Deductive Reasoning
“Deduce” is not de lowest card in de deck. Clues from the bidding and defense — and they are always available — can help declarer deduce a winning play.
Against 3NT, West led the ♠2: three, jack, king. Declarer next took the ♣A K. When West threw a diamond, declarer continued with the K Q and a third heart to dummy’s ace. This time East pitched a spade, so South led a club to his 10 and cashed the ace. At the ninth trick he led a diamond to dummy’s king, but East won and the defense had the rest.
Down one.

Dlr: South ♠ 8 7 3
Vul: N-S A 10 4 2
K 6 5
♣ 7 5 2
♠ A Q 6 2 ♠ J 9 4
J 7 6 5 9 8
Q 9 7 2 A 10 4
♣ 3 ♣ J 9 8 6 4
♠ K 10 5
K Q 3
J 8 3
♣ A K Q 10
South West North East
1♣ Pass 1 Pass
2NT Pass 3NT All Pass

Opening lead — ♠2

Opening Lead

South could deduce from the deuce: West’s opening lead. The ♠2 suggests a four-card holding. South also knows West had one club. But if West had a five-card diamond suit, he would have led that suit — the other unbid suit — against 3NT.
South should play West for 4-4-4-1 distribution. After South takes the K Q, he should lead a heart to dummy’s 10. He wins four hearts, four clubs and a spade.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ A Q 6 2
J 7 6 5
Q 9 7 2
♣ 3
Your partner opens 1, you respond 1 and he bids 1♠. What do you say?

The double fit in spades and diamonds improves your chances for game (with fewer than 26 points). Raise to 3♠, invitational. If your J were the ace, you would bid 4♠. If your club and diamond holdings were reversed, you might take a conservative view and raise only to 2♠.

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at

Join Zoom Chat