The Finesse  Facts
sheet
1. Simple Indirect finesse
In an Indirect finesse a low card is
lead from one
hand towards an almost high card in
the other,
trying to avoid being captured
by a higher
card of the Opponents.
An Indirect finesse has a 50% chance of success of
winning 1 extra trick.
♣ x x > x
→ x
Q A ♣
 
 ♦ x x >
x →
x x
K ♦

♥ A x >
x →
x x
Q ♥  
 ♠ K J x >
x ↔ x <
10 A ♠
(Twoway finesse)

2. Multiple Indirect finesse
In a Multiple Indirect finesse a low
card is lead
from one
hand towards two or three touching
Honours in the
other,
trying to avoid being captured
by a higher
card of the Opponents.
A Multiple Indirect finesse has a 50% chance of
success. If the
finesse is succesful, it can be taken again for a second or even third
time. Even if
the finesse fails one or more additional winners have been
secured.
♣ x x > x
→
x J Q A ♣
 
 ♦ x x >
x →
x Q
K ♦

♥ x x >
x →
10 J
Q A ♥
 
 ♠ x x >
x →
x J Q
K ♠

3. Direct finesse
In an Direct finesse a high card is
lead from one
hand towards a higher card in the
other, trying
to capture the Opponent's almost
high card.
For an Direct finesse you need to have 4 of the top 5 or 6
cards to
succeed. Even when the finesse fails it will produce one or more
extra winner.
A Direct finesse has a 50% chance of success.
♠ 10 J > Q
→ x x x A
♠
 
 ♥ 9 10 >
J →
x x K
A ♥

4. Double finesse
In an Double finesse the Opponents hold two Honour cards in the
suit concerned.
A Double finesse usually fails the
first time and has to be taken twice. A Double finesse can be a
Direct or an
Indirect finesse. "With 8 cards or less, double finesse !"
If you can afford to lose one trick a Double finesse has a
76% chance of
winning 2 out of 3 tricks.
♠ 9 10 > J
→ x x x A
♠
 
 ♥ x x >
9 →
x 10 Q A ♥

♦ x x >
x →
9 10 K A ♦
 
 ♣ x x > x
→
9 10 J A ♣

5. Ruffing finesse
A Direct finesse where a high card in
one hand is
lead towards a void in the other.
If LHO covers, ruff the trick, if LHO plays low discard a loser from a
side suit :
♥ J Q >
K →
 ♥
With a singleton ♣ 10 J Q
>
A →
x ♣ : lead
the A♣ first, then Q♣ for a ruffing finesse.
6. Deep finesse
In an Deep finesse the Opponents hold three Honour cards in the
suit concerned.
A Deep finesse usually fails the
first time and has to be taken twice.
The chance of success depends on the actual card combination held
♠ x x > x
→ 9 Q A
♠
 
 ♥ x x >
x →
9 J A ♥

♦ x x >
x →
9 J K ♦
 


Finesse thinking
 Is taking this Finesse the best option for making my contract
?
 Can this Finesse endanger my contract ?
 When should I take this Finesse ?
Probable chance of success
 100% : Direct
finesse  ♠ 10 J
> Q
→
x x (x) A
Always gains one or more extra tricks when
the finesse fails
100% : Multiple Indirect
finesse 
♥ (x) x > x
→
10 J
Q A ♥
Always gains one or more extra tricks
when the finesse fails
 79% : Deep finesse
 ♥ x x
> x
→
9 J K ♥
79%
chance of winning 1 trick out of 3
 25% chance of winning
2 tricks out of 3
 76% : Double
finesse
♠ x x > x
→
10 Q A
♠

♥ 9 10 > J
→
x x (x) A
♥
♦ x x > x
→
10 J A
♦

♣ x x >
x
→ x
J K
♣
76% chance of gaining at least 1 extra
trick from 2
finesses
 68% : 32
split when Opponents hold 5
cards in the
combined hands
♠ K x x x
↔ x x x A
♠

♥ x x x
↔ x x x K
A ♥
68% chance of gaining one (with 44) or
two (with 53) extra tricks
 63% : Deep finesse
 ♥ x x
> x
→
9 Q A ♥
63% chance of gaining one extra
trick from 2 finesses
 50% : Simple
Indirect finesse
♠ x x > x
→ x
Q A ♠

♥ x x > x
→ x x
K ♥
50% chance of gaining one extra
trick
 38% : Deep finesse
 ♥ x x
> x
→
9 J A ♥
38%
chance of winning 2 tricks if 2nd player plays low
50% chance of winning
2 tricks if 2nd players plays K or Q
 35% : 33
split when Opponents hold 6
cards in the
combined hands
♣ x x x
↔ x x K
A ♣

♦ x x
↔ x x x K
A ♦
35% chance of gaining one (with 43) or two
(with 52) extra
tricks
© 2013 Michael Furstner
