Finesse - Terminology


See also: Glossary of contract bridge terms

To finesse a card is to play that card.

♠ A Q
♠ 7 2

Thus, in the example, the Queen is finessed. The outstanding King is the card finessed against, or the card the player hopes to capture by the finessing maneuver. Thus, you finesse against a missing honor, but you finesse the card you yourself play, the card finessed being so played that it has a chance of winning against the missing higher card.

Related terms

A finesse is said to be onside or on if the finessable honor is favorably placed and offside or off if it is not.

Many finesses involve a tenace which is a combination of non-touching honors in the same hand, e.g. ♠ A Q or ♥ K J.

The term hook is a colloquialism for finesse.

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