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All too often, there are points left on the table due to an incorrect lead on the fourth trick. Many teams, satisfied with making their point, give little thought to the possibility of making a second point.
On page 1 we showed how the wrong lead on fourth trick can cost a team valuable points. In the example below we show how choosing the correct lead to gain that extra point could make the difference between a win and an 'almost win'.
Here the dealer is in the East seat. They have deloading="lazy" alt and have turned-up the queen of hearts. Both South seat and West pass. North has a strong hand and orders the dealer(E) to pick up the queen. The dealer discards the king of diamonds.
The maker's partner in South correctly leads the 10 of hearts. A non-trump lead by South would tell the partner he was void in trump. West plays the left, the maker(N) uses his right and East plays the queen that they picked up. The bidding team has their first trick. Four trump have been played.
Now the maker(N) leads the ace of diamonds. West plays the 10 of clubs, South follows suit with the king and West also follows suit with the 10.
Next, the maker(N) leads the ace of spades. Everyone follows suit and the ace walks the board. The bidding team have taken the first three tricks. They made their point. Using the information available, the maker now has to decide how to play the rest of the hand. Let us see, four trump has been played but clubs haven't been led yet. South led a trump at the start of the hand and everyone followed suit. West seat played the left on the first lead. It was most likely his only trump. East seat played the trump card that they picked up so it's most likely they are also void. There are still trump unaccounted for. Yes, the ace is the boss trump but the 9 of clubs is a guaranteed loser. The only way to make 2 points is if South can take the 9. The maker correctly decides to leads the nine.
The bidder's partner(S) makes good use of the king of trump. The bidder holds the ace of trump for the last trick, and the team starts the game off with a 2-point lead.
A trump lead on Fourth would surely have cost the bidding team a point and maybe the game.Suggested Further Reading: