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Copyright 2003 by John Strichman (all rights reserved)

John Strichman is the author of
by JohnGalt Strichman

Valley Publishing - Boulder, Colorado


    North 3      
West 3         East 3  
    SOUTH 3

5 7 9 Q
5 A
6 8 K
2 4 8 Q
On the first trick of this hand against experienced opponents, East leads the Diamond Queen. What card should you play?

Most players would play the 6 here, but that is a MISTAKE!

  • If you are playing against good players, you should normally cover a Queen lead with the King if sitting 2nd seat.

  • If your pard has the Ace, it doesn't matter unless his Ace is a singleton.

  • If West has the Ace, he will hold it up and go for the finesse.  So E/W will win the first 2 rounds of the suit with the Queen/Ace or even worse. If East has the Jack, he will then lead it placing you in exactly the same predicament.

    By covering with the King, the A/K/Q will come out on the first trick, promoting the J and 10 to next 2 master cards.  There will be a chance that your pard has the Jack, but if not, either way you are not going to win a trick in the suit until at least the 3rd round with the King if you don't cover, or if you do cover, the 10 if your team has it but not the Jack.

      The only downside is if the opps have the Jack and the 10 as well as the Ace and Queen.  In that case, there is no way that you will take a trick in the suit, whereas if you do not cover there is a chance that the King will eventually win a trick on round 3.

  • If playing against inexperienced opps, West will often not take the finesse and play the Ace, so covering the Queen becomes more of a judgment call against weaker opponents.

  • If you have the King and the Jack, you should definitely cover the Queen sitting second no matter what.

    Playing the King on the Queen on round one is often a hard pill to swallow, but you will usually feel much better 12 rounds later for having taken you medicine.

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