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Which suit?

The lead is different depending on whether you are in No Trumps or a Suit Contract

Leads against Suit contracts

The purpose behind choosing your opening lead carefully is so that you make a safe opening lead that will set up tricks for your side without giving declarer extra tricks. Your general order of preference is:

1. A suit in which you hold a singleton (hoping partner will lead the suit back for you to trump).
2. The suit that your partner has bid. Lead low if you have three plus cards or lead high from a two card holding.
3. A suit that to your mind offers a good attacking combination especially two or more touching honors for example

  • K Q 10 x
  • Q J 10
  • A K x x
  • J 10 9
  • Your longest suit choosing the fourth highest card if you don’t have touching honors.
  • A suit the opposition have not bid.
  • With no unbid suits, choose a suit that dummy bid.
  • Lead trumps if you have no other safe lead OR if declarer has shown a two-suited hand. This may prevent declarer from using their dummy’s trumps separately and cross ruffing.

What not to lead against a suit contract

  • Leading an unsupported ace if you have another safe lead
  • Underleading an ace (don’t lead a small card from a suit headed by the ace).
  • Underleading broken honor combinations (KJxx, Q10x) unless it’s in partner’s suit.
  • Leading a suit declarer has bid (unless you’re leading trumps).

Leads against No Trump contracts

  • You usually want to make an attacking opening lead to set up tricks in your long suit. Lead the fourth-best card (count down from the top) from your longest and strongest suit unless
  • Partner has bid a suit. You should then lead his suit
  • Your long suit is one the opponents have bid. You should choose your longest unbid suit or a suit dummy has bid.
  • Your long suit has three or more touching honors (KQJx, QJ10x, AQJ10x, J109x, etc.). You should lead an honor to be sure you force declarer to win with the highest card possible
  • Your short suit, unless it’s the suit partner has bid.
  • Any Aces or Kings
  • A suit which declarer has bid.