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Win or Duck at Notrump?


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Whether you win or lose the first trick in a notrump contract depends on a lot of factors. 

You should NOT hold up if: 

1) You can't be sure of winning a trick in the suit by holding up (i.e. xx in dummy opposite Kxx in hand and the lead goes low to the Q).

2) Your opponents could switch to a more dangerous suit. 

 

You might choose to hold up if: 

1) You don't want your opponents to be able to communicate in a suit (i.e. the classic holdup play where you have Axx opposite xx in the suit led and you hold up twice so that if the suit is 5-3, the hand with 3 will then be out of the suit).

2) You want the hand that will win the first trick to continue to be on lead. 

3) You have nothing better to do. Often, if you have 9 top tricks, you might choose to lose tricks early to put pressure on your opponents when they discard later. A fancy term for this is "rectifying the count", but really, you are just choosing to win your tricks a little bit later. 

The contract is 3NT. Do you win the first trick or duck?

Lead:♠K

 

DUMMY

♠ 43
♥ AJ5
♦ KQ743
♣ 985

 

DECLARER 

♠AJ8
♥ KQ104
♦ J106
♣ AQ5

Choose One:

Win

Duck

Playing in 3NT, on the lead of the ♠K, do you win or duck? 

 

DUMMY

♠ 105
♥ AJ5
♦ KQ532
♣ 982

 

DECLARER

♠ AJ8
♥ KQ104
♦ J106
♣ A75

 

Choose One:

Win

Duck

You are playing in 3NT with the lead of the ♠K, do you win or duck trick one?

DUMMY

♠ 43
♥ AJ5
♦ KQ532
♣ 983

 

DECLARER

♠ A76
♥ KQ104
♦ J107
♣ AK5

Choose One:

Win

Duck

The contract is 3NT. The lead is the ♠4 and after you play from dummy, third hand plays the ♠Q. Do you win or duck?

 

DUMMY

♠ 73
♥ AJ5
♦ KQ532
♣ 983

 

DECLARER

♠ A862
♥ KQ104
♦ J103
♣ A7

Choose One:

Win

Duck

Playing 3NT, you receive the lead of the ♠Q. Do you win trick one or duck?

♠ 54
♥ AJ10
♦ AKQJ42
♣ K9
 
♠ A6
♥ K43
♦ 10762
♣ AJ43
Choose One:

Win

Duck

Playing in 6NT with the lead of the ♠K, do you win or duck the first trick?

 

DUMMY

♠ 987
♥ AQ3
♦ 62
♣ AKQ75

 

DECLARER

♠ AK
♥ K10875
♦ A87
♣ J104

 

Choose One:

Win

Duck