Bridge Leads and Signals

What are the rules for the best card to lead

Touching honors- an explanation

Touching honors are honor cards which are next to each other in rank – these following groupings are examples of touching honors:

  • KQ – KQJ – KQJT
  • QJ – QJT
  • JT & JT98

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Which touching Honor Card Should I Play

When you are on defense you should play your touching honors in order, but the order depends on whether you are winning a trick or making the opening lead. You play the highest card when you are:

  • On opening lead – play the highest with the only exception being the AK where the King is played first
  • When your partner has lead the suit, play your highest
  • When discarding the suit, play the highest first

From all AK combinations, lead the King.
From all suits without AK touching honors, lead the top honor:

  • KQ5
  • JT9
  • QJT3
  • T985
  • KJT54
  • From a 2-card suit, lead the top card:
  • 82
  • J7
  • QT

Play the lowest of Touching Honors

  • When winning a trick you should play the lowest of the touching honors
  • When playing third to the trick, play the lowest
  • From a 4-card-or-longer suit without touching honors, lead the fourth-best card:
  • K9743
  • 10752
  • J87643
  • From a 3-card suit without touching honors, lead the lowest card:
  • J96
  • Q43
  • 865