None vulnerable

Leading against three notrump

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

Online Bridge: This hand occurred on Bridge Base Online. Through this site, you may play bridge in the main bridge room or in tournaments.

The bidding: South, with a balanced 17 points, opens one notrump. I tend to open one notrump with 15 to 17 points including length points. This hand qualified. North does not have a five-card major or longer, so he does not transfer. He also does not have a four-card major, so he does not use Stayman. He also puts his hand in the range of 10 to 15 points which is the range one bids game and does not invite to game or look for slam.

The Lead: The five of spades

When the bidding goes directly from one notrump to three notrump, one should stretch to lead a major. The last suit West should pick to lead is a club. West has a six-card club suit, but the suit is far too weak with which to compete and so it is too weak to lead. To lead a weak and long suit, West needs more than one outside entry.

My online partner led his singleton heart. This lead is better than a club, but is not a good lead because he cannot continue the suit when he gets in with the ace of diamonds. If West did not have the ace of diamonds, a heart lead could be best. Partner likely has long hearts and the entries to set them up. Because of the ace of diamonds, West should lead a small spade, the five.

Most people, who play bridge have probably heard of and use the statement: Lead your longest and strongest suit. This statement is false and therefore misleading.

A correct statement is that one should lead from touching strength in a four-card suit or from broken strength in a five-card suit or longer as long as one has outside entries. One can afford to give declarer a trick in order to set up a fourth and fifth card.

One would lead from AQxxx or KJxxx but not AQxx or KJxx. Leading from broken strength in a four-card suit may not even set up a trick, except for declarer.

The play: Declarer needs three stoppers to kick out the ace and king of a suit. With a spade lead, declarer cannot attack diamonds and will only make ten tricks. With a club or a heart lead, declarer has the timing to set up a diamond for the eleventh trick.

Result: 3NT+1 for +430 (spade lead) or 3NT+2 for +460 (spade not led)

Note: All the bridge columns may be viewed at

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Lemon Creek fuel truck driver gets $20,000 fine

Danny LaSante was sentenced in Nelson court today

Actsafe BC brings expertise, new lighting to Trail theatre

Consultants are all technical directors in Vancouver theatres with years of experience in the field

Hospital improvements good news for entire region, says Trail mayor

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board will review the matter next month

Life insurance can be a business expense

Tax Tips & Pits with Ron Clarke, Trail Times columnist

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read