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This is Zia's description of the Rule of Eleven (Ro11) in "Ask Zia".

When my wife was learning to play she really struggled to interpret fourth highest leads and so we switched to always leading the lowest card from a suited headed by a high  honour (AK or Q) regardless of length (assuming 3+). This had two effects (1) our defence improved (2) some opposing declarers were disconcerted as they couldn't use Ro11. 

We routinely teach beginners to lead fourth highest even though their partners may be incapable of applying Ro11; in which case the lead will aid an experienced declarer rather than the defence! Why don't we teach leading lowest which at least gives them a fighting chance of their partner working out what to do? If 4th highest truly is better (and I'm not convinced) they can always re-train later when they have more experience.

These are the hands that Zia uses to make his point:

------------ 84

KJ963 ------------- Q75

West leads the 6 and East knows to play the Q because of the Ro11.

How about: West leads the 3 and East knows to play the Q because he isn't stupid?

 

----------- Q84

KJ763 ------------ AT9

West leads the 6 and East knows to play the 10 because of the Ro11.

How about: West leads the 3 and East knows to play the 10 because she needs to keep the Ace to cover the Q.

 

Here are two hands I constructed to make my point:

N: 962 KJ43 72 J742

N: KJ962 98 72 J742

West is declarer after an uninterrupted auction: 1-2-2NT-3NT.

What is your lead with each hand? If you lead the 6 with either hand how do you expect your novice partner to cope with it?

 

 

 

4th highest is best for everyone
4th highest is best, but not for beginners
4th highest is best for everyone except experts
4th highest is over-rated
Something else

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