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OPENING LEADS AGAINST SUIT CONTRACTS
General Thoughts: ‑ Against a NT contract, one can sometimes best lead fourth best from an Ace or King such as KQXXX or AKXXX. Leading away from an Ace or King against a suit contract, however, is not usually advisable, because the suit could be trumped on subsequent leads and the trick value of said Aces and Kings would never be realized. If for some reason one did lead away from such holdings, the following would be the proper card to lead: KQXXX or AKXXX or AXXX, but never from KXXX unless partner has bid the suit.
Usually Productive Leads
a) The lead of partner's bid suit ‑ As in NT defense, the lead of partner's bid suit is
usually given top priority, but is less mandatory than with NT defense. When leading partner's
bid suit, one leads the same card within the suit that one would have lead against NT contracts.
Ex: KX or QJX or Q83 or KXXX Exception: AXXX
b) The lead from a solid or nearly solid honor sequence ‑ Ex. AKJX or KQJXx or QJ9X
c) The lead from an internal sequence - Ex. Q109X or AQJXX or 1087X
d) The lead of a singleton ‑ usually ideal only under the following circumstances; and not a good
lead under circumstances other than those listed:
(1) If one holds a sure trump trick such that if declarer attempts to draw trumps, you may take the
trump trick, hopefully then proceed to partner's hand and obtain a ruffing trick in return
Ex. (Trump) AX X XXXXX XXXXX
(2) If one holds surplus trumps such that the small ones would be useless. Ex. AXX or KXX or
AX of trumps. Note: KX of trumps would not be a surplus of trumps since the X is needed
to guard the King which is then a natural trump trick.
(3) If partner has entered the bidding such that it is likely you can reach his/her hand in order to
have him/her lead the suit from which you have led the singleton.
(4) The lead of a singleton in partner's bid suit. Note: The lead of a singleton K should never be
led for it may take a trick on its own merit. The exception to this would be if partner has bid
e) The lead of trumps ‑ An excellent lead especially when one expects from the bidding that the dummy
will be short in one or more suits and one, therefore wishes to reduce the trumping ability of the
dummy. Ex. 1H P 2H P (or) 1S P 2D P
4H P P P 2H P 4H P
Note: The converse is true; i.e., the lead of trumps is bad when one suspects that declarer can run a second
long suit subsequent to trumps being drawn. Also never lead from JXX, JX, QXX, or QX of trumps.
f) The lead of a doubleton (HIGH-LOW SEQUENCE) ‑ made with the hopes of getting a third round
ruff. All the requirements regarding the lead of a singleton apply; namely, a quick trump trick, some
otherwise useless trumps, and the anticipated ability to enter partner's hand if a ruff is to be obtained
on the third round play of the led suit.
g) The lead from a long suit is especially good when holding four or more trumps since declarer may be
forced to trump and lose control of the hand.
Leads Against a Doubled Slam Contract ‑ The double of a slam contract demands the lead of dummy's first bid suit other than trump. This is a mandatory lead regardless of whether or not the doubler has bid a suit.
Excellent Leads Good Leads
(1) The King from an AK combination (1) The top of any two‑card (KQXX) sequence
(2) The top of any three‑card (J109X) sequence (2) The top of a worthless doubleton (93)
(3) A singleton in a side suit (3) 4th from the highest in a long suit
(4) Partner's suit