How to Finesse against Split Honors in Bridge
6 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Finessing in Bridge
Sometimes your opponents have two important honors in the suit that you want to attack in a hand of bridge. If those honors are split and each opponent has one honor, you can finesse those split honors, so you’re playing for split honors.
You have a chance to play for split honors with the cards shown in this image, a hand where you can take two finesses.
In this image, you have a powerful three-card honor combination in the dummy: the ♠AJ10. You normally attack suits with powerful honor combinations early. Because you’re missing both the ♠K and the ♠Q, two important honors, assume that the honors are split between the two opposing hands:
Start by leading a low spade from your hand, the ♠5, weakness to strength.
West, second to play, sees that the dummy has a higher spade, the ♠A, than West has with the ♠K, so West properly plays low, the ♠3.
You insert the ♠10 from the dummy.
East wins the trick with the vQ, as expected (split honors, remember?). Hang on, though; it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
After you regain the lead in another suit, you lead another low spade from your hand, the ♠6.
Once again, West properly plays low, the ♠4.
You insert the ♠J from the dummy.
Success! Your second finesse has worked. The missing spade honors were split after all (the ♠K in one hand and the ♠Q in the other). And you have a little bonus in store, to boot.
Take the next trick by playing the ♠A.
After both opponents follow, that little ♠2 in the dummy also morphs into a trick because nobody has any more spades.