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Which Suit to Establish in 3NT?

A bridge hand

You are West, the declarer in 3NT. North leads the ♥J. You play the ♥Q. How should you continue, if in trick 1:

  1. South plays low heart (East’s ♥Q wins).

  2. South covers with the ♥K.

Scroll down for the full hand, a suggestion/solution and/or explanation


The Entire Deal

Gino's Suggestion and a Short Explanation

  1. Do not grab your winners. If the ♥Q wins, establish diamonds via a promotion. Play a diamond in trick 2 to force out opponent's ace. You still hold a vital heart stopper, the ♥A. After promoting diamonds you can grab your winners. You hold 10 winners: 4C, 3D, 2H, 1S).

  2. Do not grab your winners. If the ♥Q loses, establish spades via a finesse. Win with the ♥A. Play a spade in trick 2. Hope to capture North’s ♠K. If South holds the ♠K, you will go down. Note that in this scenario, the ♥Q loses, you do not hold any heart stoppers. Promoting the diamonds is futile. Hope for the spade finesse to succeed.

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