To be a big player in this game you need " balls " no matter what your gender. Because let's face it, faint heart never won diddly squat. A successful player will speculate to accumulate match points. He/she will need to take risks, do unusual things to generate swinging boards, and use all manner of ploys to gain that critical edge over the other front runners. As a red-blooded bridge player, I love to see elements of poker psychology used within the game. I love it when I pull off a successful bluff, psych, deceptive play and cunning plan to induce an opponent into making an error. This is what makes bridge the truly wonderful game it is.
However the ploy ( or coup ) that takes real guts to use ( especially against top class opponents ) is the little known Grosvenor Coup. Here the player deliberately misplays the hand at a critical point during the play. This is done in order to induce a mistake by an opponent, which may result in either the same or a superior result. Even if this gambit/coup does not yield a material gain, a much more important objective might well be achieved. It induces a big psychological impact on the opponents, which often works against them later on.
Firstly, they will be kicking themselves quite severely for spurning the opportunity of a gift trick, believing that no declarer could be that dumb. Secondly, if they do seize the free trick that is on offer, two possible consequences might follow. The euphoria of snatching an unexpected gift might lead to the onset of complacency , or they start to take risks themselves believing they are up against idiots. This inevitably means the trick comes back almost immediately.......with interest.