your partner legal signals by the cards you play is an important part
of the defence. To get an overview you may look up a few of these links.
you must have an agreement with your partner which card to play with
There are many different agreements possible. But to begin with you
should try to follow a very simple system.
I suggest to my mentees to employ
these conventions. I’ll use these in my lessons about defence.
says: I will tell you something that you will hear many, many times....
having an agreement (even perhaps an inferior agreement) is better than
no agreement at all. Decide what you like here, and get your partner
to agree to it.
Beware this: Signals are important, but must be employed with
wisdom. Declarer looks at your spots too. To imagine declarers hand by counting and drawing
conclusions from bidding and earlier play is much more important than
|These are the points you must talk about with your partner:
1. Lead conventions
2. Third-hand-reactions. (If your
partner leads a suit (not only to the first trick), you are ‘third hand’.
3. Giving the count. If the declarer
plays a suit AND it is decisive for partner
to know the count, you must give the count to him.
4. Suit preference signals to read are very difficult because it is
so easy to mix up with attitude and count.
The most important suit-preference-signal is the first
want to read more than my brief summary here are a few links, I found
Ben (inquiry) posted in BBF
Possible Lead conventions
(must be discussed and agreed)
- 4th or 3th/5th
from a long suit not headed by a sequence of 3 Honours.
Is there a change, if partner bid the suit, if you raised him?
- Highest or next to highest from a sequence of 3 honours ( AKJxx,
KQJx, KQ10xx …)
- 10 promises … higher cards ??
- 9 promises … higher cards ??
- Leading the J denies a higher honour ??
- High from a doubleton?
- In a suit without future we play top of nothing or MUD (middle up
down) or small
Reactions of third hand (openers partner)
- Priority of signals:
Attitude – count – suit-preference
- If opener leads an honour,
what is the meaning of a low or a high spot?
- Do we signal standard
- If opener leads a small card, you should try to gain the trick.
This is done normally by playing your highest card.
There are exceptions from this depending an dummys holding, we’ll
Holding sequence of 2 or more cards you play the lowest.
- If you win the first trick with an honour, you play
the original 4th if you had 4 originally
the highest, if you had 3 cards and now remain 2.
Count normally is given when declarer plays a suit.
If you agreed standard
carding, you show an even number of cards by playing high/low
If you agreed UDCA, you
show an even number of cards by playing first low then high
The first free discard
The first time you cannot follow the suit, which is played, you
make your first free discard.
With the first-free-discard you can show (but will not always do)
your partner to which suit you want a shift:
There are many different agreements possible for the first free
- Direct signals:
- Agreed standard, discard a high card, of the suit you want to be played,
means play this suit.
- Agreed UDCA, discard a low card, of the suit you want to be played, means
play this suit.
- Lavinthal discards
- Playing a low spot 2,3,4,5 means: Shift to a lower ranking suit.
- Playing a high spot 7,8,9,10 means: Shift to a higher ranking suit.
- Roman discards:
- Playing an odd spot 3,5,7,9 means: Play this suit of the spot.
- Playing a low even spot 2,4,6 means: Shift to a lower ranking suit.
- Playing a high even spot 6,8,10 means: Shift to a higher ranking suit.