Entry (cards)

An entry, in trick-taking card games such as bridge, is a means of gaining the lead in a particular hand, i.e. winning the trick in that hand. Gaining the lead when some other player led to the previous trick is referred to as entering one's hand; a card that wins a trick to which another player made the lead is therefore known as an entry card.


If South declares this hand at notrump and the opening lead is a club, he will probably take just nine tricks with the top cards in his hand. Although the dummy holds the top six spades, they can win no tricks unless someone leads a spade; South has no spades, and so cannot do so and the opponents are unlikely to do so either. If South had just one spade, he could play it as a means of entering the North hand, enabling it to win six spades tricks.
On the same deal, if South declares with hearts as trump, he has a good chance of making 13 tricks on any lead. For example, if a club is led, he wins the ace in his hand, plays two rounds of trump and then leads the three of clubs which he ruffs in dummy - an entry play. Unless the defense can ruff one of the next three top spade leads from dummy, South's three small diamonds can be discarded on the three top spades. A diamond is subsequently lead from dummy to enter the South hand with the ace of diamonds, followed by the remaining trump and the king of diamonds.