When a suit is led by partner ATTITUDE SIGNALS are given first priority. A count signal is clearly only given when attitude doesn’t apply.
HOW DO you tell partner how many cards you have in a suit? You give a count signal by playing a high-low to show an even number of cards and Low-high to show an uneven number of cards. The count signal doesn’t tell partner exactly how many you hold. High- Low could be two, four, six. Partner needs to count the number of the cards they have and turn to count the number in dummy to figure it out. An odd number could be three, five or seven.
A typical situation arises when DECLARER is running a Long suit. There is no reason to show attitude. This is where it is crucial to show partner COUNT. IF THE LONG SUIT DECLARER WANTS TO RUN IS IN DUMMY, your partner may have the ace in that suit and want to hold it up until declarer has played the last card in that suit she has in her hand so she can’t get back to dummy to run the remainder of them. This is where team work shines.
You are east!
When the diamond suit is played the first time ——
You (East) would play the 9
West, your partner has three diamonds to the ACE, he knows now you have two diamonds, board has five, declarer must have three diamonds. He will hold up his ace until the third round. If you did not signal, he may play his ace on the second round. Declarer would still have a diamond left to get back to DUMMY and run the rest of the diamonds!!!
When partner leads a suit she has bid during the auction, if you have only two cards in her suit YOU MUST PLAY HIGH, THEN LOW. PARTNER WILL REALIZE WHEN IT GOES AROUND THE SECOND TIME THAT YOU ARE OUT OF THAT SUIT.
SAY PARTNER LEADS THE ACE OF HER SUIT AND YOU HAVE TWO CARDS
THE QUEEN AND A SMALL CARD
PLAY THE QUEEN ON PARTNER’s ACE
PARTNER WILL THEN PLAY THE KING AND YOU PLAY A LITTLE ONE
THEN PARTNER WILL PLAY A LOW CARD TO GIVE YOU A RUFF!!!
You and partner have taken the first 3 tricks.
Next week, I will show you how, in this situation, for your partner to let you know what suit to return once you get your ruff. That means if you return the suit she is requesting, she can win her Ace in an outside suit, then return the suit you are out of for you to get another ruff.