Opening Leads in Bridge

The obvious:  there are three components to playing bridge – bidding to establish the contract, defence, and the play of the cards.  75% of study is committed to bidding, 20% to play and 5% to defense.  This wastes your study time. To improve, learn the basics of bidding, then spend at least 50% of time on defence.

25% of the time, you will have the opening lead.  This is often your only opportunity to defeat the contract.  1. From the bidding and your hand, you will have to decide, Are you better to attack, or to stay neutral? 2. Which suit?  3. Then choose the card. Every time you read a bridge column, actively examine why the opening card was chosen.  The following on choosing the card is taken from here

Capsule Summary: The Opening Lead

  1. Choosing the Card
Holding Suits Notrump
A K Q  A K Q 2  A K Q J  A K Q 7 4 K K
A K 2  A K J  A K 10 3  A K J 3  A K J 10 K K
A K 10 5 2  A K 6 5 3  A K 6 5 3 2 K 5
A K 10 9 3  A K 10 9 6 2 K 10
A Q 8 6 3  A Q 8 6 4 2 A 6
K Q 2  K Q J  K Q J 3  K Q J 10  K Q J 9 2  K Q J 10 6 3 K K
K Q J 4 2  K Q 10 4 3 K K
K Q 7 5 3 K 5
Q J 2  Q J 10  Q J 9 7  Q J 10 2  Q J 9 8 3  Q J 10 9 6 Q Q
Q J 5 3   Q J 5 3 2 3 3
J 10 2  J 10 9  J 10 8 6  J 10 9 5  J 10 8 7 4  J 10 9 8 2 J J
J 10 6 3 J 10 6 3 2 3 3
10 9 2 10 9 8 10 9 7 5 10 9 8 3 10 9 7 6 4 10 9 8 6 3 10 10
10 9 7 4 10 9 6 4 3 4 4
K J 5  K 10 5  K 6 5  Q 10 5  Q 6 5  J 7 5  10 8 5 5 5
7 4  7 4 2 7 7
Leads against Suit Contracts
  1. Listen to the bidding. Tend to avoid suits bid by the opponents.
  2. Solid or nearly-solid sequences offer the possibility of building tricks with safety.
  3. Usually, don’t lay down an unsupported ace, and don’t underlead an ace.
  4. Usually, lead partner’s suit if he has bid one.
  5. Play for ruffs by leading a singleton when you have a quick trump entry and surplus trumps.
Leads against Notrump Contracts
  1. Listen to the bidding. Tend to avoid suits bid by the opponents.
  2. With a five-card or longer suit, lead fourth best from your longest and strongest suit.
  3. A four-card suit that forms a solid or nearly-solid sequence is often a worthwhile lead; leads from A Q 4 3 and J 6 5 2 are generally unattractive.
  4. Lead a short suit if all other leads are very risky, but don’t lead a singleton (unless partner has bid the suit).
  5. Usually, lead partner’s suit if he has bid one.
  6. Leads against Slam Contracts
  7. Listen to the bidding. Avoid suits bid by the opponents and usually lead a suit bid by partner.
  8. Don’t cash an unsupported ace against a small slam unless you have a probable second trick.
  9. Play safe against all notrump slams; don’t lead away from unsupported honors. When in doubt, play safe against suit slams.

 

1 thought on “Opening Leads in Bridge”

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