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Choosing a suit to play on

When deciding which suits offer the best prospects for making extra tricks, look for sequences. Provided you have more cards in a sequence than the number of missing higher cards, you will eventually establish extra tricks, regardless of the opposing split (assuming Notrumps or trumps already drawn)

Rank these suits in terms of their desirability to be broached early in a notrump contract.

Hand a)   Hand b)   Hand c)  
♠ A 6 4 2
 Q 10 2
♣ K 8 6
♠ K 3
J 9 6 4
♣ A 7 4 3


  1. is worst of all. There is no chance of an extra trick on top of your ♠AK, which you will win anyway. This suit you should not play until near the end, when (hopefully) you have enough top tricks for your contract. Play them out earlier and you will achieve nothing, and promote the opponents’ queens and jacks

  2. is best – by far. You have no top tricks, but by using two of the cards in your four-card sequence, preferably Q and 10, the high cards from the shorter length, you will promote two cards. It doesn’t matter if all six diamonds are held by one opponent.

  3. is a mediocre choice, but at least if the suit splits 3-3 you have a long card after ♣A, ♣K and giving up a club (you could equally well – better indeed – give up the first club).

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