Signals are used only on
Do not Signal Dummy. And Dummy does not Signal Declarer. (This
be a major impropriety.) And Signals are done only with the cards.
grimaces, moss code, winks, kicking, and cell phones are not to be
Let the cards do the talking.
3 basic Signals in Bridge.
Attitude / Count
In order to avoid confusion, and
be some when you first use signals, (and maybe even later), let the
and Count be a preference over Suit Preference. Actually Attitude
count more than the Count. Miss use of Signals
can be the cause disastrous defensive
and can lead to partnership break up, divorce, bodily injury and
even death. But do not be discouraged; the rewards are great. Still
sure partner is not armed.
This is probably the most complex and
of the 3 Signals. Does this mean we should not use the Suit Preference
Signal.? NO! After all, cars are complex; does that mean we should ride
a horse. (Which is also complex in its own way.) Some people say that
and abuse are what make Bridge a great game.
of this. Let's see how Suit Preference works.
primarily against a suit contract.
only two suits are Preferenced.
suits are not trump and not the suit being led.
leaves 2 suits. The higher ranking suit is
by playing or leading a high card; and
suit is preferenced by playing or
a low card.
play or lead Low Card
play or lead High Card
If you want your Partner to return
ranking of the two Preferenced suits, then play a low card. If you want
your partner to return the Higher ranking of the two Preferenced suits,
then play a high card. Do not worry if Declarer knows this information.
Your partner will make better use of this information than the
is to have a Partner who can see and read the Signals. This is
makes for an efficient and effective defensive team.
1. below you are sitting West and lead the A
against a 4 Spade contract. Your Partner sitting East plays the 8 .
This can not be an Attitude Signal since the Q
is sitting in Dummy. So the 8
is the start of a high/low signal showing an even number. In this case
hopefully a Doubleton. (A Singleton is also good.) You continue with
K and your
completes the signal by playing 2 .
Declarer follows suit. If Declarer started with 4 Clubs you want your
to trump Clubs two times. But if your Partner trumps the Club at trick
three, how does he know how to get back to your hand? Is it with a
or a Heart. Here is where the Suit Preference Signal comes in.
A Q J
K J 8 7 6
Q 9 7
6 5 4 3
A 4 3
A K10 3
5 4 2
J 8 7 2
9 5 2
Consider that the two Preferenced
not the suit being led (Clubs) and not Trump (Spades). That leaves
and Hearts. You obviously want your Partner to return a Diamond after
trumps the first Club. So lead the 3 .
This signal says: the 3
is low, so return a Diamond. (The lowest of the two preferenced suits.)
If as in EXAMPLE 2. you had the A ,
then play the 10
the third trick. This signal says: 10
is high, so return a Heart.
A 5 4 3
10 4 3
A K 10 3
In EXAMPLE 3. below your
leads the A
a 4 Heart contract. Your Partner will not continue Spades and will make
a switch to one of the two Preferenced suits: Clubs or Diamonds. (Not
and not the suit being led.) But which one will your Partner choose?
can help him out with a Suit Preference Signal.
A 9 8 7 6
Q 10 9
Q 8 5 4
10 8 2
A K J 3
7 6 3
Play the 10
on your Partner's lead of the A .
The high 10 says: "Partner lead the higher ranking of the two
suits which is Diamonds." If Partner sees and reads the signal the
hand will most likely be set.
and Diamonds were reversed; you had the
A K J 3 of Clubs and the 7 6 3 if
you would signal with the 2 .
This says "Partner lead the lower ranking of the two Preferenced
which is Clubs."