Question 10b.

You chose that he should play the 2 of Spades. This is correct. Well done. If you cannot improve on the situation as your best card is no better than your partner's, the best thing to do is to play your lowest and least valuable card.

Now we come to the Declarer's hand who is last to play to the first trick. So far the cards played have been the 9 by West, the 3 by North, and  the 2 by East. Declarer is bound to win the trick, and it doesn't matter if he plays with the Queen or the Jack, since they are equal. However, it is conventional, if you have 2 equally good cards, as declarer, to play the higher one. This is supposed to keep your hand a bit more secret from the opponents.

                                                            DUMMY'S HAND
                                                            Spades     A,K,3
                                                            Hearts      10,9,8,7
                                                            Diamonds  8,4
                                                            Clubs        Q,9,6,4
LEAD CARD                                                                                                             EAST'S CARD
Spades 9                                                                                                      Spades 2

                                                           DECLARER'S HAND
                                                            Spades      Q,J
                                                            Hearts       J
                                                            Diamonds  A,Q,10,6
                                                            Clubs         K,J,8,5,3,2

Now the first trick has been taken. Declarer collects the four cards together into a little packet, and places them face down in front of him. Since he won the trick, it is his job to lead to the next trick. In his earlier assessment of the hand, he thought that he would have to lose a Heart trick. However, there is one way he can avoid that. That is by playing another Spade now, winning in the dummy. Then playing the third Spade from dummy and DISCARDING or throwing his losing Heart from his hand onto it. This will only work if the other two sides have sufficient Spades to keep playing for these extra 2 rounds. But remember that there are 13 cards in a suit, and between Declarer and Dummy there are only 5, so that leaves 8 between the other 2 hands. Most likely they will be split 4 in each, or 5 in one and 3 in the other. So this is a fairly good risk to take.  So let's assume that  Declarer now plays the Jack of Spades from his hand. West will play his lowest Spade as he has to follow suit, so he plays the 4 of Spades. Dummy plays the Ace, even though it means doubling up on the trick, there is no choice this time. East plays the 6 of Spades.  This time the trick was won by Dummy, but Declarer picks up the trick and places it next to the one he took before.

Now the lead must come from the Dummy and he leads the King of Spades. Again East and West play their lowest Spades as they cannot win the trick. East plays the 8 of Spades, Declarer discards the losing Jack of Hearts, and West plays the 5 of Spades. Again the trick was won by Dummy, but collected by Declarer, who now has 3 winning tricks in front of him.

Since Dummy won the trick, he has to lead again, and this time Declarer decides to take out the oppositions' trumps, even knowing that he will lose one trick to the Ace. It is very important when you have more than half of the trump between declarer and dummy to take the oppositions' trumps out as soon as possible, so they can't trump in on you. We are also making use of another playing technique here, we are choosing to lose the Ace of Clubs now, which relates to LOSING LOSERS FIRST. This is especially useful when playing in No Trump and we will talk more about it then.

Question 11. Which of the Dummy's trumps will he lead to the next trick?

                                                                Dummy  Clubs  Q,9,6,4

                                                                Declarer Clubs   K,J,8,5,3,2

a. Queen
b. 4