Inferences: Clues from Partner's Lead Part 1

There are often clues for the defenders from the way declarer is playing a hand, but there are also clues from what partner leads and why. We’re always trying to work out what’s in partner’s hand, and the lead is the best way to put the first pieces of information together.
If partner has bid a suit during the auction, and we’re defending, we would expect partner to lead that suit. When they don’t lead that suit, there’s a reason for that too. Think about it.


  • If partner holds a touching sequence in a suit (eg ♠KQJ10x), they will generally lead the top card of that sequence to promote winners

  • When they don’t lead their suit, it may be that they hold a broken sequence (eg ♠AQ1074), and don’t want to lead it until they know where the other honours are, or…

  • They may need to see what’s in dummy, or…

  • They may need you to lead their suit, though declarer’s hand

  • If partner doesn’t lead the suit they preempt in, it’s usually because they hold a singleton in the suit they do choose to lead

Lesson Hands

Now it’s your turn to put this lesson into practice. Play each of the bridge hands and then watch the review videos for additional tips and an example on how to approach the hand.

Lesson Quiz

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What’s next?

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