This is a rule devised by Mr. Alex Traub of South Africa to help the declarer who must make a series of plays, and/or ruffs, and needs to end up in a specific hand. If this specific hand is considered to be the master hand, then the first trick must be won in the master hand if an odd number of plays must be made.
Conversely, if an even number of plays must be made, then the first trick must be won in the non-master hand, or the satellite hand as Mr. Alex Traub calls it in his book Trump Technique. The name is derived from Odd-evEN.
The following example is taken from his book.Contract: 6 Spades by South
J943 AJ A2 AJ952
652 9742 QJ108 Q3
7 K8653 976 K1086
AKQ108 Q10 K543 74
Lead: Queen of Diamonds by West
South wins the first trick in his hand with the King of Diamonds. On the second trick, South decides to finesse the 9 of Clubs in the dummy. However, East wins with the 10 of Clubs. East returns a Diamond, which South wins in the dummy. South then cashes two round of trump and then starts a Minor suit cross-ruff. The intention is to complete the cross-ruff and end up in his hand, in order to cash the last outstanding trump. Therefore, the sequence of the cross-ruff must begin with a Diamond ruff from his hand. This is the rule that Mr. Alex Traub established, and that is that an even number of plays must start in the non-master hand.
On the other side, if East returns a Club on the third trick, then South must win the trick with the Ace of Clubs in the dummy, and then cash the Ace of Diamonds. This play will enable South to take the even number of ruffs and end up in the master hand.
If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.
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