Should I Lead A Trump?

When is it appropriate to make your opening lead from the trump suit?  

There are several situations in which a trump lead might be appropriate.  Here are some of them:

1) Responder raises opener’s suit

You might want to consider leading with a trump if the bidding appears to suggest that declarer is hoping to make tricks by ruffing in dummy.  The bidding will have suggested that dummy is long on trumps and possibly short in another suit – it this short suit that declarer will be hoping to ruff from dummy.


Opener bid 1S and responder raised to 3S then opener passed.  Or opener bid 1S, responder raised to 3S then opener raised again to game with 4S.

Responder’s raise to the 3 level will often show that they were counting shortage points towards their total points count.  The short suit is where responder will be hoping to make trucks by ruffing in dummy.

2) Responder gives preference to declarer’s second suit.

If responder supports the second suit and not the first, this indicates that he is short in the first suit but has length in the second.  Dummy is in a good position to ruff your potential winners, so drawing trumps at the start could be a good option.

3) You made a take out double but partner passed

Partner has left the contract in the original suit bid by opener.  Your partner is showing that they have a strong hand with length in the trump suit. Draw trumps right at the start in the hope of taking control of the game.

There are many other situations in which a trump lead is an appropriate opening for the defending partnership.  It is easy to think that once the bidding is over, the declaring side have the advantage and there is nothing you can do.  This is wrong and learning to make an appropriate opening lead is one of the keys to good defence play at bridge.  Studying opening leads and making good decision can make a big difference to the number of tricks that  your partnership can win.

Trump leads is one of the many defense topics that you can study and practice at No Fear Bridge US.  Just CLICK HERE to start your trial membership right away.