Surely a player of your bridge skills is familiar with most or all of the following tips you are about to read. But is your partner?
Tips 21-30 are defensive tips:
21. When leading a suit partner has bid and you have supported, lead your highest card with three or four small cards.
The high card lead denies an honor, partner knows of your length. If you haven’t supported, lead low from three or four small cards to deny a doubleton. The lead of a high spot card in partner’s unsupported suit shows shortness. With three or four cards headed by an honor (10, J, Q or K) lead low whether or not you have supported. If you plan to lead partner’s suit holding the ace, lead it.
22. If you lead ace from AKx(x) against suit contracts you should know: (1) The lead of the ace is a trick one convention. (2) After trick one, the king is led. (3) If the suit has been supported, the king is led. Leading the ace in a supported suit or in any suit partner has bid, supported or not, denies the king. (4) If the opponents wind up at the five or six level, the king is led. The lead of an ace at the five or six level, in theory, denies the king. (5) From AK doubleton, everything is reversed.
23. To lead top of a sequence at notrump, the suit should have three adjacent honors (KQJx(x)). However, the third card in the sequence can be missing by one place-KQ10x(x) is considered a sequence, KQ9xx is not and fourth highest should be led.
If the third card is missing by more than one place, lead fourth highest. From QJ942, lead the queen, but from QJ842, lead the four.
24. To lead an honor at a suit contract, only two adjacent honors are necessary and the top honor is led.
Lead the ace from AKx(x), the King from KQx(x), the Queen from QJx(x), the Jack from J10x(x), and the ten from 109x(x). At notrump, lead fourth highest from these combinations holding four or more cards in the suit. If you happen to have three cards headed by two adjacent honors (QJx), and think that is the suit to lead, lead the top honor and hope partner can work it out.
25. In general the lead of a low card shows strength and the lead of a relatively high spot card shows weakness. (See tip #29)
26. When partner leads low from length and dummy has small cards, third hand plays high. However, if third hand has two or three equal high cards, third hand plays the lower or lowest equal. (From K10x, play the king, from KQx, play the queen, from KQJ(x), play the jack.)
27. When returning the suit partner has led, with two cards remaining return the higher; with three cards remaining, return the lowest.
Say partner leads low and dummy has low cards. If you have A-10-5, play the ace and return the 10. If you have A-10-6-5, play the ace and return the 5.
28. When partner leads low from length and dummy comes down with an honor and you have a higher and a lower honor, insert the lower honor if dummy plays low.
Say dummy has the Q-5-4 or the J-5-4 and you have K-10-6(x). If dummy plays low, play the 10. Say dummy has the K-7-6 or the Q-7-6 and you have A-J-3(2). If dummy plays low, play the jack.
29. If partner leads a low card in one suit, gets in and shifts to a low card (showing strength) in another suit, partner wants a return in the second suit. If partner shifts to a high card in the second suit (top of nothing perhaps), he is asking for a return in the first suit. Got it?
30. One doesn’t lead the same against 3NT as against 6NT. Against 6NT avoid leading from an honor unless you have a sequence.
With: K10763 J108 85 Q92 Lead the 6 against 3NT, but the J against 6NT. (If they have about 33 HCP, guess how many partner has!).