Now you have decided on your spot card and honor sequence leads. And you have decided your own priorities for signals to partner’s opening lead (read Part 1 of this Guide if you haven’t).
Before we leave trick one, let’s look at a few other signals available to you at trick one.
Assume you have agreed to lead Ace from AK. Think about what it means if you reverse this normal theme and lead the King (partner will not know you have the Ace yet), but then you lead the Ace to trick 2. You did something odd here, since your agreement was to lead Ace first from this holding. When you do something unusual like this, it is suppose to convey a SPECIAL meaning!
- Take Ace then King, you are just grabbing tricks.
- Reverse the order (unusual sequence), you are trying to tell partner something is unusual about your hand.
Perhaps it is that you have a doubleton in this suit… so that partner knows if he gets in he can give you a ruff. Perhaps, if this is a suit you have bid naturally, it maybe that you have a surprise void elsewhere. But keep this in mind, when you play your cards in a non-standard sequence, your partner will think you are tying to convey something unusual to him.
Let’s say you open 3♥ and your opponents get to 6♠. And you lead the 2 of hearts (playing 4th best). Can the ♥2 be fourth best after you preempt at the 3 level? Of course not. This is an unusual lead (that is not 4th best), and partner will be able to read it. This lead suggest you have a void in one of the minors and if partner can win the heart or an early trump, he should try to guess in which suit and give you a minor suit ruff.
Another trick one signal, is if you lead the Ace and partner plays the Queen, he is promising the Jack. This means it is safe to underlead the King if you want to get to his hand.
To be continued…