ACBL14A – Declarer: Finessing                         Ward Trumbull        

                              King & Queen without the Ace        Mar 10, 2007

                                                                                                                  Page 1 of 4


What is the object?


      When you are declarer and one of the suits (between your hand and the dummy) has both the king and the queen but not the ace, sometimes with knowledgeable finessing, you will still be able to get two tricks.


1. King & Queen in the same hand


                    Dummy                             Dummy

                    ----------                             -----------

                        K                                       7

                        Q                                       6

                        4                                       5



                    Declarer                           Declarer

                    -----------                           ------------

                        7                                       K

                        6                                       Q

                        5                                       4



          In either situation, lead small toward the king.  If the king does not   

    lose to the ace, cross back in another suit and lead small toward the

    queen.  This approach gives you a 50% chance to get two tricks.

    Playing the king first should never get you two tricks against opponents

    that are still alive.        









          ACBL14A – Declarer: Finessing                             Mar 10, 2007

                                        King & Queen without the Ace          Page 2 of 4


2. King & Queen in the opposite hands


                    Dummy                             Dummy

                    ----------                             -----------

                        K                                       Q

                        9                                        6

                        4                                        5



                    Declarer                           Declarer

                    -----------                           ------------

                        Q                                       K

                        6                                        9

                        5                                        4



          In either situation, you’re going to need some luck and skill. First you

     have to be lucky enough to guess which opponent has the missing ace.  

     That is, you lead small to the king or small to the queen and it holds the

     trick.  Second, knowing that the ace is behind the other face card, you

     lead back and duck the trick.  When the opponent has a doubleton ace,

     you will get two tricks.  The doubleton ace will occur about 20-30% of

      the time.    














          ACBL14A – Declarer: Finessing                             Mar 10, 2007

                                        King & Queen without the Ace          Page 3 of 4


3. King, Queen and 10 in opposite hands


                    Dummy                             Dummy

                    ----------                             -----------

                        Q                                       Q

                       10                                       6

                        4                                        5

                        2                                        2


                    Declarer                           Declarer

                    -----------                           ------------

                        K                                       K

                        6                                      10

                        5                                        4


          Believe it or not, you don’t care where the ace is located.  You only

     need to successfully finesse the jack.  First you must lead away from

     the hand with the 10 toward the face card in the other hand.  One of two

     things will happen:


                 A. That face card will lose to the ace.  If so, you must finesse for

                      the jack to get two tricks.


                 B. That face card holds the trick.  If so, the missing ace is

                      behind the face card in the other hand (the one with the 10).

                      So guess what, you will have to finesse for the jack to get

                      two tricks.


    This approach gives you a 50% chance to get two tricks in the suit.

    Note that if you finesse for the jack first, you could lose the 10 to a

    singleton jack.  It can’t happen if you lead away from the 10 hand first.






          ACBL14A – Declarer: Finessing                            Mar 10, 2007

                                        King & Queen without the Ace          Page 4 of 4


4. King, Queen and Jack between both hands


                    Dummy                             Dummy                        

                    ----------                             -----------                         

                       K                                        Q                                    

                      Q                                         6                                   

                       J                                         5                                   




                    Declarer                           Declarer                         

                    -----------                           ------------                         

                       6                                        K                                      

                       3                                        J                                       

                       2                                        8




          If this suit breaks 3/2, you have no problem.  How about a 4/1 split?

    If there is a singleton ace, then the other hand has four to the 10.  In the

    first example, hope for the singleton ace in front of the dummy by

    leading small from your hand.  In the second example, it’s a guess which

   opponent might have the ace.  Stop to review the bidding (which was at

   least half an hour ago).  Then lead small from one hand or the other.

   In this situation you should try hard not to have to lead a face card first

   from either hand.