Endplays - Facts

  1. The purpose of an endplay is to force the Defence to make a lead which will benefit the Declarer.

  2. The first stage in the process is to 'strip' the hand, to eliminate the suits which the Defence can safely play without helping Declarer.

  3. The second stage is the 'throw-in', giving the lead to the Defence at the right moment.

  4. If the endplay has succeeded, the Defender who has been thrown in, will have no safe exit card. He will be obliged to play into a tenace or, in a trump contract, to present the Declarer with a ruff and discard.

  5. Sometimes, an endplay will succeed whichever opponent is thrown in. More often, it is necessary to throw in the Defender who sits over Declarer's or Dummy's tenace(s).

    (The above from Card Play Technique by Victor Mollo & Nico Gardener. Revised Edition 2013)

Select your target suit, the suit containing the tenace you want the Defender to lead into. This could be :
♠ x x x     opposite     10 J A ♠
♠ x x x     opposite     10 Q A ♠
♥ A J x     opposite     x 10 K ♥
♣ K 10 x   opposite     x 9 Q ♣   (when you can afford to lose 1 trick)
♦ Q x x     opposite     x x J ♦   (when you can afford to lose 2 tricks)

Find your throw-in lead. Good throw-in leads are :

  1. Having a single loser in one suit, such as
    A K x     opposite     x x x   (play A and K first)
        A x     opposite     x x     (play A first)

  2. Having a 3rd round loser in the trump suit
    A K x x (x)     opposite     x x x x   (play A and K first. Dummy needs 4+ trumps)
    A x x x (x)     opposite     x x x x   (play x first, A second. Dummy needs 4+ trumps)

  3. The first lead in a double finesse
    x x (x)     opposite     10 Q A
    x x (x)     opposite     10 J A
    x 9 10     opposite     x J A

  4. Leading a loser in one suit, discarding a loser in another suit
    (loser on loser)
    x     opposite     x Q A ♥

  5. Other opportunities may arise during play.
    For example when Opponents win the first trick with the Ace, then
        K x     opposite     x x     (play K first)
Start stripping the other (non-trump) suits.

© 2016 Michael Furstner