|Tip of the Month
The following rules are just a starting point. They are rules because in the majority of hands they give the best percentage chance of making the most tricks, but there are many exceptions to these rules.
- Third Hand High
- Second Hand Low
- Lead up to weakness
- Lead through strength
If you win a trick and are in doubt as to what to lead next, try not to open up another suit. This is a recipe for disaster because it pinpoints for declarer where all the losers or problems lie. Always return partner's lead if you can. Make sure you have a strong discarding system with your partner. If you are playing with somebody who has no system, insist that they play one. There are several on the market.
HELD = High to Encourage, Low to Discourage
Suit Preference (commonly called McKenny) where you use a suit to denote whether partner should lead the higher of the two remaining suits (excluding Trumps or the suit being played) or the lower
Revolving where a low card asks for the suit below and a high card asks for the suit above.
Count and Reverse Count, Odds and Evens, Roman discards the list is endless..
There are many more but those are a few of the more common in usage. Whichever you decide to use, read up about it and make sure your partner is on the same wavelength!
Another useful point is to make a mental note of Declarer's shape from the bidding. Having done that, keep length with declarer if you have four cards in one of their suits. Likewise, if you see a 4-card suit in dummy and you have four cards in that suit, do not discard from that suit. If you do, sure as "eggs is eggs" you will give declarer an extra trick.
Best of luck.