Leading Against No-Trump

Adhere to the standard leads!  These are promises to your partner of the cards you hold, just like opening a 5 card major.   It is necessary for defense’s communication.

  • Lead passively against a 6NT or 7NT  contract
    • If you have a possible winner (not an ace); lead another suit instead.
    • Not a long suit
    • Not a suit with an honor
    • Selecting a high-ish touching card is a good passive lead.
  • Did your partner double an artificial bid?
    • This is lead directing.  Lead the suit doubled.
  • Lead a card from your longest suit that your partner bid, over your own strong suit, EXCEPT:
    • When your partner raised your suit
    • When you only have a singleton in partner’s suit*
    • When you can defeat the contract without your partner’s help
  • Lead the longest suitplay top of a sequence (preferably), or 4th from highest headed by an honor.  Without an honor card, lead 2nd highest.
    • Except when you have a winning sequence in another suit.
    • Don’t play 4th card blindly, if your opponent will win a cheap trick.  If you have a long and strong suit, use your judgement to capitalize on the distribution. 
      • Missing the Ace, holding King, Queen, (Jack or 10), x?  Don’t lead 4th down, lead a card to force the Ace.
      • Try not to under lead a king (this usually will cost you a trick), choose instead to pass to partners major suit.
    • Don’t lead a suit your opponents have bid.  The longest suit is an advantage only because you can play low cards and win.  If your opponent is strong in this suit, there is less chance of this AND less chance your partner has this suit.
  • Singleton Partner is guaranteed to have some
  • Lead a major over a minor suit. If they had a major, they would have bid it in level 1.  
  • Lead the unbid suit. This is especially true if it’s a major.
  • * AVOID leading a suit with only one honor card or honors with spaces. Wait for this suit to be lead to you.
    • Lead instead a honor-less suit that your partner may have a winner in.
  • With 2 suits of equal length, play the stronger suit – especially suits with the 10 or 9 cards.
  • For long suits, try finesses early, declarer will want to safeguard suit stopper.
  • Leading  from a 3-card suit:
    • Lead the lowest card, EXCEPT:
      • When headed by a 3- card sequence – lead highest
      • When containing no honors – lead highest

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