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Occasional Lessons on Play. Opening Leads Part 1. 3 Things to consider. Active or Passive? Which Suit? Which Card? Honour Sequence No Honour Sequence. I’ll deal with Honour sequences later But for now a short quiz:. Which Card to Lead?. From:. Lead:. From:. Lead:. K 9 8 4 2. 4. 9.

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occasional lessons on play

Occasional Lessons on Play

Opening Leads

Part 1

3 things to consider
3 Things to consider
  • Active or Passive?
  • Which Suit?
  • Which Card?
    • Honour Sequence
    • No Honour Sequence
  • I’ll deal with Honour sequences later
  • But for now a short quiz:
which card to lead
Which Card to Lead?

From:

Lead:

From:

Lead:

K 9 8 4 2

4

9

9

K 9 8 4

4

9 8

9

K 9 4

4

9 8 4

8

K 4

K

9 8 4 2

8

9 8 4 3 2

8

4 th highest from an honour
4th Highest from an Honour
  • Example
    • From K 9 8 4 2 lead 4
  • Important
    • Remember that this rule says:
  • From an Honour
  • This is the standard lead in No Trumps and if you choose to lead a long suit against a suit contract
3 rd highest from 3 to an honour
3rd Highest from 3 to an Honour
  • Example
    • From K 9 4 lead 4
  • Makes things easier for partner
  • Not a very common lead but may occur when leading:
    • Unbid suit or
    • Partner’s suit
2 nd from nothing
2nd from ‘Nothing’
  • Example
    • From 9 8 4 3 2 lead 8
  • From long suits without an honour:
    • So it is different from leading from an honour
  • Consider the following layout:
2 nd from nothing1
2nd from ‘Nothing’

K T

N

9 6 4 3 2

A J 5

W

E

S

Q 8 7

  • Quite a common lead, either:
    • To try to establish a suit, or
    • Simply as a safe lead
mud from 3 small
MUD from 3 small
  • Example
    • From 9 8 4 lead 8
  • Middle Up Down
  • Differentiates between a doubleton and 3
  • BUT – you MUST play the 9 next
    • Else partner will think you had a doubleton
  • Not an ideal lead but use if
    • honours elsewhere or
    • this is partner’s suit
top of a doubleton
Top of a Doubleton
  • Examples
    • From K 4 lead K
    • From 9 4 lead 9
  • Doubleton leads from honours are risky
  • But it can be effective if it is:
    • The unbid suit or
    • Partner’s suit
so a general rule is
So – a general rule is:
  • Lead a low card from an honour
  • Lead a higher card without an honour
  • Why such a fuss about holding an honour?
  • Consider the following two situations:
leading low from honours
Leading low from Honours

4 by South

 A J 5 2

N

W

E

 K T 6

 9 8 7 3

S

 Q 4

 A J 5 2

N

W

E

 Q 9 8 3

 K T 6

S

 7 4

leading low from honours1
Leading low from Honours
  • So:
  • It is IMPERATIVE to lead low from honours only

Another example:

leading low from honours2
Leading low from Honours

3NT by S

  •  9 7 4
  •  A J 8
  •  A J T 6
  •  T 6 4

 7 lead

  •  T 8 6 5 3
  •  K T 4
  •  Q 7 2
  •  J 7
  •  A 2
  •  9 7 5 3 2
  •  K 5 3
  •  Q 3 2

 8 played

  •  K Q J
  •  Q 6
  •  9 8 4
  •  A K 9 8 5
which card to lead1
Which Card to Lead?

From:

Lead:

From:

Lead:

K 9 8 4 2

4

9

9

K 9 8 4

4

9 8

9

K 9 4

4

9 8 4

8

K 4

K

9 8 4 2

8

9 8 4 3 2

8

honour leads
Honour Leads

From:

Against Suit:

K Q J 4 3

K

K Q 5 4 3

K

K Q T 4 3

K

Q J 5 4 3

Q

Q J 9 4 3

Q

K J T 4 3

J

A J T 4 3

A

K J 9 4 3

4

honour leads1
Honour Leads

From:

AgainstNT:

K Q J 4 3

K

K Q 5 4 3

4

K Q T 4 3

K

Q J 5 4 3

4

Q J 9 4 3

Q

K J T 4 3

J

A J T 4 3

J

K J 9 4 3

4

honour leads2
Honour Leads

From:

Against Suit:

AgainstNT:

K Q J 4 3

K

K

K Q 5 4 3

K

4

K Q T 4 3

K

K

Q J 5 4 3

Q

4

Q J 9 4 3

Q

Q

K J T 4 3

J

J

A J T 4 3

A

J

K J 9 4 3

4

4

honour leads3
Honour Leads

3NT by S

  •  T 8 6
  •  A 7
  •  K Q 5 4 3
  •  J 9 2

Now swap dummy’s holding with partner’s:

honour leads4
Honour Leads
  •  A 7
  •  K Q 5 4 3
  •  T 8 6
  •  J 9 2
broken sequences
Broken Sequences
  • So, the rule is:
  • Against Suits,
    • with two or more touching high cards
    • LEAD HIGH
  • Against NT,
    • with more than two touching high cards
    • LEAD HIGH
  • Note, for example:
    • K Q T and
    • Q J 9 etc.
    • count as 2 ½
  • but NOT eg, K J T
broken sequences1
Broken Sequences
  • A 7
  • K Q T 4 3
  •  8 6 5
  • J 9 2
interior sequences
Interior Sequences

With three high cards,

When the lower two touch

lead the higher of the touchers.

  • Q 8 7
  • K J T 4 3
  •  A 6 5
  • 9 2
last rule
Last Rule

Never lead away from an Ace

on the opening lead against

A suit contract

leading from an ace
Leading from an Ace

Partner leads 4

  •  Q 8 2
  •  J 9 6 4 3
  •  K T 7
  •  A 5
leading from an ace1
Leading from an Ace

Partner leads 4

  •  Q 8 2
  •  A 9 6 4 3
  •  K T 7
  •  J 5
leading from an ace2
Leading from an Ace

Partner leads 4

  •  Q 8 2
  •  A J 6 4 3
  •  K T 7
  •  9 5
honour leads5
Honour Leads

From:

Against Suit:

AgainstNT:

K Q J 4 3

K

K

K Q 5 4 3

K

4

K Q T 4 3

K

K

Q J 5 4 3

Q

4

Q J 9 4 3

Q

Q

K J T 4 3

J

J

A J T 4 3

A

J

K J 9 4 3

4

4

next session
Next Session
  • Choosing the suit
  • Basic leads against NT
  • Basic leads against suit contracts
    • Short suits
    • Long strong suits
    • Trumps
  • What else?
    • Unbid suits
    • Partner’s suit
    • Active or passive?
  • Things to avoid
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