When Declarer or Dummy leads a suit and you are in second seat, the general guideline is “second hand plays low”! The other guideline is “cover an honour with an honour”! If you are happy to play these two rules, then pass GO, collect $200 and move on. However, if you wish to save several thousand tricks over your bridge playing career, read on.
1. WHEN DUMMY LEADS AN HONOUR —the Queen; and you have
King, 10, 9
Cover the Queen with your KING which will promote your TEN to a third round trick!
WHEN DUMMY LEADS AN HONOUR —the Queen from Q, 2 and you have
King, 5, 4
DO NOT COVER WHEN THERE IS NOTHING TO PROMOTE!
Do not play the King on the Queen, unless you know partner has 10’s or 9’s to promote—
If you can’t promote anything for yourself, and partner has insufficient length to effect a promotion, don’t cover.
2. IF DUMMY HAS A NUMBER OF EQUAL HONOURS, COVER THE LAST EQUAL HONOUR!!!!
Example: dummy has Q, J, 2 – do not cover when he leads the queen —- cover when he plays the jack— the last high card led.
3. SPLITTING HONOURS
While you want to avoid wasting high cards, you also want to prevent Declarer from getting a trick too cheaply, for example:
6, 4, 3- Decl. Leads 2 from Dummy
K, Q, x x —SPLIT YOUR HONOURS AND PLAY THE QUEEN
A J X X
4. ANOTHER TIME TO AVOID PLAYING 2ND HAND LOW IS WHEN YOU CAN WIN THE “SETTING TRICK”!