Consider West on lead in the middle of the game.



West leads 8 from the suit. Declarer plays 6 from dummy. East plays 5. Declarer wins with 10.

Couple of questions about this

  1. What do we interpret here from opposition's play - is the K with West? Or is it with East & East didn't cover for some reason? If yes, then what reason?

  2. Was playing 6 from the dummy the right play? Or would it have been better to play the Q hoping for East to cover with K if he did have it?

  • 3
    Please give the contract, the whole hand, the play so far (if it's not the first trick) and East/West's lead and signalling agreements. All of that could be relevant. Bridge is complicated. Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 2:33
  • 1
    The bidding is also relevant (because it tells us what the defenders know about declarer's hand). Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 13:22
  • 1
    At a minimum, we need to know if the declaring side is short of entries to dummy and or short of entries to hand. Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


It's hard to say exactly without knowing the rest of the hand. Does East have reason to guess that South has the ace? What does West's lead of the 8 mean? Where in the hand are we? What is the contract? NT or trump suit, and is this trump or not?

Either way, W probably isn't underleading A8x. Even if there were no other suit to play, there's just no reason not to play A. So E knows A is in South most likely; there's no reason for E to play the K there. But, E also might have only two - 5 is a weird choice otherwise. Why play 5 from K52 or K54? It's not like E wants to encourage...

On the other hand, W really shouldn't underlead Kxx or Kxxx. No matter the contract, it's probably a bad lead. It's possible W has no choice - if this is the only suit left, for example - but if this is early and W likely has a choice, it makes more sense for E to have the K based on this lead. It's just unclear why W led the suit in the first place.

You also may want to see their carding agreement - 8 from 842 is a reasonable lead in some agreements, it's not in others. Would they lead 8 from 82? 2 from 842? It's possible you can eliminate some holdings from the lead of the 8, but again this depends on their card.

As far as the play of the 6 goes, Declarer is announcing that they have the T by not covering, so they should cover with the 9. There's just no reason not to, not even transportation-related reasons. Put the 9 on and see if that draws out the K. It might, might not, who knows, but you can always cover with the T anyway if you prefer to be in hand.


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