Jxx sidesuit holding what to lead

What do you lead from Jxx (sidesuit holding) when forced

I lead the J
I lead the middle x
No votes
I lead the lowest x
Ive never thought about it, i dont know
Total votes: 19

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Grand Master
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Post by Just_Ice » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:25 am

Well, I guess I never count even partial tricks on the 3rd round of any side suit. And, it's too easy for the opps to win the first 2 rounds of the suit, since you force your partner to play his highest card in the suit if West ducks (which is likely). The other thing I don't like is you give away way too much information to the opponents, assuming they know 3rd hand high. Leading any card from K,x,x statistically favors the opponents since there is a 66% chance they have the Ace, and it shows them exactly what your partner's high card in the suit is.

I view this as such a bad lead that I determine immediately that whoever opens does not hold the King of the suit, and I'm right the vast majority of the time. If their pard does not play it then I *know* my partner has it. Way too much information given to the opponents IMO.

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Re: Jxx sidesuit holding what to lead

Post by SeattleMatt » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:30 pm

This has been an amazing post to read for me!

I learned spades in college and thought I was pretty good until I went through these pages and saw so many new ideas.

Can anyone recommend a way to become a better player? I feel like playing online, while fun, doesn't present the sort of interaction needed to really "get it." Does any high ranked, in-the-know players ever offer a Lesson type room or table at an agreed upon time?

Also... what book would you recommend as the "must-have" for some one looking to improve their game?

Thanks in advance,


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Re: Jxx sidesuit holding what to lead

Post by Dust In The Wind » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:38 pm

One thing I do recommend for any card player to have if they can find it in any of the stores and is a must have is LUCK!!! The skill will do the rest....

You will also find a couple of good book publishers here (they do write in this forum) Joe Andrews and John Galt. You can contact either of them through the forum's PM or just request more info from them and they will surely PM you.

As far as getting one-on-one training that is up to the individual that has time, there are a lot of good and above players at this site and may even find them wandering the game site. Ask in the lobby, get a good pard and play better players. Review/replay those games at when you have time, formulate your questions and bring them here.


PS - Nobody here charges over $100 per 30mins...... LOL

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Re: Jxx sidesuit holding what to lead

Post by Openshut » Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:39 am

Hi Matthew, If you are serious about learning this game you need to check out http://masterspades.home.att.net/strategy.htm
There you will find more than your hearts content in almost everything for Spades.
You will need a partner to work with, this may be your biggest challenge. Most players are quick to have their own ideology of the game so stick to a regular partner.

Some key terms:

Partnership (Well one hand does not clap very well)
Momentum (Push that long off suit with 4 spades length)
Continuity (Keep me in the lead partner, I do not want to switch tracks yet)
Unblocking (Out of my way Please partner!)
Timing (Entries... position... avoiding, breaking and leading spades)
Signaling (well partner I was showing you what to do)
Captaincy (No partner I was leading your void as you where the weak hand if I wanted spades I would not have made you trump on purpose, you know?)
Support (So Partner I need to time and regulate the direction of your plays, not jumping in your path is also my specialty)
Passive Play (Well let the opponent chose his poison,if he goes left we go right, this also applies when you realize using your spades to trump is a very bad idea best to let the book pass)
Passive leads (Sorry partner I chose my strength over yours)
Card Count Principle (Shoot If I lose this I may go set!)
End Plays (Geeee partner you really thought not trumping me and letting me win that trick was a good idea sigh!!! This also applies to getting spades early in the game when your team has abundant off suits and spades lead is crucial to prevent potential cross ruff)

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Re: Jxx sidesuit holding what to lead

Post by _S_X_Eian_ » Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:13 am

Again if you are serious I am sure we could round up 3 players from the boards to play some games and give some tips I am happy to be one of them. I few of us get together on occasion to play some games and discuss some strategies. We rarely always agree which is not a bad thing and only time will prove who is right and who is wrong. The best way to learn what to do in different situations is to discuss with other people what they think. When you hear all the options and arguments you can make your own decision. I would gladly give you my input if you want you can message me on this board and we can play a few games or I can answer any questions with my input.


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Re: Jxx sidesuit holding what to lead

Post by dustin7609 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm

"Also... what book would you recommend as the "must-have" for some one looking to improve their game?"

A great question, and not enough people are willing to study the game -- refreshing to see you ask. I've studied every book on Spades in great depth, and here is my evaluation.

"How Not to Lose At Spades" by John Strichman http://www.spadesbook.com is a great introduction to strategy (contrary to my previous review of this book). I would recommend that 99% of all players start with this book. Interestingly, it's the only book so far that has explored score-based decisions which really needs to be covered in more depth at some point (if anyone ever writes another book). There are some poor concepts in this book, but overall it is a good way to get your feet wet. You will understand with further study where the book's limitations are.

Situational strategy is the least-covered aspect of the game, and "How Not to Lose At Spades" is the only book that addresses it. Of course, there is a great deal more to this area of the game that no one has written about yet.

If your aim is to become an extremely proficient spades player, you will definitely need to follow up with "Spades for Winners" and finally, "Master Spades" by Steve Fleishman http://spadesbooks.home.att.net/index.htm. By the way, as mentioned above, http://masterspades.home.att.net/ is the single best resource for learning Spades strategy on the internet. Steve Fleishman created this site, and is a huge pioneer of spades theory.

Finally, if you start becoming a card theory geek such as myself, continue on with some bridge-based books such as "Watson's Play of The Hand" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... dgecompani. This book will help you learn how to manage your cards, and many of the concepts are very applicable to Spades.

The rest is simply application with a regular partner, and regular hand analysis. Also, I recommend playing against the best players you can find, and also kibbing their games (which is done very frequently in our circle over at Yahoo). This is very helpful as well.

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Re: Jxx sidesuit holding what to lead

Post by Galt » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:42 pm

Dustin. Thanks for your honest and thoughtful review.

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