When leading from touching honours is it best to lead from the top.

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by will will 3 years, 4 months ago.

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    The reason behind leading the King from Ace-King is so that when you lead the Ace you are denying the King.
    Partner can correctly signal their attitude based on that information.
    I played this method for 2 years, and found that leading Aces without the King is such a bad idea, and almost never happens that it is not worth it.

    I lead and teach: overlead touching honours, the Ace promises the King.
    However, leading away from an Ace is bad, so I might occasionally lead an Ace without the King, but only once a year and i deceive my partner when I do.

    Related, and a little more advanced, but off-topic in general leading situations:

    Some people use a special lead in No-Trumps (often the King) to say:
    “I am leading a super solid, powerful suit, if you have the missing honour, unblock it now!”
    Leader: KQJT9 Partner A2
    The Ace must be played now and one returned for us to run this suit against 3NT.
    (A good partner will do this automatically, but might forget!)

    Leader: AKJT9 Partner: Q87
    Rather than trying to signal, the King lead asks for the Queen to by thrown under the King, and leader can run the suit.



    Hi Margaret
    The other point of relevance is to do with signalling. If partner would lead the king from either the ace-king or king-queen this causes a dilemma when holding say J82 and dummy appears with just low cards. If partner has led from the ace-king then a discouraging signal should be given (the two in standard methods but the eight if playing upside-down) as you lack an equal honour (declarer has the queen in the closed hand and you need to avoid setting it up by partner continuing with the ace). However, if the lead is from king-queen it would be best to encourage a continuation by playing the eight (or the two if playing upside-down) as the jack is valuable.

    So most top players agree to overlead all (with the exception that Joan mentioned about ace for attitude, king for count or unblock) although there are some who underlead all. Whatever you play it needs to be consistent and unambiguous. Overleading all also promotes the idea for new players not to just cash unsupported aces as the ace promises the king.


    Easiest is to teach overlead all, i.e. A from AK, etc. Some people play (in no trumps) that the lead of the K from either AK, or KQ asks for count or unblock, and lead of the A asks for attitude. They decide which they need more based on the particular hand.
    But no need for such sophistication with regular players or your students.


    Some confusion has occurred in regards to leading the King when having A,K due to then introducing what to lead when having K,Q and QJ. Does this depend on whether the partnership agrees to lead from top or the bottom? What is recommended?

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