~Surrounding Play


The surrounding play is a necessary part of all good defensive play. The example below tells all.
North (Dummy)




You are east and decide to lead this suit. When your suit contains a broken interior sequence, in this case the T8, and dummy holds the “filler”, in this case the 9, your holding “surrounds” dummy’s holding; hence the name.

If you lead a low one, declarer plays low and partner must win the K. Now your Q can be finessed and declarer loses only one trick. If you held QT98, you would of course lead the ten. Right? Well, whenever you hold a broken sequence that surrounds dummy’s card, assume that you hold dummy’s card and make the appropriate lead; in this case the ten.

See what happens? If declarer plays low, your ten wins. If declarer covers with the J, partner wins the K and continues with the 7 (top of remaining doubleton). Your Q8 surrounds dummy’s 96 and declarer is held to one trick. Cool huh?

Let’s try one more:

North (Dummy)




East is on lead, the J9 surrounds dummy’s T, so East puts the T in his hand and leads the appropriate J. Declarer covers with the Q and partner’s K wins. The 7 is returned and your A9 surrounds dummy’s T6. Declarer now takes no tricks in the suit.

Bottom Line

When you decide to lead a suit that has an interior sequence that surrounds dummy’s card, put dummy’s card in YOUR hand and then lead the appropriate card.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: