# Rule of 11

The Rule of 11 in bridge is a technique you can use for calculating the location of unseen cards in the suit that has been led when the opening lead was the 4th highest.

## How to use the rule of 11

- Subtract the value of the card led from 11 to give the total number of higher cards
- Count the number of higher cards you can see in dummy and your own hand
- Declarer will have the rest!

You are South on the following hand and partner leads the ♦7 against West's 3NT contract. Dummy plays low.

How can you use the rule of 11?

Subtract the value of the card led from 11.

Partner leads the 7 so you subtract from 11 which leaves 4.

Count the number of higher cards you can see.

You can see three cards higher than the 7 in your hand and one card higher than the 7 in dummy for a total of 4.

Calculate how many cards declarer has that are higher than the one led.

There are 4 cards higher than the 7 in your hand, dummy and in declarer's hand. Three are in your hand, 1 is in dummy. That means declarer has no cards higher than the 7. You can let partner's 7 hold the trick and keep your Ace to cover dummy's K.

Here is the full hand:

Partner's ♦7 wins the first trick!

## Using the rule of 11 as declarer

West leads the ♦3 against South's 3NT contract. South calculates that East has one card higher than the 3 which must be either the K, Q, T or 8. If West held the KQT3 he probably would have led the K so West either has KT83, QT83 or KQ83. Two times out of three, West will have the ♦T so South plays the ♦7 or ♦9 from dummy, hoping for an honour from East.

## 4th highest leads and the rule of 11

The rule of 11 only works when the opening lead was 4th highest. Let's take a look at a hand to see what that means.

This time you're on lead against 3NT and you've chosen to lead a heart. Simply count down from the Ace. Ace = 1st, Q = 2nd, 7 = 3rd and the 5 = 4th highest. The 5 is the card to lead!

What if the 4th highest happened to be a high card? Well, it won't be! With AKJT, for example, the T is the fourth highest but that would be a very unusual lead. You'd lead the ace from this holding, top of a sequence.