Thirteen cards | ♠QJ ♥AJT82 ♦AKJ6 ♣KJ
January 13, 2017
From the auction and the lead, can you figure out West’s hand?
January 16, 2017

Clues from the auction | ♠K3 ♥QJ4 ♦98762 ♣983

Clues from the auction

East has denied a 4 card major with he second round 2D bid. But West is looking for a 4 card major so presumably he has at least one. So you’re on lead. What do you do?

If you’re thinking about the auction then half the battle is won. Whether or not you find the best lead on this hand or not doesn’t really matter. Keep thinking, using the clues and in the long run you’ll do well.

45 Comments

  1. Profile photo of tina tina says:

    I knew from the auction that East had no 4-card major. (For those of you unfamiliar with Stayman, click on the 3 bid to get an explanation.) So, I led the Q which set up two tricks. 1 down.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  2. Profile photo of baygon2014 baygon2014 says:

    @tina similar reasoning and was tempted to double on the strength of my length in diamonds but in the end resisted the temptation lead a small heart and this ensured that they went down one but clearly I could have had them down more perhaps leading a diamond may have been a better result.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  3. E/w 3ntx holding them to six trix
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P X
    P P P

  4. Profile photo of shiningstar shiningstar says:

    3NT, 1 down. led the QH
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  5. Profile photo of suec88 suec88 says:

    led 6D and got them down 2.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  6. Profile photo of wendylou wendylou says:

    led 3S and got them down 3
    Auction
    W N E S
    %u2013 P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  7. Profile photo of mm1953 mm1953 says:

    I did the same led 6D and they went down by 2
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  8. Profile photo of normie616 normie616 says:

    oh well with the majority again! took them down 1 trick in their 3 N/T contract cheers normie sa
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  9. Profile photo of feltjen feltjen says:

    Started with the 3 of spade, 2 down!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  10. Profile photo of chezzr chezzr says:

    Like @feltjen, I started with 3 of spades (from doubleton) and got them down 2.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  11. Profile photo of overtonmark overtonmark says:

    Got them 2 down by leading a small diamond then thought it should be makeable so played from East’s seat and got 10. And I’m usually a bit iffy in NTs. Computer needs tweaking!

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  12. Profile photo of valeriejoan valeriejoan says:

    took them one down, well my computer partner seemed to do it really….

    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  13. Profile photo of redsquirrel redsquirrel says:

    Led 9D, got them down 2, E won with KD then played the clubs,except the 6, then his 2 Aces – not sure why – he made AC we made the rest. Strange play 3NT should be possible looking at the cards.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  14. Profile photo of jackied jackied says:

    Led 3S and got them down 3
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 X
    3N P P P

  15. Profile photo of fishy fishy says:

    As Tina led QH 1 down. So good to know I’m thinking on the right lines!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  16. Profile photo of taoguy68 taoguy68 says:

    Led the 3s got them down 3 yah
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  17. Profile photo of fishy fishy says:

    Its really interesting that with 27 points they don’t make 3NT! Bridge is so unpredictable!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  18. Profile photo of fishy fishy says:

    Yes replayed leading 3S and got them down 3. But when they’ve bid stayman would anyone really underlead a King Spades from a doubleton? Ok it works but thats just luck surely?
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

    • Profile photo of graeme graeme says:

      Well done to those who led a spade although it’s not going to always work out so well, I agree @fishy.

      Just a thought for the spade leaders, though. If you’re going to lead a spade you might as well lead the King. That way the suit won’t get blocked. In other words, you’ll have a small one to lead over to partner’s hand when you get the lead back.

  19. Profile photo of jckspa jckspa says:

    I led a low diamond for two down. On reflection I think this is a poor lead with a lucky result. As Tina pointed out a heart lead gets them down. The correct lead from the diamond suit would be the 9 promising length but no honour. This is what the computer led when I replayed as declarer. The contract makes then as I now know North has Q10 and I play for them to drop. I like to replay as declarer after a heart lead. I think I would duck, and probably duck a second round too, that would establish two heart tricks which would be enough for contract.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  20. Profile photo of newcastlewe newcastlewe says:

    Tina, thank you for tip on “c lick on 3c bid to get explanation ” ,please keep simple tips coming
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  21. Profile photo of sbc14897513 sbc14897513 says:

    Lead the 6 of diamonds and got them down 3!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  22. Profile photo of nelle nelle says:

    Lead a S and E/W made their 3NT bid. As @tina says next I lead a H and opponents go down 1.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  23. Profile photo of cainiao cainiao says:

    3NT bid and made them 2 down
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  24. Profile photo of nancyjane nancyjane says:

    I also led a H and made 5 in 3NT.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  25. Profile photo of blondie58 blondie58 says:

    3NT took them down 2…
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  26. Lead low heart first hand, they’re down 1. Replayed same auction, but lead forth highest longest suit – diamonds – they’re down 2 on this. Thought of doubling, usually do, not this time though.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  27. Profile photo of linda2009 linda2009 says:

    led hearts – they went down 3
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  28. Profile photo of suzie suzie says:

    First time around I got them down by 1; second try followed wendylou, leading 3S and got them by 3!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  29. Profile photo of rita928 rita928 says:

    Happy with opponents down 2 in 3N!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  30. Profile photo of ballca ballca says:

    Put op down 2…. Should have doubled….

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  31. Profile photo of kinderconnie kinderconnie says:

    Down 2 @graeme I miss your videos!!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  32. Profile photo of squarepeg61 squarepeg61 says:

    E-W ended up in 3NT. Took them down two with a lead of 6D.


    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  33. Profile photo of johna johna says:

    I first played it conventionally with a QH lead for 1 down. Leading KS didn’t feel right and doesn’t work. My other thought was a low diamond and having read comments played that doubled for 2 down.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P X
    P P P

  34. Profile photo of hagleyjazz hagleyjazz says:

    Love the discussion about the leads. For once I didn’t lead 4th highest and tried the QH (given the negative response to stamen). Good to hear from @tina that was not a stupid idea. 🙂
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  35. Profile photo of chance22 chance22 says:

    I led a diamond and they were down 1, but I wonder if we are we misleading ourselves if we judge our lead based on the RESULTS of this hand?

    It looks like a human being playing East could work around any lead we threw at them. East has 8 sure tricks, 3 possibilities for more (diamond finesse, spade finesse, heart length), and enough stoppers to try them all. Plus the ability to win any first trick. I made 10 playing East with a diamond lead, by taking the fourth heart trick plus the spade finesse. The heart trick seems sure, while the spade finesse may have been the result of NS play.

    Leading a spade may disrupt the spade finesse, and leading a heart requires East to decide quickly whether to take that first trick, although I don’t see how that decision would prevent getting that fourth heart trick.

    Can we say more than, “The heart or spade leads may be more discombobulating to EW than the diamond or club leads. And we do have some reason for choosing them, as we know E doesn’t have 4 of either of them, and we have high cards.”

    P.S. Still a novice here, so if I am off the track, I welcome feedback.


    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

    • Profile photo of graeme graeme says:

      You’re analysis has only one flaw, @chance22. It shows you’re not a novice at all! Nicely thought through and when you can start seeing how things might have gone rather than how they did go you’re well into advanced thinking.

      I really think I should add, too, that anybody playing bridge has taken on a real challenge. Anyone out there who has made it through a few lessons and is actually playing is already ahead of the masses. Let’s all allow ourselves a pat on the back for making a reasonable opening bid most of the time. For defeating a contract, making a game. Even for following suit pretty much most of the time. C’mon team! – we’re doing alright. 🙂

      And keep it up, ex-novice @chance22.

      • Profile photo of chance22 chance22 says:

        Hi @graeme

        Thanks for the feedback. I am still pretty much at sea while playing, but next time I get discouraged – later this afternoon – I will pat myself on the back for following suit!

        Now that I’m learning the game, I sometimes wonder how my parents and so many of their friends in the 1950s were able to approach this. Maybe they just muddled through. I know my mother, for one, never got to where she actually enjoyed playing it.

        Everyone trying to learn could probably benefit from your comments. Yay team! Onward!

        Thanks again and best wishes.

    • Profile photo of graeme graeme says:

      Oh, but I’m not doing alright with my basic English. I meant your analysis, not you’re analysis, @chance22.

      Don’t you hate it when you make a rousing speech and you find everybody was only paying attention because you had spaghetti sauce on your tie.

  36. Profile photo of collar collar says:

    I took them down -1
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  37. Profile photo of eileen1 eileen1 says:

    Lead 3 spades got them down 3
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  38. Profile photo of rahamrick rahamrick says:

    Playing the East hand, I see that one can make 3 nt. But you have to assume that north has only to d, which sets up the jack.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  39. Profile photo of terrypause terrypause says:

    top of one, no better place to be, though a bit lonely, look for a pub somewhere
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 2N P
    3 P 3 P
    3N P P P

  40. Profile photo of evereece evereece says:

    I defended NT and we took them down 2…then, I played East and ended up in two clubs, making it with no problem. Our fit was not so great, lots of losers. Even with all those points, it seemed a tough one. My partner’s responses were pretty weak, I knew I was going to be on my own…I took a chance on those pretty clubs! 🙂
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P 1 P
    1 P 2 P
    P P

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