Daily Bridge Tip 20

The possibility of 4-1 or 5-0 breaks don’t really affect the line you should adopt.
So concentrating on a 3-2 trump break it is a case of finding the Jack and the King.

In simple terms there are 4 positional possibilities, all of which are equally likely

Kx(x) opposite Jx(x)
Jx(x) opposite Kx(x)
KJ(x) opposite xx(x)
xx(x) opposite KJ(x)

There are two equally good lines

1. Lead the Queen and run it if not covered. Then lead the 2 and finesse the 10.
This only loses 2 tricks when East holds both Jack and King (25% of the time)

2. Lead the 5 and finesse the 9. If this loses to the Jack, lead the Q and run it.
This only loses 2 tricks when West holds the Jack and East holds the King (25% of the time)

Mathematically both these lines are good

1. Has the merit of simplicity.
2. Has a slight psychological advantage in that East will sometimes rise with the King when holding Kx thus avoiding the inevitable 2 losers had East instead played low.

Playing the Ace and then low towards hand will often leave you to guess whether to play West for the Jack or King. This is not good for your nerves and mathematically slightly inferior.

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Kate Aggett
Kate Aggett
8 months ago

Hi Alan
Really appreciate your daily bridge tips. Lessons were great at teaching you how to bid and play the lessons taught but when actually playing in a game I have always felt lacking in confidence in how to play combinations of cards so am learning a lot from your posts. Also archived tips very useful as it allows me to go back and test if I have retained what I have learned – don’t always get it right!