Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
Learning anything is easy
Browse Online Courses
Mobile Apps
Learning on the go
Explore Mobile Apps
Dummies Store
Shop for books and more
Start Shopping

How to Combine Length with a Finesse in Bridge

3 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Finessing in Bridge

In bridge, when you take finesses in suits that have seven or more cards between your hand and the dummy — meaning your side has more cards in that suit than your opponents (known as length) — you always have a chance of developing an extra trick or tricks with small cards, as this image shows.


You have the ♠A and ♠K between the two hands, but you want more than two tricks. You also want to take a trick with your ♠J. You even want to take a trick with your ♠2. You may as well think big when you have seven or more cards in the same suit between your hand and the dummy. The hand might go like this:

  1. You lead a low spade, the ♠3, from the dummy (from weakness toward strength).

    East plays low, the ♠6.

  2. You play the ♠J.

    The ♠J wins!

  3. Now you can play the ♠A and ♠K, which both win tricks.

    Guess what? You’re the only person left at the table with any spades.

  4. 4. Play that lowly ♠2 to take another trick.

    You’ve managed to take four spade tricks because you combined a finesse with the power of length.

Of course, if West has the ♠Q, your finesse doesn’t work. You’re going to lose finesses about 50 percent of the time. When a finesse fails, keep your cool. Try to avoid showing emotion during the play — otherwise, you give your opponents too big a high.

Don’t let the risk involved with finesses scare you away from trying them, especially if you’re finessing in a long suit. A finesse in a long suit has the advantage of setting up small cards in the suit, even if the finesse doesn’t work.

  • Add a Comment
  • Print
  • Share
blog comments powered by Disqus

Inside Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.