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Danger Hand


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There are many times when, as declarer, you might be able to choose which side you lose a trick to. You can choose to finesse in one of two suits or choose to play a two-way finesse (like KJ5 opposite A106) so that it would lose to a certain opponent. To make the right choices when you have these options, you need to become aware of the concept of the danger hand. Danger hands are the opponents that you don't want to lose a trick to, because they might be able to run a side suit or because they may be positioned to attack your weakness. See if you can identify the danger hand and how to get around it on these problems.

For more help with declarer play, you can purchase my books on declarer play at suit contracts or declarer play at notrump, or check the learning center for more free materials. 

You are South. 

All Vul.

WestNorthEastSouth (You)
 2♠  DBL  Pass  3NT
 All Pass      

 

Lead: ♠K

Dummy (North)

♠ 32
♥ AJ104
♦ QJ4
♣ A1098

 

Declarer (South/YOU)

♠ A74
♥ K82
♦ K1032
♣ K32

Which hand is the danger hand? For yourself: how many times should you hold up in spades? What order should you play the suits?

Choose One:

West

East

Both

Neither

You are South. 

Contract: 4♠

Lead: ♠Q

 

Dummy (North)
♠ A1098
♥ A7
♦ K73
♣ KJ104
 

Declarer (South/YOU)

♠ KJ732
♥ K4
♦ 8652
♣ AQ

Which hand is the danger hand? How should you play spades?

Choose One:

West

East

Both

Neither

WestNorthEastSouth(You)
   1♠  Pass  1♠
 Pass  4♠  All Pass  

Opening lead: ♠7

Dummy (North)

♠ AK
♥ AJ109
♦ AJ1054
♣ Q7

 

Declarer (YOU/South)

♠ 53
♥ K874
♦ Q83
♣ K642

Which hand is the danger hand? What card should you play from dummy at trick 1? Who should you finesse for the ♠Q.

Choose One:

West

East

Both

Neither

You are South

Playing IMPS (trying to make your contract)

WestNorthEastSouth (YOU)
 2♠  3♠  Pass  3NT
 All Pass      

Lead: ♠8

 

Dummy (North)

♠ 97
♥ 32
♦ AQ9432
♣ AQ5

 

Declarer (YOU/South)

♠ AK54
♥ K64
♦ K10
♣ K732

Which hand is the danger hand? What should you play at trick 2?

Choose One:

West

East

Both

Neither

You are South

WestNorthEastSouth(YOU)
       1♠
 Pass  1NT  Pass  2♠
 Pass  3♠  Pass  4♠
All Pass      

Lead: ♠3

 

Dummy (North)

♠ Q3
♥ AJ764
♦ 1098
♣ K76

 

Declarer (YOU/South)

♠ AKJ76
♥ Q1053
♦ A7
♣ 43

East plays the ♠Q at trick 1. Which hand is the danger hand? Should you win trick 1?

Choose One:

West

East

Both

Neither

You are South.

Contract: 3NT

Lead: ♠J

 

DUMMY (North)

♠ K7
♥ J76
♦ KQ105
♣ J1098

 

DECLARER (South)

♠ A65
♥ A5
♦ A764
♣ KQ73

Which hand is the danger hand? Answer for yourself: should you win this trick or duck it?

Choose One:

West

East

Both

Neither