This usually happens when your partner, East, doubles (and the double has no other meaning). The double may indicate one of several things. 1) East has a good tenace (e.g. AQ) behind' the dummy's suit. 2) East has a desire to ruff. A possible side effect of such a lead is that it may attack dummy's scarce entries.

Have I overlooked other valid reasons for leading dummy's first bid suit? Are there ways to identify (from the bidding and your hand) a time to lead dummy's first bid suit if East does not double?

  • Holding JD98x and side entries with a trump trick and length would be a good time. But if you're going to work on setting up Declarer's potential side suit tricks you'd better have a clear understanding from the bidding that this works for your side rather than Declarer's; and on just how you will be able to make this work. Oct 23, 2022 at 0:12
  • Especially at matchpoints, when it's the only lead that doesn't look likely to give away a trick. Partner might not be able to double because the contract is still making - the lead will just hold down the overtrick. Oct 23, 2022 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


In NT, I will do it when I feel my partner does not have AKQ on that suit and I am holding Jx(x) (or even worst, in the case, you think there is a high chance of 3-3 break). The main theory on this is not to let the opponent gain anything from this suit given the high probability of betting a 3-3 break (in 5332/ 4333 distribution). Therefore, you may potentially gain 1 trick on another suit.

Another positive factor is that Suit is a major and is after a "weak" transfer and ends up getting an NT game. Therefore, you are betting the dummy is having A(Q)xxx, your partner has a K, and the declarer has (Q)Jx. But this is only worth it if you have another suit that needs to be established from your partner's lead.

If there is a trump suit, I will say I will only do it when I think there is a very high chance of ruff by my partner (e.g. I am holding xxxxxx on that suit, so the declarer should at least have a Q or J, hope that he/ she also has an x). The 3-3 break theory mentioned above for NT may sometimes work if you feel all players indeed have a balanced hand (from bidding etc.). However, my experience is it is usually better to find/ establish/ cash out your own suit first in this case.

In general, I think this works better in MP matches as +-1 trick is more influential. I personally seldom do fourth-best leads as I will always imagine (daydreaming) the best defense scenario (e.g. aim at cashing out my J in Jxxx).

  • Not one of these arguments looks even remotely sound to me. Aug 10, 2023 at 12:59

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