9.8 Finessing

Don't immediately dive into a finesse. Because, good players delay a finesse as much as possible.



































Finessing, is trapping an opponent's master card. If your opponent plays his master card; it will be trapped. If he does not play, you will win the trick with a lower ranking card. 

In the example at the left, if you lead ace and queen from dummy, you  will win just one trick. If you need two tricks in heart suit,you must try finessing:
Lead akor.gif (850 bytes) 8 from hand, and wait if West plays akor.gif (850 bytes) K. If West plays akor.gif (850 bytes) K, overtake it with akor.gif (850 bytes) A from dummy. Then your akor.gif (850 bytes) Q wins the second trick. If West doesn't play akor.gif (850 bytes)K on your akor.gif (850 bytes)8, you will the trick with akor.gif (850 bytes) Q in the dummy. At the next round you will play akor.gif (850 bytes) A and make your second trick. In this case, you finessed against West's king of hearts.

Now let us look at the second hand diagram at the left. If South  directly draws akaro.gif (845 bytes) A and akaro.gif (845 bytes)K, he will lose the third trick to East's queen. But if he plays from dummy toward hand, by finessing against East's Queen, he will get all the tricks. For finessing,  lead akaro.gif (845 bytes) 7 from dummy toward hand. If East plays queen overtake it with your king or ace. If East ducks, win the trick with J. Last two tricks are yours with A and K. 

If you don't have chances to switch to dummy (or hand) a couple of times for finessing, try to start finessing with the nearest ranking card to your opponent dangerous card:

For example, if you want to finesse against West's K, start finesing with J, first. If West plays K, there is no problem. If West refrain playing K, play atrefl.gif (851 bytes) 6 from dummy. Next round keep finessing with 10. In this way you can keep finessing without entering to dummy.

If you need finessing against opponents' king or queen in any suit, you need to guess which opponent holds these cards. If you remember the opponents' bids in the auction, their points can give you a clue about the position of their high cards. But, if you can not guess which opponent has the high cards you can try finessing as follows;

Finessing the Queen:
If you and your partner has totally 8 cards, missing 5 cards mostly  distributed as 3-2. Give the queen to the opponent who has 3 cards and finess accordingly. If you have totally 9 cards, the missing cards -mostly- will be distributed as 2-2. In this case, without finessing try to win queen by drawing your ace and king.

Finessing the King:
If you and your partner has totally 10 cards, missing 3 cards mostly is distributed 2-1. Give the king to the opponent who has 2 cards and finess accordingly. If you have totally 11 cards, the missing cards -mostly- will be distributed as 1-1. In this case, without finessing try to win king with your ace.

Ruffing Finesse:
Spade is trump in the card diagram shown at the left. Suppose you played jack of hearts. If West plays king you can ruff in dummy. If West ducks, you can discard ten of diamonds.. In each case, opponents have no chance for a trick.