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Opening lead: versus Trumps (2)

Versus Trumps (2)

No good lead: When you have no sequence nor singleton, you must look at each suit and eliminate the real no-nos and see what you’ve got left.

Generally the lead from an ace is worst of all – and to be avoided at all costs. Look at this typical layout of a suit:

  9 6 4 2  
West   East
A J 5 3   Q 10 8
  K 7  

Left to his own devices, declarer will try to promote his king using finesse technique, leading from dummy towards the card. Unfortunately for declarer, with West holding the ace, playing after, the trick will go 2, 8, K, A. There is no way for declarer to score a trick with his king....unless West leads the suit. If West leads the suit, the trick will go 3, 2, Q, K; and it is no better for West to lead the ace: A, 2, 8, 7.

Next worst is to lead from a king; then a queen; then a jack.

Preferable than to lead from lone or broken honours (eg KJ32 – yuk) is to lead from suits with no honours eg 9642, 8432. However it is important to send a message to partner that you do not like your lead and here is where there is a very useful ditty:

If you’re leading a suit you like, lead low
If you’re leading a suit you hate, lead high.

Lead Low for Like – that’s three “Ls”       
After the unrevealing auction by the opponents of 1-4, what would you lead from:

  ♠ Q 6 3
A 9 4 2
♦ K 8 3
 8 3 2

Answer: 8. Not a spade (trumps – especially bad from Q); not a heart (from the ace); not a diamond (from the king). That leaves clubs by elimination. And choose 8 – leading high for hate.

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