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INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE

LESSON 14

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

      the suit.

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.

 

            SUMMARY

                   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