Declarer is on lead and needs two more tricks. Out comes the
Note that the play is slightly different if a heart is led from dummy. In that case, East follows with the
The crocodile coup is so named because second hand must "swallow" or "snap up" his partner's winner like a hungry crocodile.
South ratchets the auction up to
There are only 11 top tricks available, and South assumes the spade finesse will fail due to East's overcall.
South therefore cashes the A at trick two and ruffs a spade. Next, he crosses back to dummy with a trump and ruffs another spade with a top diamond. This would establish dummy's queen in case West started life with
The layout is now:
The contract still has a pulse. Based on the auction and play of the hand, it's clear that East started with 5-5 in the majors and a singleton diamond. Therefore, he must have two clubs. On a miracle day, East would hold
West has been counting the distribution too, however. He knows partner is 5-5-1-2 and realizes that South is playing clubs quite strangely if holding AQx opposite T98.
West therefore suspects the need for a crocodile coup. He rises with the
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