How to Play Second Hand in Bridge

What should your strategy be for defending when you play second to a trick, or second hand? Whenever you play second hand, either the declarer or the dummy has led the suit initially. Your plays are governed by which opponent leads the suit first and whether a low card or an honor card is led.

Blind man’s bluff: When the dummy’s on your right

If, during the course of play, some suit is led from the dummy, the North hand, then you, East, are second to play, as shown in this image. In this scenario, you can’t see the hand that plays after you, the declarer’s hand. Basically, you play second hand blind, meaning that you may have to guess at what the declarer has in his hand.


You can see! When the dummy’s on your left

When the declarer, South, leads the suit first, then you, West, are second hand, as shown in this image. But this time, you can see the dummy, the hand that plays after you, and that helps because the declarer’s options from the dummy are limited by the cards that you can see in the dummy. After all, if the dummy has only small cards, you can take the trick cheaply.