This is a finesse which seems unnatural in its planning and its play, but which may sometimes prove to be advantageous for the declarer. The following illustration should clarify this particular finesse.


The natural or normal procedure would be to finesse the Jack of Hearts by leading a small Heart from the dummy. According to the percentages, this would be almost an even chance that the Queen of Hearts is held by the right hand opponent. But as the cards lie, the correct play would be to lead the Jack of Hearts from the holding of the declarer.

If the left hand opponent decides to play the Queen of Hearts on the Jack of Hearts, then this is covered by the Ace of Hearts in the dummy, and the declarer then finesses his right hand opponent with the Nine of Hearts when leading back to his hand. If the right hand opponent covers with the Ten of Hearts, the declarer plays the King of Hearts, which makes his Nine of Hearts a winning trick.

If the key cards are not located either through the auction itself, and the opponents have withheld information from the declarer concerning count, and the percentage play is not favorable, there are several reasons why the Backward Finesse should be used.

1. There is a good chance that the natural finesse will fail based on inference.
2. The Backward Finesse executed by the declarer may actually be an Avoidance play.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.