WHAT IS A FINESSE???
 
A Finesse is an attempt to win tricks with a lower card than one held by the opponents.

 
  FINESSING THE ACE 
w  The situation is: you have the King in a suit and you know your opponents have the Ace which is in either East's or West's hand. Your object is to try to win a trick with your King.

w  EXAMPLE 1. The King is in the North (Dummy) hand. Then play a small card (the X) from the South hand toward the King. This is called "Finessing the Ace".

w  If a small card is played on your left then you play the King from North. If East plays small it's a good day; you made a trick with the King. Note that you made a trick with a lower card (the King), even though the opponents held a higher card (the Ace).

w  If when you play to the King, the Ace appears on your left (played by West) you are happy. Play small from North and the King will win a trick later.

w  In both these cases West has the Ace and the King won. In the first case immediately and in the second case at a later date. (Hopefully the same day.) West will have the Ace 50% of the time.

w  If when you play up to the King (small card from South) and West plays small, then you play the King. If East produces the Ace and wins the trick, then its curtains (or drapes). East will have the Ace 50% of the time.

w  But you will always lose the King to the Ace if East has the Ace (and is patient). Note that this will happen 50% of the time. If however, you play the King from North first, you will lose it 100 % of the time. So take the Finesse: play a small card toward the King.

w  EXAMPLE 2. Let's say the Finesse works the first time, that is the King wins when you play a small card towards the King. Then return to the South hand in a different suit and repeat the Finesse: play a small card toward the Queen. By taking the Finesse twice it is possible to win tricks with both the King and the Queen.


 
 
 
EXAMPLES

 
 
 
 
 
1.
NORTH
K
X

_______

SOUTH
X
X


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.
NORTH
K
Q
X
______

SOUTH
X
X
X

Most Finesse situations: 
Win 50%/Lose 50%

 
 

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