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Rules for the second player to a trick

The question you should ask yourself when trying to form a defensive plan is, “How many tricks do we need to take this contract down?” To defend well you must pay attention at all times, even when you appear to have a worthless hand.

Second player – plays low

There is saying in bridge ‘second person to play to a trick  should play low’ and generally that is correct. Usually it is better not to win the trick but to duck in order to allow your partner who will play 4th to the trick a chance to win it. This is generally used with reference to the defense in a game of bridge but declarer can also benefit from using it as well.

Against a NoTrump contract look what happens if the second player Dummy to the opening lead plays high on the opening lead, Declarer will lose all 4 Club tricks

North

Dummy
♠ K 6 3
♥ Q 8 6 3
♦ A K 2
♣ Q 7 3


second to play – plays low (club 3)

West

Opening Lead
♠ 10 5 2
♥ K 10 5
♦ Q 10 8
♣ J 8 4 2


2 of clubs Opening Lead

East

East
♠ 4
♥ A J 4 2
♦ J 9 6 5
♣ A K 9 6


third player – plays high

South

Declarer
♠ A Q J 9 8 7
♥ 9 7
♦ 7 4 3
♣ 10 5