World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Rule of 11

Article Id: WHEBN0007933762
Reproduction Date:

Title: Rule of 11  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Snapdragon double, Stayman convention, Stepping-stone squeeze, Bridge Great Britain, Norman Kay (bridge)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rule of 11

In contract bridge, the Rule of 11 is applied when the opening lead is the fourth best from the defender's suit.[1] By subtracting the rank of the card led from 11, the partner of the opening leader can determine how many cards higher than the card led are held by declarer, dummy and himself; by deduction of those in dummy and in his own hand, he can determine the number in declarer's hand.


  • Logic 1
  • Example 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The rule works because the opening leader is known to have exactly three cards higher than that led and the number of cards lower in rank to that card is also known. The following reasoning applies when the lead is known to be or is suspected to be the lead of opener's fourth best card in the suit:

  • the total number of cards greater than the card led is self-evident based upon the rank of the card led. If a 2-spot card is led, there are 12 higher cards because there are only 13 cards in a suit and the 2 is the lowest; if a 3-spot is led, there are 11; if a 4, there are 10 and so on. In general, the total number of cards higher in rank than the card led is (14-x) where x represents the spot rank of the card led.
  • from the total number higher than the card led (14-x), we deduct the number held by leader (3). This is expressed as (14-x) - (3) or (11-x), stated as 11 minus the spot card led.

Thus, 11-x represents the number of cards higher than the card led held collectively by dummy, declarer and partner of the opening leader. When dummy is tabled after the opening lead is made, partner of the opening leader can count the number of cards higher than the card led that are in dummy and in his own hand and, by deduction of this total from 11-x, can determine the number of higher cards declarer holds.


When West leads the 7 in the hand below, East applies the Rule of 11. This shows that there are four cards higher than the 7 that dummy, declarer and East hold. Since East can see the Q and 8 in dummy and the A and 10 in his own hand, declarer can have no cards higher than the 7. Knowing this, if the dummy covers with the 8, East knows he can win the trick cheaply with the 10.

KJ973 W    N↑ S↓    E A105

However, the declarer can apply the Rule of 11, too. When West leads the 7 in the deal below, South can see the four higher cards in his hand and on the board. Accordingly he knows that the play of the 8 from the board will win the trick cheaply.

KJ973 W    N↑ S↓    E 64

Since the Rule of 11 may help declarer as well as the defenders, some prefer leads other than the fourth-best. For example, Journalist Leads generally call for the lead of the third or fifth best.

See also


  1. ^ Manley, Brent, Editor;  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.