Duplicate, Rubber Bridge » Playing A Bridge Hand » Taking Finesses

How to Take a Finesse in Bridge

  Why use Finesses When to use Finesses Finesse Procedure
  •   To take more tricks
  •   Keep an opponent off lead
  •   When you need an extra trick
  •   When it's safe
  •   Lead to a middle card
  •   Plan for your next play

How to Take a Finesse in Bridge

The purpose of a finesse is to make a card good by virtue of its position to an opponent's higher card.

A Q 8 5

9 3 2

If you are leading from the North hand you will only get the Ace, and the opponents will always capture your Queen with their King.

A Q 8 5

9 3 2

If you can lead low from the South hand towards the A Q however, then you have a 50% chance that West has the King and doesn't play it. You then play your Queen which wins. This is the simplest form of a finesse.

A time not to finesse is when you fear what the opponents will do next.

A J 5

K 10 2

Here you can either lead low to the Jack and finesse West for the Queen, or low to the 10 to finesse East. Suppose you have already found out that West has two good Spades left in their hand though.

Clearly you don't West to ever win the trick or they will play their good Spades. The choice is easy: lead from your hand and finesse the Jack on the board. Even if East wins the Queen you have kept West, the danger hand, off the lead.

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Help knowing when to take finesses

Finesses in Bridge. How to Take a Bridge Finesse