A "marked" finesse is a finesse made obvious by the auction or play of the hand.

Dummy
AT5
8542
QJ3
JT5

South
SKJ3
HAT
DAKT42
CQ76

West
2S1
Pass
North
Pass
3NT
East
Pass
All Pass
South
2NT

1 Weak two


West leads the HK against 3NT. South can count 1 heart winner, 5 diamond winners, and 2 spade winners. The 9th trick must come from either spades or clubs.

While it may seem plausible to lead clubs twice to establish a club winner, it's better to simply play West for the SQ. Based on the auction, West should have six spades, leaving East with a singleton. Accordingly, South can cash the SK (in case East pops up with the singleton queen) and lead a spade toward dummy for the "marked" finesse of West's queen.

The full deal:

North
AT5
8542
WestKJ3East
Q98764JT52
KQJ9763
5South9876
932SKJ3AK84
HAT
DAQT42
CQ76


Had South mistakenly led a club instead, the contract would go down. East would win the CK, put West in with two hearts, and then regain the lead with the CA. The H9 would be the setting trick.

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 for two opposing honor cards.

  • Intra-Finesse
    A type of finesse against three opposing honor cards.

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

  • Ruffing Finesse
    A finesse for 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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