The choice of suit is not a subject of this document.
It will depend on your conclusions drawn from the following:
- The all important decision: Passive or Aggressive
- A good understanding of the opposition & partner's bidding
potential of your own holding: Consider available entries, suit
lengths, trick establishment chances & controls in opponents suits
- Your analysis will be very different if defending NT or a suit contract
When leading from suits (4+ cards) headed by a single or 2 non-touching honours
Leading from suits NOT headed by a top honour (A, K or Q)
Note: we do not encourage leads from suits headed by a J, T or a 9
A Special note: Leading doubletons against suit contracts
- *With 3 cards Lead the highest (unless a T or 9 then lead 2nd highest)
With 4 cards Usually lead the 2nd highest
With 5 cards Usually lead the 3rd highest
Signals & showing Length
- Attitude always takes precedence over length indications whenever judgement requires it
On Partners lead of a suit for the first time (opening lead or subsequent when on lead):
If showing attitude: Playing LOW suggests that partner is invited to continue with the suit.
Playing high discourages continuation.
If partner is leading a suit you have bid the above still applies - however additionally playing an unusually high card
(when not attempting to win the trick) suggests an immediate switch is
in order (but suit is not specified - left to partner's powers of
logical deduction! )
In partner's suit or any other suit except trumps length is shown as
When playing low then high it shows an even number of cards
While playing high then low shows an odd number of cards
Not playing your lowest card discourages interest - and the lowest card encourages interest
- Length Signals do never take priority versus Attitude.
- When length signals are clearly required for your partner they must be given:
LOW-HIGH shows an EVEN hand type - 3 even length suits e.g. 4432
HIGH-LOW shows an ODD hand type - 3 odd length suits e.g.5431
- When following to declarer's trump suit or to his long suit in a NoTrump contract, we use the following convention: (This is optional and needs to be agreed in any partnership)
If it is essential
that partner must be aware of your length (e.g.declarer trying to
establish dummies suit) then use inverted signals - lowest shows EVEN
and a higher card ODD length. When showing ODD do not be afraid to play
3rd highest if safe to do so as it clarifies 'no interest' to your
partner while showing ODD length.
- When playing to any side suit opened by declarer
Otherwise playing lowest shows possible interest and playing your
2nd lowest denies any interest.