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Bill Root

William S. (Bill) Root (December 12, 1923 - March 18, 2002) was an American professional bridge player, teacher, and writer. He was from Boca Raton, Florida.

Root was inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame in 1997. The American Contract Bridge League observed in his citation, "Root was perhaps the best known bridge teacher in the world - and has probably taught the game to more people than anyone in history."


Root was born in New York City and raised in Miami, Florida. He died at age 79 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Jettison play

One of the most famous hands in his books is a seven notrump contract requiring a very advanced jettison play. High cards often get in the declarer's way, that is they block the effective play of the hand. A solution to these blocking problems is to throw away high cards. This unblocking coup is known as the jettison play.

South in 7NT A Q
J 9 7 6 5 4 2
J 10 2

W               E

9 8 7 6 5 4 3
10 8 7 4 9 6 5 3 2
J 7 5 2 -
8 3 10
Lead: J K
A K Q 10 9 8 6 4

Win the opening lead of J with the ace, dropping the king of spades. Cash the queen of spades, and jettison the ace of hearts from hand. Now cash the top hearts in dummy and jettison the top three clubs from hand! You can now run the clubs to discard diamond losers. This line of play has the advantage of trying out the club suit before seeing if the diamonds run. Due to this particular hand layout, the diamonds don't run because of the 4-0 split, while the clubs run because of the singleton 10. If the clubs did not split favorably, declarer could still try to run the diamonds using dummy's 3 to get back into declarer's hand.

Bridge accomplishments