Attacking Leads in Bridge

Usually against a suit contract your defensive plan should involve an attack if at all possible. The second choice would be to defend passively. Once dummy is laid down you may have to change the plan, as that new information will often change your defensive strategy.

What do I lead against a suit contract?

Leads Against Suit contracts

When defending against a suit contract, there are many considerations. Should you lead trumps? Should you play for a ruff? Should you give partner a ruff?

  • lead the top of three card or more honor sequences.  This is the first lead taught for  beginning bridge players  and it’s almost always a safe and an attacking lead.
  • lead your partner’s suit if  your partner has bid unless you can find a very good reason not to… partner will love you.
  • Lead the top from a doubleton even an honor doubleton if it is in partner’s suit
  • lead your 4th highest card from your longest and strongest suit a safe but non aggressive lead
  • do not lead trumps if you have four or more of them – you want to lead side suits so that declarer must ruff in his hand then you will have more trumps than declarer

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Example: Against 2♠ South should make an attacking lead with the K ♥ helping the defense to develop winners in hearts before declarer can discard his heart losers


Third to Play
♠ X X
♥ X X X
♦ X X X
♣ X X X X X

If you win a trick you will lead hearts at the first possible opportunity


♠ 10 9 8 3 2
♥ 8 7 6 4
♦ J 6
♣ A K


♠ X X X X
♥ A X X
♦ X X X
♣ X X X

Heart Ace wins round 1 but defenders lead hearts again to stop declarer discarding his losing hearts


Opening Lead
♠ X X
♥ K Q J
♦ X X X X X
♣ X X

Against a suit contract lead the top of a sequence (or near sequence) – an attacking lead!

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