Only summaries are included below -
see book for details
When You Are Not in
A Good Lead is
Watson, I Just
Lead Trumps When You Are Not in Doubt
Everyone has heard the defensive maxim, “When in doubt, lead
trumps.” This is about as valuable as most other
true you should sometimes lead trumps with unattractive
holdings in the side suits. For example, with this hand and
the opening lead, the defenders will usually be eager to lead
trumps when dummy has a short side suit. Frequently, however,
it will be too late. It would be nice if you could have seen
dummy before leading. Although this is not part of the rules,
on some hands the bidding does enable the defense to make an
in-sight-ful opening lead.
Suitable and Stylish, Too
it is not right to lead a trump, you will have three suits
from which to choose. Two areas of confusion are leads in
suits which include the ace and short-suit leads.
Leads in suits which include the ace:
Never underlead an ace against a suit contract at trick one.
If you do not have the king, lead an ace only when:
You are defending against a slam (except 6NT).
Your ace is singleton.
Your ace is in the only unbid suit against 5
Your side promised length and strength in one suit.
You have a seven- or eight-card suit. (By the way, why aren't
After trick one, lead the king from AK.
Singletons are invariably good choices.
Doubletons are overrated, especially with one honor.
The best time to lead a short suit is with trump control,
Avoid a short-suit lead:
When you do not need a ruff; e.g., with trump holdings such as
QJ9 and KQ10.
When you have trump length. With four trumps it is usually
correct to lead a long suit to make declarer ruff. This is an
example of the forcing game.
A Good Lead is All You Need
every bridge deal, the play begins with the opening lead. The
fate of most contracts is at stake. In selecting your lead,
you must consider your hand as well as inferences from the
advantage of the opening lead was designated to the defense to
allow them to select the first suit played. These questions
and answers are intended to help you make the most of that
1. What are the most desirable leads?
Partner's suit, especially if he promised five or six cards.
The proper card to lead is the same one you would have led in
any other suit. Therefore, lead low from Q63 or K852.
Top of a three-card (or longer) sequence.
2. Can you tell me more about sequences?
It is better to lead top of a sequence than fourth-best.
sequence must contain an honor (remember, the 10 is an honor).
A holding of 7654 is not a sequence, it is consecutive
Against a suit contract, a sequence can be as short as two
cards. Lead the king from KQ53, and the queen from QJ64.
However, against a notrump contract, lead low from both those
3. Partner has not bid and I do not have a sequence.
Prefer to lead a suit the opponents have not shown. In
general, try to lead from length against any contract. A lead
from Q1074 is more attactive than one from Q107. By the way,
it is acceptable to lead away from a king against a suit
4. What about leading dummy's suit?
Leading through strength is overrated. Lead dummy's suit only
when partner is likely to have length and strength behind him.
but definitely not least, no matter how badly partner's lead
has worked out, do not sigh or make a face.
Watson, I Just Got a Lead
a detective, a bridge player must uncover all the evidence
needed to solve a problem. Paying attention to everything that
happens during the bidding and play of a bridge hand is the
trademark of a good sleuth.
experienced player continuously collects clues. Because both
sides are communicating through their bidding and play,
information is always available. Unfortunately, most players
fail to notice all the clues. Even fewer can apply what they
have seen and heard.
Good bridge players also observe what did not happen at
the table. For example, if you open the bidding after three
passes and eventually become declarer, what do you know?
Neither opponent has 13 points, nor is it likely that your RHO
has 11 or 12; he would have opened light in third seat. If you
need to locate an honor during the play, this information may
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