Defending against a lone call, page 2

The problem with leading a single ace into a lone

A critical aspect of euchre is that it is a partnership game. On every play you need to think about what your partner may have in their hand and how it could affect the balance of the hand.

This is especially true when you are trying to stop a lone call. A classic example is when you have first lead, and hold 4 junk cards along with an off-suit ace. What might happen if you lead that ace? Maybe it will stop the lone, or maybe not. Who knows? But this is a partnership game, so you need to consider your partner and their hand as well.

Look at the sample hand below

In this hand the dealer is in the North position and the turn card is the queen of spades. Bidding gets passed around to the dealer, who picks the queen of spades and calls alone. (In this picture he still has to discard the 9 of clubs.)

Let's say you are sitting in the West position (LHO). What card would you lead to start off the hand?

Table Position
Wrong lead into lone - 1

Obviously you wouldn't lead the ace of spades as that is trump. But did you choose the ace of diamonds? That's exactly what the player in the West seat did. Follow along as I walk through the rest of the hand and see what happens.

Wrong lead into lone - 2

East leads the Ace of diamonds. West follows suit with the jack and the maker(N) takes the trick with nine of trump. Next the maker(N) leads the right. That picks up East's only trump. West throws off the nine of hearts. The maker(N) continues, leading the queen of spades. East throws off the 10 of diamonds and West plays the queen of clubs.

Wrong lead into lone - 3

For their fourth lead, the maker(N) plays the nine of spades, with East throwing off the king of diamonds. But look what happens to West.

Since he is left holding both the ace of clubs and the ace of hearts he has to choose between them! He has a 50 - 50 chance of picking the correct one, and here he guesses wrong.

Now let's consider what would have happened if East had originally led the 10 of hearts instead of the ace of diamonds: West would have played their ace of hearts. Now, on the last trick, both East and West seats would still hold aces and the lone would be stopped.

If the ace of diamonds had been the stopper, it still would have been the stopper at the end of the hand. But notice how leading it at the first trick affected the rest of the hand, and made stopping the lone only a 50 - 50 proposition.

Suggested Further Reading:

Defending against a lone call, page 1
Can the call be stopped?

Defending against a lone call, page 2
The problem with leading a single ace into a lone

Defending against a lone call, page 3
Stopping a 3rd seat lone call

Defending against a lone call, page 4
Saving the correct card

When should you call alone?
What is the minimum hand needed?

Legal Communication in euchre, page 1
Correct method of communicating with your partner

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