Guarantee your 3NT contract

Guarantee your 3NT contract

You are in 3NT and receive the jack of hearts lead. How can you guarantee your contract.

Leave a comment below and let us know your answer, as well as what your thinking was that led to your decision!

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61 Comments

  1. jtwnit says:

    You have 3 sure winners in hearts, 1 in clubs, and 2 in diamonds for 6 total. There are two possible ways to make the other 3 ticks for the contract – repeatable finesses in clubs or in diamonds. Only one of those two routes is safe. If you try and lose the diamond finesse, your RHO could lead a spade through your king and you would lose control and probably the contract. If you try and lose the club finesse, your LHO can’t take your king from that position and you maintain control and make the contract.

    • tomjelly says:

      If East has Ac & any of QJ10 you don’t want RHO to leadn through your Spades, therefore you need the lead to come from RHO. so take JH with KH in dummy & finesse the KC by leading 10H from Dummy. If LHO has the KC he May lead Spades making KS 4 Clubs 2 Diamonds & 3 Hearts

    • saml says:

      Cover J with KH. Finesse clubs – if it loses you still have 4 club tricks. Spades are protected since W is on lead. No matter the lead you have 4C- 3H-2D.

  2. jeanne says:

    i decided to go with the club finesse rather than diamonds. Perhaps it was just luck but it worked and I made the contract.

  3. beaparker says:

    I too decided to go with the club finesse as above. I took it that the JH’s was top of a sequence.

  4. ellswell says:

    Your weakness is in the spades suit and with KS with one cover held in Souths hand, you want a lead from West in spades to make KS a winner on second spade lead. Your hands are set to run Norths clubs first then Souths clubs until KC falls only playing AC if East plays KC. With lead in East, you have all suits covered that they will lead back (KS at least on second spade lead). Your guaranteed to make at least 3 hearts, 4 clubs and 2 diamonds, enough for contract.
    In playing around with hands, East got lead with QD, led 2S (while holding QJ10S) forcing his partner to play AS to beat Dummy’s 9S, so probably would not have mattered anyway.

  5. ellswell says:

    Oops should read end 2 line “with lead in West (not East}

  6. ellswell says:

    If you didn’t know hands, an East hand of say K7653C QJT64S Q73D that was prepared to hold playing KC until after AC played on the QC lead, would need N/S collecting their 3 heart and 2 diamond tricks before leading their last club, the QC. Otherwise W/E could win 5 spades on a run and stop contract.

  7. chico2 says:

    take with king hearts and lead a club let it run if east doesnt cover with the king .dont let east get the lead

  8. belindas says:

    Take J with King Draw out Queen diamonds Club lead taken with King
    Ace lead from west setting up King in south hand. Play all south tricks up to Ace in north making 10 tricks

  9. cmaryt says:

    At first glance I would have taken with the Queen , BUT then I decided to take with the king
    Then lead clubs to flush out the king avoiding a spade a lead from the east that way I guarantee to make at least nine tricks.

  10. paws says:

    I played the Queen hearts and then led a small diamond to the Jack and lost that finesse and East played another heart which I got and then finessed the club and then I ran off the clubs and diamonds making 11 tricks.

  11. chracol says:

    Three heart winners, one club winner and two diamond winners for 6 certain tricks. Two finesse options but the KS is not a great hold so if either finesse fails the contract may struggle against the 9-card spade threat.

    Victory will depend on how clubs and diamonds break. 3:2, 4:1, 5:0?

    Declarer has a total of 27 points – so defence has AQJ spades (7), J hearts (1), Q diamond (2) and the K of clubs (3) for their 13 points. The hands are presumable fairly balanced. Is there a strong hand?

    To finesse or not to finesse.

    Do I have any information about the defence? West leads JH probably from a heart sequence possibly with four/five cards and no inclination to investigate spades before dummy goes down. This means the KS could survive a challenge but also that the QD and KS could be with East. Wrong. West was the strong hand with AS and KC.

    I’m just itching to finesse. Club or diamond? Clubs.

    I messed up initially because I went with the diamond finesse and botched my entries but then then dug out the KC after QH. West led AS so I made 11.

    One key point seems to be to take the heart with the QH in hand. Then attack the clubs because the AK diamonds is a better squeeze that AQ clubs. Also, entries should be kept open.

    So, I would have failed at first. I was on the right track but lacked any certainty.

  12. beulahjanet says:

    I took the first heart with the king. Then tried , and lost , both club and diamond finesse. But fortunately West led another heart and by then my clubs and diamonds were all good. Made 4

  13. tomjelly says:

    Oops I meant LHO to have lead

  14. wkbennett says:

    take 1st trick with heart king – finesse club king – contract 3nt making 11 tricks

  15. heatherte1 says:

    6 winners.
    I would try and finesse twice. Firstly take the JH to the AH. Go to D with 8D to AD, because I can finesse if the Q doesn’t drop. Back to 9C to AC. Rest of diamonds should be good. If KC dropped then make rest of clubs. Because hopefully both clubs and diamonds broke 3/2. Then finishing with hearts! Hopefully that makes sense.

  16. kaydavison says:

    I made 1 heart trump then moved to diamonds and finessed the queen winner. Ended with score of 10 . Happy with that result.

  17. rreynolds says:

    Meet to establish the long club suit before losing control of spades. Take first trick in dummy, lead club and duck if king not played from E. Repeat until K clubs drawn, (at worst spades led from W making the KS) then there are 4 club tricks, 3H, at least 2D

  18. barnaby says:

    3 NT contract.
    Take the JH with the King. This hides the A and Q H from opponents.
    Then 10C finesse. And run clubs until KC drops. If finesses loses you still have cover with the two heart winners.
    Later a diamond finesse.
    Pray a spade is not led.

  19. waltz says:

    My first thought is to keep East off the lead at all costs to protect the King of Spades. Take the first trick with the King of Hearts and then lead the Ten of Clubs, letting it run. If the King of Clubs is not with West play the Nine of Clubs and let that run. The object is to flush out the King of Clubs without giving East the lead. Once the King of Clubs has gone I would then play on Diamonds leading the Ace and King – therefore making my contract.

  20. vals says:

    All I know is that when I look at the hand I need to get the ace spades out of the way as stoppers in all other suits – then stay away from spades .

  21. vals says:

    I need to get the ace spades out of the way as stoppers in all other suits – then stay away from spades ! Finesse the clubs , play the diamonds leaving two for later on as winners . Made the contract .

  22. anette says:

    East is the dangerous opponent, I can not risque a spade lead through my King. Therefore King of Hearts in the first trick in order to lead 10 of clubs from the table with the plan of letting it run if the King does not appear from east. This plan ensures minimum nine tricks.

  23. simste says:

    Safer to make the club finesse as you don’t wish East to lead through your King of Spades.

  24. bala1954 says:

    Take trick with HK in dummy. Finesse for the KC leading from dummy. If wins, fine; do it again. If not, East has the lead and the rest of my suits are set up. Aim is to avoid West leading S through my K. Will now play it.

  25. mcfluff says:

    10 tricks …tested the Cs first then the Ds. And then put the 9 S on the dreaded spade lead from E…won by West’s Ace ! Get out of jail free card. Having scrambled I now have an embarrassment of riches to play out. Lucky!

  26. The club finesse makes sense wether it works or not in that W can’t threaten your K of spades.

  27. chalker546 says:

    Win the first trick in the dummy. Then finesse the clubs. If you lose the finesse to the king, west can’t hurt you with a spade lead. You are assured of making your contract.

  28. chess says:

    I don’t see how to guarantee 9 tricks. But would agree with taking the trick with Kh and lead 10c and if you lose it hope you get the lead back

  29. frost says:

    I took the J as I had 2 other stoppers in hearts

    I tried the club fineese first while I had control of the other 3 suite
    most nervous of spades so ducted and my K came good

  30. billhaustin says:

    After seeing jH lead by west I evaluated hand (of course).

    Saw possible losses and decide to hold onto spades so I could stop any attempt to run them. After Ace of spades I’d stop run with K but needed to hold onto it. I needed to get loss in Hearts out of way so I played low to find King but both E and W let first heart trick pass. They took second round and then I was set to finish out. I save diamonds for last which proved helpful due to West only have Q left when I played my Ace of diamonds which made an opportunity to not only make my bid but have one extra trick.

  31. rschneider says:

    Spades is the weak suit and we don’t East to lead a spade. So try a finesse from N and if loses to W we can survive a Spade lead.

    So, cover JH with North’s KH. and try a finesse with TC. If we win, then all good If we loose West can lead a spade but the South’s KS will win on the first or second round.

  32. Made 11 Tricks The trick(No Pun intended) Win the J with the K

  33. tsb5 says:

    It’s guaranteed. Simple take the trick with N DK and try C finesse. If E plays K you take with A. If the west have the K then he’ll play S and SK trick is sure The rest is a peace of Cake

  34. tessybear says:

    I usually am not a NT fan but for me this one was easy – I do not have the deep thinking that other bridge players have .On first lead won with the King Spade – was on the board where I planned to be and played for the club finesses and lost. But the K Club was out and all was good after that. , Made 11. This is a great idea Tina – would like to see more of this type of practice/learning. Thanks!

  35. hueysplace says:

    I would take the jack with the king and then lead my 10C trying to force out the king C . If it doesn’t fall I would use my diamonds to cross over to the dummy and then play the 9C. I would continue this until the KC falls. Then the rest of my clubs are good plus the three hearts and the two diamonds. I would take 4-5 clubs, 3hearts and 2 diamonds.

  36. wilsontw says:

    HK, then finesse(s) for the CK

  37. newtz2001 says:

    The danger lies in the spade suit. If East gets the lead and West holds the A we’re in trouble.

    Since we can choose between finessing clubs or diamonds we should choose clubs since if that finesse fails West will be on lead and our K will be safe.

    Even if the club finesse fails we have 3 heart winners, 4 clubs and 2 diamonds. Contract made!

  38. s-muthu says:

    You need to protect the king of spades .Therefore take the trick with the king from the south and fitness the club king even you fail you have 4 ticks in clubs 3in hearts and 2 in diamond with total of nine even if it is ducked it does not matter you will end up with 4 club tricks which is you want .Even it fails and a spade is led king will score on the 1st or 2nd round making it 10 tricks.

  39. debdaniels says:

    Took jack of hearts with k of hearts—— lead 10 of clubs—- W takes — then leads A of S —- I am in making 11 tricks.

  40. valeriea says:

    Play 2 Hearts then finesse with Clubs – longest and strongest. Made 11 tricks

  41. caf says:

    Drew out Q diamods and K clubs, leaves sufficient to negate EW spades – then made 11 tricks

  42. ruthbusch says:

    Win the lead in dummy with the k❤️ And then lead a club from dummy.

  43. wandad says:

    Take the H K on the board finesse a C to the hand You may loose to W but he has to return a trick to you

  44. frontrunner says:

    Take with Heart K. Lead clubs from N to keep E off lead. At worst you will make 4 club tricks, 3 Hearts and 2 Diamonds. If K Clubs falls in three leads then you make at least 10. As long as E does not get the lead to lead Spades the contract is assured, and E cannot get the lead while you are leading Clubs.

  45. collar says:

    I made 10 tricks by winning heart trick in. North’s hand then paying clubs

  46. robinh says:

    I have 6 tricks and I don’t want lead to come through my KS. I take JH with the K and lead 10C. If East takes it with the K, I overtake with A. If West has KH, and then either leads AS, or leads to East’s AS, my KS makes, and I make at least 10 tricks.

  47. mnnorris says:

    Because we’re weak in spades and W led hearts, hearts were his best and possibly strongest suit. That would make E the danger hand likely to have more spades. So playing the finesses in clubs from the N hand is more likely to succeed than finessing in diamonds from the south hand and giving E the chance to win that Q diamonds. On second time playing hand it worked as we made 11 tricks.

  48. whizkid says:

    Club finesse keeps the dangerous opponent on lead. This is one of those interesting hands where in duplicate you might make a different choice than you would in swiss teams. In swiss teams you ALMOST always secure the contract first, then worry about over tricks. In duplicate you tend to play for the most tricks possible for a top board. I like the clubb finesse anyway because the diamond finesse and club finesse are 50/50 but by taking the club finesse first, whether it works or not, you can play for the drop of the Q in diamonds giving you two chances for extra tricks.

  49. sbc4646054 says:

    Win the heart lead in dummy, finesse the club K, + cross fingers for a spade lead from West, which is likely as the other suits are clearly covered.

  50. seabecker says:

    Need to keep East from getting the lead to keep your spades safe. So win lead with your K. Now finesse the clubs not the diamonds. Then even is west wins your K of spades will be safe. No luck needed.

  51. hagleyjazz says:

    I don’t want a spade lead from east thru my Spade K so I’ll take the club finesse leading the J form North (so I can take it again if necessary). That will give at least 4 club tricks, 3 hearts and 2 diamonds. Voila! (But if you had not asked I would probably have just unthinkingly launched into the diamond finesse 🙂 )

  52. maureenie says:

    You only need to lose king of spades queen of clubs and queen of diamonds

  53. sallysmith says:

    Take heart with king, finesse 10 of clubs while still holding a spade winner and then apart from the ace of spades all of your remaining cards are winners. Sally Smith

  54. meagan says:

    Yes I won the first round of hearts then played low in clubs and king came out. They played the ace of spades then plain sailing from there as all the clubs are now winners

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