Defense


If you're Third Hand  (partner has led the suit):

If you're Second Hand  (declarer or dummy is leading the suit):

If you're on lead after the first trick:


Count and Attitude Signals

To defend a bridge hand well, you need to be alert to -- and be able to process -- all the clues that are available. Some clues come from the bidding, which often gives you a general picture of who holds the length and strength in each suit. Your best source of information, though, is your partner, who can give you Attitude and Count Signals during the play. These signals are used by both defenders to exchange information about their length and honor holding in each suit. Here's how they work:

Attitude Signals
You can tell partner whether or not you "like" a suit by the size of the card you play when discarding the suit or when following suit to a trick you are not winning. A high card is a "come-on" signal -- it tells partner you have a possible trick in the suit (you have a high honor, or will be able to trump the third round of the suit) and that he should lead it again. A low card tells him you have no potential tricks in the suit (no honors, no shortness) and that he should consider leading a different suit.
Count Signals
When following suit or discarding, playing high, then low in the same suit tells partner you have an even number of cards in that suit. Playing low, then high shows an odd number of cards. If you're defending a suit contract, this signal tells partner whether or not you can trump the third round of a suit. In suit and notrump contracts, your count signal also helps partner determine how many cards declarer holds in the suit. This can be very valuable information if partner needs to know how long he should hold up winning an ace, for example.

Copyright   Karen Walker