I have read and heard that up to 75% of the time the result of the play is won or lost based on the opening lead, and I tend to agree with this, so even if one learns nothing else, figuring out the right lead is likely bring a lot of good results.
Before making the opening lead, it is important to decide which of the 5 lines of defense your side wants to create. Often times if the leader starts out down the wrong path, it will be too late to change course. Here is a brief description of the 5 lines of defense.
1: Forcing Declarer: Essentially running declarer out of trump and forcing him to lose control of the hand
2: Active: Setting up and cashing your side’s winners as quickly as possible before they go away
3: Passive: Trying to give nothing away and collection your sides tricks when declarer gives them up
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