Vs. Suit Vs. Notrump Notes
xx xx Includes all doubletons, such as AK, KJ, QJ, J5, and 32.
AKx AKx --
KQx KQx --
QJx QJx --
JT9 JT9 --
T9x T9x --
xxx xxx "Low from three small" is common but not universal. Many players lead the middle card if playing "MUD": Middle, Up Down. This means that the middle card is played first, then the top card, and then the bottom card last. Alternatively, some players also lead the top card ("top of nothing"), although this can be easily mistaken for a doubleton.
AKJx AKJx --
AQJx AQJx Lead the ace against suit contracts.
AJT9 AJT9 Lead the ace against suit contracts.
AT9x AT9x Lead the ace against suit contracts.
KQJx KQJx --
KQT9 KQT9 Against no-trump contracts, the queen asks partner to unblock the jack if he has it.
KJTx KJTx --
KT9x KT9x --
QJTx QJTx --
QT9x QT9x --
JT9x JT9x --
T9xx T9xx --
xxxx xxxx Against no-trump contracts, many players also lead the second-highest card, i.e. xxxx. For those who play third and fifth best leads, the third-highest card is led instead.
xxxxx xxxxx For those who play third and fifth best leads, the fifth-highest card is led instead.

See also

  • Ace from Ace-King
    The practice of leading the ace when holding Ace-King.

  • Fourth-best leads
    The practice of leading the 4th-highest card from a 4-card holding or longer.

  • Jack denies, Ten implies
    A lead agreement whereby the jack denies a higher honor, but the 10 does not.

  • Journalist leads
    A conventional system of leads used against no-trump contracts.

  • MUD
    The practice of leading the middle card from three small cards.

  • Rusinow leads
    The practice of leading the second-ranking honor from any two honors like A-K or K-Q.

  • Third and fifth leads
    The practice of leading the 3rd or 5th highest card from a long suit.

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