An intra-finesse is a rare finesse that may be employed when missing 3 honor cards. It's similar to the triple finesse in this regard. Unlike the triple finesse, however, declarer does not finesse a particular defender twice. Rather, declarer finesses each defender one at a time.

For instance:

Dummy
A863
WestEast
KT5 J2
South
SQ974


A common approach for South to score three tricks is to play the ace and lead low toward the queen. This doesn't work on the given layout. An intra-finesse, however, does. South can lead a low spade from dummy and stick in the S9. West wins the ST and returns another suit. Upon regaining the lead, South can lead the SQ to finesse West for the king. East's jack is smothered in the process.


Another intra-finesse opportunity:

Dummy
A82
WestEast
KQ6 T7
South
SJ9543


Lead low to the S9, then run the jack. Again, note the smothering aspect of the second finesse.


Example

Dummy
A75
A65
QT87
K76

South
SQJ
HJ982
DKJ94
CA85


West

2C2

North

3NT

East
Pass
All Pass

South
1NT1


  1. Weak notrump (12-14)
  2. Brozel, showing hearts and clubs


South arrives in 3NT and West leads the CQ. South ducks this, wins the continuation in dummy, and leads the DK and another diamond. West discards a low spade on the second round as East takes the DA. At trick 5, East exits with a diamond to South's jack while West discards a club.

South now attempts the spade finesse by leading the SQ, but East produces the SK. The situation is now:

Dummy
A7
A65
Q
7

South
SJ
HJ982
D9
CA


South needs two heart tricks to make 3NT. When East elects to return a diamond, South wins perforce in dummy and leads a low heart to the 8. West wins the HQ and exits with a club. South wins in hand, cashes the SJ, and leads the HJ... king, ace, ten. The H9 becomes the 9th trick.

The full deal:

Dummy
A75
A65
WestQT87East
942K76KT863
KQ73T4
5SouthA632
QJT93SQJ42
HJ982
DKJ94
CA85

See also

  • Backward Finesse
    A finesse that's taken in the "opposite" direction of a regular finesse.

  • Chinese Finesse
    The lead of an unsupported honor as a pretense to a legitimate finesse.

  • Double Finesse
    A finesse against two opposing honor cards.

  • Marked Finesse
    A finesse made obvious by the auction or play of the hand.

  • Obligatory Finesse
    A type of ducking play that finesses an opposing honor.

  • Ruffing Finesse
    A finesse of an enemy card (usually an honor) by threat of a ruff.

  • Simple Finesse
    A finesse for a card (usually an honor) held by the opponents.

  • Triple Finesse
    A finesse against three opposing honor cards.

  • Two-Way Finesse
    A card combination in which either defender can be finessed for a queen.

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