It is impossible to absolutely define a "lone hand." With the score
three-all, four-all, or any score in your favor, do not risk a light
lone hand. It is our opinion that a great many points are lost by not
taking your partner with you for a march.
With the score four-one or four-two against you, you may take a
If your opponents keep bridges tolerably strictly, you must, of course,
be more careful if they have passed.
The eldest hand has the best position to play a lone hand, and the
dealer the next best.
The second and third hands have the weakest positions for lone hands,
especially the third hand, if the turn-up is the trump, since if the
third hand declares to play alone it has become an established custom
for the dealer to discard next in suit, and for his partner to lead it
to him. The third hand should take this into consideration before
playing alone. This is the only case when the original lead of next in
suit has any significance.
In playing against a lone hand, you should lead from a short suit or
suit of equals, if possible, and the fourth card you play (supposing
always the lone hand to take the first four tricks with trumps) should
inform your partner what suit you mean to keep. For example: Clubs are
trumps. Eldest hand has two small trumps, queen of hearts, and queen and
seven of spades. Lead the queen of hearts. The dealer, who is playing
alone, ruffs the heart and leads both bowers and the ace of trumps. On
the fourth trick you play the seven of spades; your partner, holding the
ace of spades and the ten of diamonds, should throw away the ace of
spades and keep the ten, thereby attacking the lone hand in all three
Example: Clubs are trumps. The eldest hand has the king of clubs, the
king of hearts, the ace and seven of diamonds, and the ten of spades.
Lead the king of hearts, throw away the ten of spades as early as
possible, and play the seven of diamonds on the fourth trick, thereby
informing your partner that you are keeping a diamond.
If you lead from equals,--as king, queen, or queen, knave,--and your
opponent takes the trick with a card of that suit, throw away all your
other cards, however high, and keep your second one of that suit. This
applies always against the dealer, and usually against any other player.
If the eldest hand holds the ace of hearts and the ace and king of
spades (the trump being a club), lead the ace of hearts and advertise
the command of the spade suit by throwing away the ace as soon as
An exception: For third hand, supposing the dealer to have taken the
first three tricks without showing a lay card and to have led a winning
trump for the fourth trick. If your partner's fourth card is a lay king,
and you hold one card of that suit and one of another, neither of which
suits has been ruffed, keep the card of the same suit as your partner's
king on the fourth trick.
With an assistance you may play a lone hand with less strength than
Should your partner declare to play alone, and you have a fair trump
hand with no weakness in lay suits, it is good play to take it from him.
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