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«  1103  »

Lead choice. You lead a new suit

'Lead signal' – here’s what my suit is like

The first time a new suit is played it’s best if you can give your partner a description of your suit, and what you expect from partner. Provided you have suitable cards, here’s how:

1206. The meaning of my new suit lead            bidandmade.com
The cards you lead What it means, the 1st time the suit is led
1 A Ace and King, plus at least one other card in the suit
2 K then A if the card led in the next trick is the Ace, it means AK doubleton
3 A royal top of an honour sequence (& denies the one above)
4 10 I've got an adjacent card (J/9) & one other non-touching honour
5 9 almost always a singleton
6 'high' - a 7 or 8 "my suit is rubbish" (second highest of rubbish, e.g. 9753)
7 MUD sequence 3 weak cards (MUD=Middle, Up, Down)
8 'low' - a 2, 3, 4 command! "Lead it back through their strength, I’ve got one or two non-touching powerful cards"
9 'higher' then 'lower' doubleton, e.g. 4 then 2
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See page 1100 and 1101 for more detail on how to choose the lead suit, and then the card, when your are the blind 'opening leader'.

Some traps for the unwary

  • when using MUD, be careful not to play a card in 2nd place that could have been a winner later: e.g. with K62, play 2 then 6, not 6 then K; and with Q62 it's often best to choose a different suit;
  • leading a 'low' card in a new suit is an especially helpful command signal – e.g. lead x if you have KJx and you suspect the Q10 are with your RHO: your partner’s resulting lead through your RHO plays into your strength;
  • similarly, your partner’s bid suit might sometimes better be led by your RHO, not by you. That's because if you lead you might in effect be finessing your partner's honours into a losing position, if the RHO could possess the hidden power;
  • caution: beware making overcalls that cause your partner to lead to you when you don't have solid stoppers.
  • when you return partner's opening lead, maybe send a suit preference signal to your partner


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