer the question. OP is looking for a word or a phrase that means failing to follow suit, EITHER with a trump, or not. The only phrases I know of that fit the bill are "fail to follow suit" and "show out" (as identified by Oscar). Your first sentence asserts that no such term exists, which is clearly untrue. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 0:42
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    @DawoodibnKareem: Take it up with OP - who as as of this moment, opted to accept this as the answer. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 0:59
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    @Cohensius: House Rules and variants abound in these games. I've seen play groups for Hearts requiring the Spade suit to be broken before being led; an hence my choice of wording. I've even seen groups requiring Diamonds to be broken before being led. Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 12:41
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    Thanks, didn't knew those house rules exists. "If it wasn't on the windows version, then it does not exists"
    – Cohensius
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 14:21
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    Of course there are certain exceptions, such as when you play a trump but you're not trying (or expecting) to win the trick, or when you are forced to lead a heart in the game Hearts, which you would not otherwise be able to lead (because they haven't been broken), because you have only hearts remaining. There are also games where a card can "pass the lead", such as a Jester in the game Wizard. I just played a game of Wizard where I won my bid-fulfilling trick on the last trick of the hand because the other 3 players each played a Jester, effectively all passing the lead to me.
    – jrw32982
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 17:30
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The term I have seen in bridge columns is "show out". The column might go something like this:

"South then cashed the ace and king of trumps [expecting the opponents' five trumps to break 3-2], but West showed out. South then had to lose a trump to East's jack." [Followed by a description of how South should have played to guard against a possible 4-1 break.]

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    To my ear, this terminology wouldn't be used in a situation where the person who "showed out" had the choice to trump or not. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 2:40
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    I disagree with @GregMartin on this, and feel this is the best answer. I can well imagine a sentence such as "South showed out of hearts, but didn't ruff, leaving declarer wondering if the outstanding trumps were all with North". Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 2:47
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Anecdotally, people I have gamed with have always used the term "break", as in "Bob played a Diamond, and Jim was forced to break, discarding a Spade". I do not know how common or prevalent this term is, though.

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    This terminology only applies to games such as Hearts, where the general goal is to avoid taking tricks in order to avoid capturing penalty cards. Though non-standard, many play house rules where certain suits, such as Spades and Hearts in Hearts, cannot be led until they have been discarded. In trick-taking games the term of having "broken" a suit instead refers to having initially (at disadvantage) led it, not discarded it. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 15:48
  • Break is common term in Spades as well. It means a player can not lead spades until spades were broken. So break is not the term that I am looking for.
    – Cohensius
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 20:40

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