Defensive Signaling (The Bridge Technique Series) by David Bird, Marc Smith

By David Bird, Marc Smith

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By the time you have fought your way through to the end of this book, you will be able to beat the contract in all three cases. Key points When using attitude signals, you play a high spot card to tell partner that you like the suit he has led and want him to continue that suit. Following with your lowest card is discouraging. In suit contracts, an encouraging signal can be made either with a doubleton or with a high honor in the suit led. Attitude signals are popular because they are simple to understand.

How about ace-king fourth? You can make your own choice, depending on the contract and the bidding. The lower the opponents’ contract and the less distributional their hands appear to be, the more likely it is that an attitude signal will assist. The higher the contract is, the more likely it is that you will want to know if two winners are cashing in the suit. In our experience a count signal is generally more useful. When in doubt, ask for that. Signaling attitude on an ace It is generally a poor idea to lead unsupported aces against any contract at the four-level or lower.

Let’s analyze this thinking further. Each defender can see twenty-six cards, those in his own hand and those in the dummy. There is no particular reason why one defender or the other should be better able to spot the correct line of defense. Approaching this from a different angle, it seems certain that a single defender will have the best chance of finding the correct defense if, as well as being able to see twenty-six cards, he is also told something about his partner’s hand. When you make a signal you should therefore aim to inform partner about your hand, rather than telling him what to do.

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