Protect Your Masters
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You don't have to worry about protecting your master cards from being ruffed in notrump contracts.This is the main difference between notrump and suit contracts. Also in a suit contract, if you are able to draw the trumps and take all the trumps of defenders, you may not worry about your master cards.
If the ace of trumps is against you, or, if you need to develope side suits before drawing trumps, you must protect you master cards from being ruffed. Here are some techniques for protecting your masters:
Don't play ace and king one after the other. Instead, lead the ace, and return to your hand with any other suit for the next lead of hearts. If West has a singleton, he will ruff a low card.
a- Playing to win
West leads Q. It is likely that West is leading the highest card of a holding like QJxxx. In order to protect dummy's K against a singleton in East's hand take West's Q with K. Later, East may obtain a ruff. But he will ruff a low card.
b- Delaying to win
West leads 5, dummy plays low and East wins with the ace in the first round. In the next round don't cover East's J with your Q. Play a low card instead. In this way you can protect your queen from being ruffed. It is likely that East has a length in the suit. Othewrwise he could save his ace for dummy's king.
In order to protect King of heart, you must finesse West for the Q. If finesse loses East's heart return will not ruin you.. If you finesse East for Q and lose, West's heart turn may defeat the contract..
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