Leading Trump on Defense

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RedDuke
Posts: 278
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Leading Trump on Defense

Post by RedDuke » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:19 pm

We've all heard the rule not to lead trump on defense because it helps your opponents more than it helps you. However, experienced players know that breaking the rules can sometimes be a good idea. This one, it seems like it would be a good idea to lead trumps on defense if you sense that the call is weak.

This happened to me in a recent game. I'm sitting in first seat with this:

(Card_J-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_A-H) (Card_J-D)

Turn card was (Card_A-C) .

I passed, figuring that I've got all suits blocked on the loner but I didn't want to take the risk of ordering up the dealer and then having to fight against him on the chance that he'd have something like the Right-Ace.

Second seat ordered up his partner.

At this point, I figured that second seat probably has Right+1 (either the 9 or the queen). Maybe he had the Ace of Diamonds or Ace of Spades too. I seriously doubted he had much else, especially with the Ace of Trump being in his partner's hand and me holding three trump including the left bower.

Knowing this, I also made a guess that the Ace might be the only trump the dealer had. With three in my hand, probably two in second seat's, and the ace in the dealer's, that leaves one trump unknown. The dealer might have it but I figured that most likely either my partner has it or it's in the kitty.

Going off this logic, I actually led the left rather than my green ace. My hope was that the maker would be forced to play the right and the dealer the ace. If that worked, then it would effectively leave me with the boss trump (the king) and possibly both boss trumps along with a green ace. This would set me up for a euchre.

The advice given on the site in the advanced section is to lead with your second highest trump when leading trump on defense. I didn't want to do this because the maker knew that his partner had the Ace. So if I led the king, unless he's a total moron he'd actually throw under me (with whatever his +1 was), leaving his partner to take the trick with the ace and leaving himself with the right and a guaranteed second trick. By leading the left, I figured that the right and hopefully the ace would fall, leaving me with a means to take control back and ultimately euchre the opponents.

The plan worked. I played the left, second seat overtrumped with the right, my partner showed void and threw off the ten of spades, dealer played the ace.

Second seat led back the ace of diamonds. I took this with the ten of clubs, led back my king of trump to pull all the remaining trump (the nine - queen was in the kitty), then led the ace of hearts for the euchre.

What do you all think about my logic here? Would you have played this hand the same way?



Wes (aka the legend)
Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

Post by Wes (aka the legend) » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:13 am

RedDuke wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:19 pm
We've all heard the rule not to lead trump on defense because it helps your opponents more than it helps you. However, experienced players know that breaking the rules can sometimes be a good idea. This one, it seems like it would be a good idea to lead trumps on defense if you sense that the call is weak.

This happened to me in a recent game. I'm sitting in first seat with this:

(Card_J-S) (Card_K-C) (Card_10-C) (Card_A-H) (Card_J-D)

Turn card was (Card_A-C) .

I passed, figuring that I've got all suits blocked on the loner but I didn't want to take the risk of ordering up the dealer and then having to fight against him on the chance that he'd have something like the Right-Ace.
Good pass imo. Pass with the intention of passing in the 2nd round is the way I would play this.
RedDuke wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:19 pm
Second seat ordered up his partner.

At this point, I figured that second seat probably has Right+1 (either the 9 or the queen). Maybe he had the Ace of Diamonds or Ace of Spades too. I seriously doubted he had much else, especially with the Ace of Trump being in his partner's hand and me holding three trump including the left bower.

Knowing this, I also made a guess that the Ace might be the only trump the dealer had. With three in my hand, probably two in second seat's, and the ace in the dealer's, that leaves one trump unknown. The dealer might have it but I figured that most likely either my partner has it or it's in the kitty.

Going off this logic, I actually led the left rather than my green ace. My hope was that the maker would be forced to play the right and the dealer the ace. If that worked, then it would effectively leave me with the boss trump (the king) and possibly both boss trumps along with a green ace. This would set me up for a euchre.
Well thought out on why you lead the Left. This is a spot where knowing your opponent can come into play too. Like if you know he'll never play second hand low in that spot then you can lead the small trump with confidence. Either way, I think you played this spot very well.
RedDuke wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:19 pm
The advice given on the site in the advanced section is to lead with your second highest trump when leading trump on defense. I didn't want to do this because the maker knew that his partner had the Ace. So if I led the king, unless he's a total moron he'd actually throw under me (with whatever his +1 was), leaving his partner to take the trick with the ace and leaving himself with the right and a guaranteed second trick. By leading the left, I figured that the right and hopefully the ace would fall, leaving me with a means to take control back and ultimately euchre the opponents.
The site's recommendation is a good general rule but you found an exception. If you don't lead the Left, 2nd seat playing second hand low would be pretty devastating to your prospects.

BTW this site's section on leading trump on defense is pure gold and should be read multiple times by everyone.
RedDuke wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:19 pm
The plan worked. I played the left, second seat overtrumped with the right, my partner showed void and threw off the ten of spades, dealer played the ace.

Second seat led back the ace of diamonds. I took this with the ten of clubs, led back my king of trump to pull all the remaining trump (the nine - queen was in the kitty), then led the ace of hearts for the euchre.

What do you all think about my logic here? Would you have played this hand the same way?
Beautiful hand.

RedDuke
Posts: 278
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Post by RedDuke » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:31 pm

Good pass imo. Pass with the intention of passing in the 2nd round is the way I would play this.
That was my thought too because the truth is I had nowhere to go in the second round. With that hand, I'd stop all loners but I don't have a real clear path to making a point. The only thing I could think of trying is a next call but unless my partner was loaded up with spades, that may not end well. Passing at least would ensure that the opposition couldn't get more than one point.

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