In a standard forcing game, you the defender, may have four (or more) trumps, and ypu lead a long suit in which declarer is void in order to force him to ruff, thereby shortening his trumps to your number (or less).

In an uppercut situation, you might have something like Qx. Nevertheless, if you lead a long suit in which both your partner and declarer are void, your partner ruffs with a J, and declarer (sitting to your right with AK ) is forced to overuff with a king, you and partner have "shortened" his high trumps enough so that he can no longer capture your queen with AK. So is this a special case of a forcing game?

And suppose you are declarer (South) and the final trumps are Q in your hand, 2 in dummy, JT in East. If you lead a suit in which dummy and East are void, and dummy ruffs with his 2, forcing an overuff with the T, so you can now draw East's last trump, does this work like an uppercut? Is there a special name for this kind of play?

3 Answers 3


I don't think there is a strict definition of the terms, but usually forcing game is reserved for cases where you strive to get opps to lose trump control.

Uppercut is to create trump tricks. If people thought it was like forcing, they might not have chosen to name it :-)

In the third one, east is not obliged to overruff. so not so sure about that. Crossruff comes to mind...

  • I'd call an uppercut a trump promotion.
    – user3264
    Nov 1, 2012 at 1:51

Overall, I would say that they are different. Although both result in declarer losing tricks, the methods and results are not the same.

An uppercut is to try and promote an extra trump trick for your partner by forcing declarer to waste a high trump pulling a solitary defensive trump.

A forcing game is to try and reduce declarer's trumps to such a number that the defence obtains control of the trump suit - this can affect far more than just one trick.


No - the mechanics and card layouts are quite different.

A forcing game is the driving out, with a long side suit, of Declarer's low long trumps so that one defender develops (length) control of the trump suit. In a pure forcing game it is important that the Defender with the short trumps not ruff - as that might compromise the honour trump holding in Partner's hand.

An uppercut is the generation of one or more high trump tricks, regardless of trump length and control, when the defender with short trumps forces Declarer to over-ruff with an honour or significant spot card. To qualify as an uppercut the cards must have been distributed so that, left to his own devices, Declarer could draw high trumps from both Defenders with a single high card of his own, in a single trick - but the uppercut forces Declarer to instead use two high trumps (which he might not have) over two tricks, developing a natural trump trick for the Defender with long trumps.

It is quite possible for a hand to require both an uppercut and a forcing game in order to destroy Declarer's trump control. That two distinct mechanisms are occurring, over possibly different tricks, is the clearest indication that they are in fact separate techniques.

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