In a hand of bridge, when you’re missing just the ace, you can establish the suit easily by drawing out the ace. However, if you’re missing both the ace and the king, you have to give up the lead twice to take later tricks.

Bridge is a game of giving up the lead to get tricks back. Don’t fear giving up the lead. Your high honor cards in the other suits protect you by allowing you to eventually regain the lead and pursue your goal of establishing tricks.

Here's a suit in which you have to swallow your pride twice before you can establish your lower honor cards:

Notice that the dummy in this figure has a sequence of cards headed by three equal honors — the ♠QJ10. The ♠9, though not considered an honor card, is equal to the ♠QJ10 and has the same value. When you have a sequence of equals, all the cards have equal power to take tricks — or to drive out opposing honor cards. For example, you can use the ♠9 or the ♠Q to drive out your opponent’s ♠K or ♠A.

In this hand, your opponents hold the ♠AK. To compensate, you have the ♠QJ109, four equals headed by three honors — a very good sign. Here’s the sequence of the trick:

1.    You lead a low spade, the ♠2.

2.    West plays the ♠5.

3.    You play the ♠9 from the dummy.

4.    East takes the trick with the ♠K.

You’ve driven out one spade honor. One more to go. Your spades still aren’t established, but you’re halfway home! The next time you have the lead, lead a low spade, the ♠3, and then play the ♠10 from the dummy, driving out the ♠A. Guess what? You started with zero sure spade tricks, but now you have two: the ♠Q and ♠J.