Quick summary


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  1207  »

Signals & discards. The high & low cards

Sometimes your job is not to win the trick, but to preserve your good cards. Second player very often plays low, and the other players will play low when the Ace has already been played.

This is the moment use your 'little' cards, the 2 to 9, to send signals to your partner.

Signals are a bit like 'Morse code', which uses a binary pulse. With bridge, the binary states are the so-called 'high' and 'low', but just using the 'little' cards:

  • 'high' = 7, 8, or 9 (and sometime the 6);
  • 'low' = 2, 3, or 4 (and sometimes the 5)

(If you send a 10,J,Q or higher (when you can't win the trick), even a sleeping and isolated partner might spot it as high).

Here's how these binary states are used to send various signals:-

'Attitude' ('likey / no-likely')

The Attitude signal can usually be sent with a single card. But first you will have to have agreed previously with your partner (not during the trick, Barbara) whether a high card means Likey or No-likey.

Each system has its advantages.

'Count', to describe your shape

A High card, followed by a lower card in the next trick, means 'even number'.

Again, a single card from one trick is often sufficient to tell your partner how many cards you've got in the suit, depending on what partner can see in the dummy/hand.

If your only two cards are the 3 and the 2, then it's going to take two tricks to convince your partner you've got an even number, as your partner is likely to interpret the 3 that you play initially as a low card.

Don't have a 2, 3 or 4?

If you don't actually have a 2, 3 or a 4 then you'll have to either

  1. use one of the 'middle' cards - a 5 or a 6 - to stand in for it; or
  2. send a different signal, which hopefully is not misleading: or
  3. hope that your parter is highly alert and intelligent and can read you mind

(Hopefully with a bit of practice, when playing a 5 or a 6, your partner will deduce that you'd had to use a stand-in card and work out if it was really meant as a ‘High’ or a ‘Low’, by looking at his cards, and from the cards on display in the dummy).

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.