West can lead any card to dislodge the ace. It is immaterial to West whether the K, Q, J or 10 is led. The purpose of top-of-sequence is to let partner know your holding. When the king lead forces the ace, East knows the location of the queen.
|Lead : Q||A 8 6 4 3|
West leads the queen, denying the king As East knows that South has the king, East should play the ace. South's king might be singleton.
|K 5 2|
|J 10 9 6||A 8 3|
|Q 7 4|
West leads the jack, denying the queen, and dummy plays low. East knows that South holds the queen. East plays low, preserving the ace to capture the king later. If East plays the ace at once, declarer makes two tricks. If East keeps the ace to take the king, declarer scores only one trick.
A queen lead denies the king. — A jack lead denies the queen. — A ten lead denies the jack.
Exception: If the partnership leads the king from A-K-x and longer holdings, the king lead would not deny the ace. The king lead would then promise one of the touching honours, either A-K-x or K-Q-x or longer suits. Where the partnership has agreed to lead the ace first from A-K-x or longer, the king lead denies the ace (except for A-K doubleton).
The king is commonly led from A-K suits but many pairs prefer to lead the ace. There is not much to choose between the methods and both can lead to ambiguous situations.
Leading king from A-K-x and from K-Q-x creates an ambiguity unless the ace or queen is visible to partner.
If the king is led from A-K-x, A-K-x-x and the like in your partnership against trump contracts, lead the ace from A-K-doubleton, and the king next. Partner's reaction on seeing the ace will be, "Ah, no king" When the king appears at trick 2, partner should realise that the lead was A-K doubleton.
If the ace is your partnership's lead from A-K-x, A-K-x-x and the like against trump contracts, then from A-K doubleton, lead the king first, ace next. On seeing the king, partner assumes 'no ace'. When the ace appears at trick 2, the reason for departing from the normal order is A-K doubleton.
When the A-K doubleton is revealed, partner should signal on the second round the suit in which an entry is held :
High Card = High Suit
Lowest Card = Low Suit
Pairs that lead the ace from A-K-x and so on will do this only at trick 1. If you switch to an A-K-x or longer suit later in the play, lead the long. There is much less risk of an ambiguity later. Switching to an ace will normally deny holding the king in the suit. Switching to an ace and following up with the king shows ace-king doubleton and on the king, partner will give a suit-preference signal (high card/high suit, low card/low suit) to show which suit to lead next.
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