T H E   B A T H   C O U P
Drop the Jack!

Defense Against the Bath Coup
Before we can discuss the defense to use against the Bath Coup, perhaps we should first understand what it is.

You have the hand below, and your contract is 3NT.  The opening lead from your left is the king.  Presumably West has both the king and queen.
Declarer ducks the opening lead in the hopes that the hand on lead continues the suit, thereby scoring two heart tricks.  If declarer takes the first trick it is unlikely that he will get a second heart trick.

This play reportedly originated in the days of Whist at a club in Bath, England.  It seldom works with more experienced players today, but we all play against players from the lower flights.

There are conditions where declarer may not be able to duck the opening lead, but when its safe it's usually the best play.

The Best Defense?
When West leads the king, his partner should "Drop the Jack" if he has it.  If that happens, West can usually continue the suit, knocking out the ace in declarer's hand.  If East does not drop the jack, West switches to another suit and hopes that his partner can get in to return the heart suit.

NOTE: This play may also work if Declarer has the ace hidden in his hand and the Jxx in dummy.

Roy Wilson