Quick summary

Signaling is less important

When discarding, keeping the right card for later on is top priority.

  1. Keep the right card
  2. Keep 4 cards for any 4-card suit enemy suit
  3. Choose your Key Suits, and watch/count everything
  4. Plan early, signal if needed

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Example Deal


«  1203  »

Discards. Save the right suit !

Signaling to your partner is less important

Keeping the right card for later on is usually much more important than sending messages to partner about what to lead. So you need to think very hard about which cards to keep.

  1. Keeping the right card is more important than signaling
  2. Keep 4 cards for any 4-card suits in either enemy hand
  3. Focus your memory efforts on your key suits only
  4. Plan things out at the beginning, and make early signals if needed
  5. Don't reveal weaknesses to the enemy

Keeping the right card is more important than signaling

It is of course important to tell your partner what to lead next, provided you don't use a card that you need in order to send the signal.

Keep 4 cards for any 4-card suits in (either) enemy hand

If you can see a 4-card suit in dummy, and you have 4-cards in that suit too, then don't discard from this suit. If you do, then the enemy will be able to play the 4th card from this suit and win an extra trick.

Sometimes you can work out from the bidding that declarer holds a 4-card suit. For example after Stayman, or when an enemy player changes suit for his second bid. The same notion applies.

Sometimes you'll have to make some sacrifices in other suits, in order to match dummy's 4-card holding.

Focus your memory efforts on your key suits only

At the start, decide which are your 2 key suits (ones with high cards, or long suits), and decide if there could be winners there eventually. Do two important things

  1. watch for any discards, so you know exactly how many cards have been played;
  2. think about the shape of everyone's hands, based on the bidding etc

Plan early, and signal if necessary

If you have to abandon a suit, decide as early as possible, to avoid piecemeal discarding.

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