Will you underlead an Ace against a suit game?

Geoffrey S. Jade Barrett en Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
Geoffrey S. Jade Barrett en Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
Last September 26 GS Jade Barrett  posted in Bridgewinners:
Will you underlead an Ace against a suit game?

As I have gained more experience I find myself underleading Aces more and more. I am asking about others experience.

Till now 72 experts players commented about their experiencies below some of them Click here to read them all.

 Alan FrankAlan Frank: I will do it if dummy is stronger than declarer and no other lead is attractive.

 Yuan Shen Yuan Shen: We saw Gavin do it in the BB yesterday (the opponents bid strongly, partner had raised, and he was looking at two aces). A very intelligent lead: King, Ace, (other Ace), ruff …

If your only chance to beat it is to find partner with Qx (declarer “misguesses”) or Kx, then WTP?

There are no hard-and-fast rules, especially at IMPs. At MPs, I can’t remember the last time I did it.

I found such a lead a few days ago, and declarer was a little surprised.

 Bob Heitzman Bob Heitzman: Actually, if you were watching the thrilling finale of the Venice Cup semis, you saw Jill Levin do it about 15 minutes ago. (I think it was her.) And it worked.

There are certain situations, e.g., when dummy has bid a strong notrump, where it is almost standard to underlead A’s.

Generally, if I have to make a seemingly random choice of which side suit to lead from, I would rather underlead a K than a Q, or an A than a J.

It works pretty well, especially if your partner is aware that you might be doing it. For example, if he holds KJx in third seat, and partner leads a low card in a suit where dummy has a few low cards, the “expert” play (so I’ve been told) is to play the J. I usually play the K, in case my partner has underlead the A. (There are situations where the J is better for informational purposes of course.)

I think this correlates with how often you lead trumps “when in doubt”. I never lead trumps when in doubt, so sometimes I am endplayed into underleading an A (because my holding in the other side suits is so ugly). Underleading an A is usually better than banging down an unsupported A.

 David Weinberg David Weinberg If the auction says it’s the right suit to lead, I’m not going to let a pesky ace stop me.

And Kit WoolseyKit Woolsey added: Exactly. And if the auction says that neither opponent is likely to hold a singleton, then it is correct to underlead the ace rather than lead it. I don’t know why everybody makes such a big deal about underleading aces. It is just like any other opening lead. Sometimes it is right, sometimes it is wrong.

And Bob Heitzman added: I agree. Opening leads are the most random part of our game. Any lead can backfire.

The only thing I would add is that underleading A’s is something that some players think is taboo. Some really good players apparently think this way. Most mediocre and poor players definitely do. Therefore, at matchpoints, you need to be pretty sure that underleading the A is the best move before deviating from the field, who will mostly not be underleading.

Steve Bruno Steve Bruno What it might occasionally gain will be eradicated by the destruction of trust partner will have in you. There have to be some rules that are sacrosanct. This is probably one of them.