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Rule of 10-12

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Title: Rule of 10-12  
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Subject: Opening lead, Rule of 11, Journalist leads
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Rule of 10-12

In bridge, the Rule of 10-12 is applied when the opening lead is the third or the fifth best from the defender's suit. By subtracting the rank of the card led from 10 or 12, a defender can figure out how many cards are higher than the card partner has led. 10 is used if the lead is fifth best [1] and 12 is used if lead is the third best.[2] Rule of 11 applies when lead is the 4th best.

When following the Rule of 10-12 lead is the third card from 3 or 4 card suit and the fifth card from 5+ cards suit. Leading the third best is also applied to interior sequences (K J 10 x x) which is less ambiguous than the top of interior sequence. The third best lead from interior sequence is called coded 9 & 10 leads.

Sometimes opening leader may choose to lead the fourth best card from 4 card suit against no trump contract if third card is a spot card. The spot card lead may give declarer a trick that she can't get if the fourth best is led.

Q 6 5 4
K 9 73 W    N↑ S↓    E A 10 2
J 8
If opening lead is 7 suit will be blocked and defense is unable to set up the 3rd winner in the suit.


Possible variation that helps giving count from 5+ cards suit is leading the third best from even number of cards and the lowest from odd number.

See also


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