Quick summary


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  1200  »

Signals & discards, Overview

Listening to your partner signalling to you

I suppose it's obvious, but in case it isn't: Signalling to your partner takes second priority to winning the trick! If the third player can win the trick, he will play as high as he can (unless there's a very good reason not to).

That said, good defenders should usually send signals to each other 4 or 5 times in every single bridge contract.

If they don't, then they're not playing as a team, and they'll fail to get the enemy opponents down as often as they could. ('bridge' ?...)

Typically, in every contract, good defenders will send approximately

  • 3 'count' signals (whenever the declarer/dummy leads a new suit)
  • 1 or 2 'attitude' signals (whenever their partner leads a new suit)
  • a description of their suit (whenever they lead a new suit themselves)
  • the occasional 'suit preference' signal, either
    • when they can't follow suit, or
    • very occasionally, on partner's lead, or
    • when they're making a lead that they know their partner will ruff

Best of all, the defender with a terribly weak hand, e.g. 0-2 points, who therefore sometimes tends to get bored and go to sleep Bill, is often the MOST important player. He's the one who needs to signal to his partner, who of course cannot see the distribution of his boring hand, but will often need to know it - if the team is to get the opponents down.

There are various other rarer signals too.

It takes time and effort to get started (you need brain-time to receive the signals, as well as send them), but if you always do it, it will eventually become a powerful and magical automatic habit.

So let's concentrate on the ones that come up most of all. And top of the list is the signal you should send to each other whenever declarer leads a new suit. And that's going to happen a lot.

  1. After Declarer (or dummy)'s lead. Always describe your shape: give count
  2. After Partner's lead. Show attitude (like the suit, or not)
  3. Leading to a ruff. Always give suit preference
  4. You can't follow suit. Always protect your winners, but give suit preference if possible.
  5. You lead a new suit. Always describe it.

Now try the quiz

Can you put all this into action ? Try the quiz for this subject by clicking on the link at the top left of the page, just below the main menu.
(You can try quizzes for any other subjects too while you're there. Look out for the thin red line).



About us   Contact us     Terms & conditions of use      Log in      Comment on current page

© Bid and Made. Nothing on this website may be reproduced without written permission from Bid and Made. Just drop us a line, and we'll almost certainly say yes.