~Defensive Leads #2

The bidding has gone:

South               West               North              East

1S                         P                        3S                      P
All Pass

What do you (West) lead from these hands

1.S JT5 
H A62
D KQ5
C QT63

2.
S JT3
H 4
D QJ54
C K5432

3.
S JT98
H 4
D K843
C KT63

1. S 5
Partner has few values, but if he holds an honor in spades, you may get a spade trick. Otherwise, the opponents have a fit in spades and are likely to hold a short suit or two. You want to reduce their ruffing values in the hand with the fewest trumps. The lead of one of your honors could cost a trick–so, lead your low spade.
2. H 4. As Eddie Kantar, one of the top bridge teachers in the world says, “When you hold a singleton in a side suit against a suit contract, lead it. If you don’t hold a singleton, lead it anyway.” Translate that into, “If you hold a singleton in a side suit, lead it unless the bidding and your hand suggest another lead.” You hope to find partner with the ace of hearts to get a heart ruff. Even if partner does not hold the heart ace, you may get a ruff later in the play.
3. S J
Here, you have a better lead than your singleton. You hold a sure trump trick and have no need to trump a heart. You may gain by reducing dummy’s ruffing opportunities.

Note that with hand 1, you do not lead from your KQx holding in diamonds and with hand 3, you do not lead your singleton–because the bidding and your holding indicate that there is a better lead.

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