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Leading lowest without an honor Is this taught?

#1 User is offline   Wackojack 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 10:48

Scoring: IMP


1 2 4
Your lead


I was watching a regular poster and partner on occasions select the 4 as his opening lead. The contract made comfortably and the lead was immaterial on this occasion. As I have always regarded leading low with no honour a major crime, I was puzzled by his choice of card. His reply afterwards was that his mentor insists that he leads low from 3.

With no honour and 3 or more:
1. Is leading low normal in some parts of the world?
2. What are its advantages over top of nothing (or low sequence) or 2nd highest from 3 or more?
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#2 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 11:05

I was taught to lead the correct low card from xxx(x) against suits and though I understand the disadvantages I still think it's right. The thinking is that it is just too important that partner know your length as soon as possible. If you lead second highest partner can't tell if you have 1, 2, 3, 4 in the suit and may go wrong. It is a very vague card.

Of course if I have shown length in the suit already, usually by supporting partner, I am happy to lead high to deny an honor. And against notrump I also lead high since a singleton and somewhat a doubleton are ruled out anyway, and the honor situation takes on greater importance relative to the length.
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#3 User is offline   goobers 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 11:08

At suit contracts, I think it's standard to lead low from 3 small. At NT I lead a high card from a suit that I don't want returned.

If you lead high, partner won't know if you have 2 or 3 (or maybe 4?)... and I think it's easier to figure out when a small lead is 4th or just small from xxx.
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#4 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 11:19

See earlier discussions on 3rd/5th (3rd/long) leads.

If you play 3/5 leads, then it is normal to lead 3rd highest from an even number, bottom from an odd number, whatever your (lack of) honour holding - unless you have an honour sequence, of course.

The theory is that it's vital to tell partner your length rather than your attitude. This approach works best when you are an aggressive opening lead - i.e. you would usually not choose to lead from 3 or 4 low if you have a choice.
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#5 User is offline   bid_em_up 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 11:21

Leading blind from 3 small vs. suit is never a good option, even when it is the other major.

If you are playing 3/5 leads, leading small will probably work best. Partner should be able to infer your length.

If you are playing 2/4 leads, MUD is the norm. It is also impossible for partner to read if it is from 872 or 72 when you lead the 7. Which is why I don't lead MUD vs. a suit contract, unless I seemingly have no other decent choice.

A trump lead here rates to work best, imo. Or, at a minimum, it will give declarer nothing he can't do on his own. And you will have seen the dummy, along with a possible discard from partner to decide what to lead next (assuming you are eventually in with the heart K.)
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#6 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 12:56

Wackojack, on May 21 2007, 04:48 PM, said:

Dealer: West
Vul: None
Scoring: IMP
874
K32
952
J532
 
1 2 4
Your lead


I was watching a regular poster and partner on occasions select the 4 as his opening lead.  The contract made comfortably and the lead was immaterial on this occasion.  As I have always regarded leading low with no honour a major crime, I was puzzled by his choice of card.  His reply afterwards was that his mentor insists that he leads low from 3. 

With no honour and 3 or more: 
1. Is leading low normal in some parts of the world?
2. What are its advantages over top of nothing (or low sequence) or 2nd highest from 3 or more?

The issue has been debated in Jeff Ruben's book "Journalist leads". After like 50 pages of discussion, he concludes that, in suit contracts, low from xxx(x) showing count is better than the top card lead.
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#7 User is offline   skjaeran 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 15:14

Agree. Playing 3rd/5th you lead your true count card vs suit.
I've played attitude vs suit some 13-15 years ago, combined with journalist and MUD. That worked fine, but it's very seldom used where I play - if at all.
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#8 User is offline   Gerardo 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 19:41

playing 2/4, I think MDU is the norm (to differentiate from DU, doubleton).

#9 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 20:16

Yep. I lead low from xxx fairly often.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

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#10 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 20:36

MUD from 3 small is common here. Low from xxx is uncommon. I personally dislike both methods and prefer the method suggested by Lukasz Slawinski to wit, top from 3 small and low from xx.
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#11 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2007-May-21, 21:28

:) I do not think one should lead low from three small against a slam. A problem arises when Kx(x)(x) hits in dummy and declarer has the stiff Q (or Qxx opposite K). You have AJ10(x). You don't lose a trick in the suit by playing the 10, but against a slam that trick may be trick 14 or 15. Against lower contracts, the chances of recovering that trick are much, much greater.
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#12 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2007-May-22, 10:44

Although it is in the distant past, I believe I was taught to lead high from three small. Currently around here (Washington DC area) I believe second highest from three or more spots is the most common. I like low from three spots, but I don't find many sympathetic with this.


The argument against leading low is, of course, that third hand may have a tough choice if he is unsure of whether you have an honor. That's correct, but if I lead second highest from spots then I lead the 5 from Q75 and the 5 from 752, so I am less than convinced that playing second from spots helps all the much.

I recall reading, maybe twenty years ago, about how the argument as to what to lead from three small, had finally reached a conclusion and that bottom from three small was now universally accepted as the correct choice. Fat chance.
Ken
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#13 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2007-May-22, 12:45

The_Hog, on May 21 2007, 09:36 PM, said:

MUD from 3 small is common here. Low from xxx is uncommon. I personally dislike both methods and prefer the method suggested by Lukasz Slawinski to wit, top from 3 small and low from xx.

I have never played these agreements, so from the start of this post I have to admit unfamiliarity.

It seems to me like the main flaw would be what you lead when you have Hxx. If you lead low from that, then distinguishing it from a doubleton seems impossible. But leading the middle card seems to me like it will simply cost a trick directly on too many occasions, especially with HTx or H9x (I know from experience leading 3rd from 4 can occasionally cost a trick in the suit, so 2nd from 3 must be all the worse in that regard).

Perhaps the agreements you mention are best in a passive (European?) opening lead style in which you are most often leading from holdings without an honor, whereas something like 3/5, high from doubletons, low from xxx is best in a more aggressive (American?) style in which you lead from an honor more often than from low cards.

Agree that MUD is bad no matter how you slice it.
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#14 User is offline   SoTired 

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Posted 2007-May-22, 12:48

lowest or highest - Never middle. IMHO, MUD is the worst convention ever invented.

Lead low from 3 (playing 3/5 leads) if you think the most important thing partner needs to know is that you are leading from an odd number of cards.

Lead high from 3 if you think the most important thing partner needs to know is that you have no honor in the suit and it is not important if partner does not know how many you cards you are leading from.

If in doubt, lead low because partner will probably learn the honor situation real quick.
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