Learn to play Bridge


Playing: Lesson 2

Avoiding Blocking a suit

You can count your winners but on occasion it is important to play the cards in the right order to ensure you make the contract.

A blockage occurs when you find yourself unable to lead from the current hand to the top tricks in the other hand.

North hand : Ace of Hearts Queen of Hearts Three of Hearts Two of Hearts


South hand: King of Hearts Four of Hearts

If you start with the Ace from north and the Four from south. Then your second lead will be the Two taken by the King in south.

You now have no more spades in the south hand to return to the Queen. You are 'blocked'.

There is a simple technique to avoid this.

Note the suit has two parts the longer length (4 cards) is in the north hand and the shorter length (2 cards) in the south hand.

Play the high card from the shorter length first, in the example above start with the king from the south hand.

This does not mean you have to start the lead from the shorter length. You can lead the king to start if you are in the south hand or you can lead the 2 if you are in the north hand.

In the following examples the first high card is displayed in bold text.

A K 5 3
Q 6
J 7 3
A K Q 4
A 2
K Q 5

Example Hands

These hand allow you to practice your technique to avoid blocking a suit.
Cards for East and West are not shown as it would be playing a game. Whilst you are practicing you can change the view to see all cards.

The hand to play is marked by an arrow image -

  • Remember to count your top tricks.
  • Identify any potential blockage.

When you are ready click the 'start play' button.
Click the card you want to play when the arrow is showing

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© Mary Vale 2009
Learn to play bridge