SIGNALS the count 

 
 
  Signals are used only on defense.  Do not Signal Dummy. And Dummy does not Signal Declarer.  (This would be a major impropriety.)  See Attitude Signal. Signaling is done by playing cards not telephone, telegraph, gestures, Morse Code, Semaphore, etc.  Let the cards do the talking.  Here is a chance to make those low cards talk. Of course your partner has to hear the Signal.
        It is frustating, But try not to lose count.

 
 

 

         Watch out for interference by Declarer. No signaling system is perfect. In some cases partner might not be able to read your Signal.  But maybe an ambiguous Signal is better than no Signal.
 
let the small cards do the talking
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watch what card your partner plays,
especially on the first trick

THE COUNT SIGNAL
When a suit is led  (not trump), a Defender  can give partner the Count:

  • High/Low  - you have an even number of cards in that suit.  (2, 4 ,6 etc.)
  • Low/High - you have an odd number of cards  in that suit.  (1, 3, 5 etc.)
If you  give partner the Count you are also giving info to declarer.  Hopefully in most cases your partner will make better use of the information than the Declarer. But how does partner use the Count for effective defense?
  • Give partner the Count so he can lead the suit for  you to ruff.
  • Long suit in Dummy and no entries.  By giving partner the Count he will know  how long  to hold up with his Ace (or a high card in that suit). Holding up for the exact number of tricks could prevent the Declarer from running the long suit.
  • By giving partner the Count in a suit that he led, he can judge whether to continue that suit or switch to another.

  • By giving partner the Count in one or two suits he  maybe able to determine the Declarer’s exact distribution. This could be a  super defensive aid.
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  EXAMPLE 1.  You are sitting West.  Declarer leads the C 3 and your Partner sitting East plays the C 8.  Assuming Dummy has no side entries, should you win the first trick?  Or the second trick or the third?  The Count Signal tells you when to win the trick.  If your Partner’s C 8 is a singleton then Declarer has 3 Clubs.  Hold up your Ace for three rounds; that is you win the third Club trick.  Then  Declarer would not be able to get to dummy for the remaining Clubs. If your Partner’s C 8 is the start of a high/low signal then Partner has two Clubs and Declarer also has two.  So by winning the second Club trick you will be denying Declarer entry to Dummy’s good Clubs. (And Declarer will only make 1 Club because you held up only 1 round, not 2.) 
NOTE:  Never win the first Club.  On the second round of play you will know if your Partner started with one or two Clubs.
1.  dummy
C K  Q J 10 8 7 

west
C A 5 4

east
C 8 2

declarer
C 3

 

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  EXAMPLE 2.  Your Partner plays the Ace.  Show your doubleton by playing the 7 H. When your Partner plays the King complete the signal by playing the 5 H. (High/Low shows an even number in the suit.) Then your partner can lead the suit again (third round) for you to ruff.
2.  dummy
H 9 6 2

partner
H A K 9 4 3

you
H 7 5

 
 

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