Home | Opening Leads - top of a sequence

Opening Leads - top of a sequence

When you have a sequence of touching honours leading the top of that sequence let's partner know about your holding in the suit. The lead of an honour shows the honour below but denies the honour above.

Try playing the hand yourself.

On the following hand South leads the ♠Q. North now knows that South has the ♠J but not the ♠K

opening leads

You might notice here that South could also lead the fourth highest spade but leading the honour from top of a sequence gives much more information to partner. Fourth highest leads are for when you don't have a sequence.

The next two hands look similar but the opening lead of top of a sequence gives South the right information to defeat the contract each time.

opening leads

North leads the ♠K against West's 3NT contract. Upon winning the A, South returns a spade, knowing that North has the top spades.

South's hand and dummy are the same on this next hand but the opening lead is different.

opening leads

This time North leads the ♠Q against West's 3NT contract. If South returns a spade, declarer will win that trick and play all the diamonds. South's only chance to defeat the contract is to switch to a heart and hope North has the A.

Related Lessons

Opening Leads - The opening lead is possibly the most informative card for the defence.


dapahn says:
Couldn’t King of Spades also be interpreted at Top of Nothing (Boston?
IMPatti says:
N led QS, S wins D with A and leads QH. N wins with AH and leads a S! Why didnt N play a H?
wince says:
Same here ... computer asleep 💤🙃😒
Ellswell says:
Leading low heart works in getting to lead back to you
Ellswell says:
@graeme works in this case. It's hoping North has AH. If you are in the hoping business you could hold off playing the Ace on the first lead of Diamonds hoping that the remaining five diamond are on a 3/2 split in favor your partners hand, thus stopping entry into Easts hand. Hoping that doesn't work in this case?
MrsMcG says:
North played the queen not the king.
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