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Defense – SIGNALLING

DEFENCE – SIGNALLING

Since the defenders can’t see each other’s hands, they must try communication their strength and distribution thru the use of defensive signals.

They have a opportunity to make a signal whenever they have a choice of cards to play to a trick. The types of signals the defenders can use, in order of priority are:

SHOWING ATTITUDE

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WHEN your partner is on lead against a suit contract and leads from their suit, if they lead a low card, you play to win the trick and later lead back partner’s suit.

If partner plays a high card, and you have an honour, you play as high as you can afford (6+) to say “YES, Partner WE LOVE THAT SUIT PLEASE CONTINUE PLAYING IT!”— you have shown “ATITUDE”.

or you play a LOW card (5 or under) that says “NO” please SWITCH TO ANOTHER!
SUIT.”—we have shown “ATTITUDE.”

You are, in effect, asking Partner to take a look at the DUMMY HAND and lead thru the strength on the board so you can capture Declarer’s high cards! You also plan to lead back partner’s led suit to trap any high cards Declarer has in hand in the suit partner led.

GIVING COUNT

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If ATTITUDE is ruled out , you give “count”. This usually happens when Dummy comes down with a string of high cards in the suit your partner led. Now your partner needs to know how many cards you hold in the suit led!!!
High followed a low card shows an even number of cards in the suit. Low followed by a higher card indicates an uneven number of cards. When that suit is played for the second time you get a proper reading of the count by watching the next card partner plays in that suit!

Once we rule out attitude and count, there are times when we need to find a way to tell partner which suit to switch too. This is called showing “SUIT PREFERENCE”

SHOWING SUIT PREFERENCE

When partner will have a choice of leading one or two suits, a high card played by you, shows preference for the higher ranking suit, a Low card played by you, shows preference for a lower ranking suit.

Here is one example where SUIT PREFERENCE would be used.

The opponents are playing a contract of 4 Hearts ♥️

Partner leads the Ace of Diamonds ♦️ (we know our partner holds the King of diamonds as well as partner would not lead an unsupported ACE).

DUMMY goes down and there is a SINGLETON diamond ♦️ on board –

Do you or partner now care that partner has the KING of ♦️?
Answer : NO – ATTITUDE DOES NOT MATTER
Do you or partner need to know how many diamonds between you?
ANSWER: NO – COUNT IS RULED OUT

YOU NOW HAVE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO USE SUIT PREFERENCE —TELL YOUR PARTNER WHICH SUIT TO SWITCH TO!!!!

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Let’s rule out Declarer’s HEART SUIT (trump suit)
Let’s rule out the DIAMOND SUIT (Dummy is now void in that suit)
There are two suits remaining – CLUBS AND HEARTS – club suit is lower on the bidding ladder than hearts

YOU MUST FOLLOW THE SUIT LED AND PLAY A DIAMOND, RIGHT???

MAGIC MOMENT:
If you play a low diamond, YOU ARE REQUESTING A CLUB LEAD
if you play a high diamond, YOU ARE REQUESTING A SPADE LEAD

IMPORTANT : Your Partner Who led MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE CARD YOU PUT DOWN ON THEIR ACE OF DIAMONDS to get the message!

ALSO, once you and partner agree to show attitude, count and suit preference, it will always be “ON” as part of your signalling.

For now start using Suit Preference when Partner leads his Ace and there is a void or Singleton on the board!!!!

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Happy Defence !

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Defense Course – Lesson Two

DEFENSE COURSE -LESSON TWO
 

OPENING LEADS AGAINST SUIT CONTRACTS

The last lesson dealt with leads against a no trump contract.  This lesson is quite different as the presence of a trump suit influences both the way Declarer plays and the way the defenders try to defeat the contract.
Starting with the opening lead, the defenders must take a different approach in choosing the suit to attack and in choosing the specific card to lead.
In this lesson we will look at where the differences arise and we’ll come up with guidelines for making the lead against a SUIT (trump) contract.  Let’s start pecking away:
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USE THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES WHEN CHOOSING A SUIT TO LEAD AGAINST A TRUMP CONTRACT:
In order of choices:
Lead Partner’s suit (assuming she bid a suit)
Lead a STRONG 2 CARD SEQUENCE [K Q]—always lead the top card first
Lead an UNBID SUIT
Lead a short suit —-CAUTION—only if partner is able to give you a ruff before trumps are drawn.  If you have an ace and a small card in a side suit —lead your ace, then small —- if you have the ace of trump you can win the first trump led by Declarer, then lead a card to your partner to win a trick and lead back the suit you are now void in.  Partner now knows you are out of the suit you led (because you played “high card followed by a low card —HIGH/LOW.  Now you can get a ruff.
Lead a trump when Declarer is likely to want to trump losers in dummy
Example:
Declarer opened 1 SPADE and her partner responded 2 HEARTS, Declarer now bids 3 Dimaonds and her partner passes!
———think about Declarer’s bidding?  What do we know?
Declarer has 5 spades and at least 4 diamonds
Declarer’s partner does not have 3 spades —DECLARER WILL WANT TO RUFF SPADE LOSERS IN DUMMY!!!!!!!!!  Foil her plan by taking the trump off the board!
Lead from a long suit when you or partner have 4 or more TRUMP!  This is called a forcing Defense -you try to shorten up Declarer’s trump in her hand (make her ruff in her hand) so you will have more of her trump than she has in her hand
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CHOOSING WHICH CARD TO LEAD

Lead the top card from a DOUBLETON

 
Lead the top of touching honours
 
Lead fourth highest with no sequence
 
Never lead an unsupported ACE – it’s ok to lead ACE when you hold the KING
OR IF YOUR PARTNER BID THE SUIT DURING THE AUCTION —
Remember Aces are meant to capture Kings!
 
If you’re hand is such that whatever you lead you are helping the Declarer, lead trump!  Not an unsupported ACE!
 
Leads from NOTHING (e.g., 8 6 2)——when you lead the “top of nothing” partner knows you do not have an honour.  The downside is Partner won’t know it is not a doubleton until the third time round!

Happy Bridging!
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Sharpen your Defence – 8 Lessons

OPENING LEADS are the “FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE”
The simplest way not to miss a post!
 CLICK “FOLLOW” then you will get an e-mail when each instalment is posted.   IT’S THAT SIMPLE!
There will be SEVEN more posts on Defense over the next few months.
OPENING LEADS VS NO TRUMP CONTRACTS BY OPPONENT
Opening leads are the most important part of defense and one of the most challenging.
On most hands, however, a useful lead can be found by:
– listening carefully to the bidding
– finding clues in the auction
It is my plan to give you basic info to keep the guesswork to a minimum and to find strategies to find the best possible and often the killer lead.  Keep in mind once Dummy appears, you will have more info available and your initial strategy may need revision.
It is very gratifying to defeat the contract by getting off to the best defense.  As these defense strategies are posted, make time with your bridge partner or group, to discuss and implement them.
Send the website address (www.thebridgeguru.com) to your friends so they can ‘FOLLOW’!
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A WISE OLD OWL ONCE SAID:
When your partner has BID a suit and you are defending, you should lead partner’s suit unless you clearly have a much better alternative.  Also if your partner has LED a suit, you should RETURN PARTNER’S SUIT WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE, unless you have something clearly better to do and don’t mind looking for a new partner🤣

DEFENDING AGAINST A NO-TRUMP CONTRACT

1.  If partner has bid a suit lead it;  

WHICH CARD?

– top card of a DOUBLETON (eg. 9 7 – lead the 9)—(Q 5 lead Q)
– top of touching honours (E.g., Q, J, 10 4) lead the Q, followed by J, then the 10 etc.)
– no sequence in P’s suit lead low – 4th from longest & strongest

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2.  If Partner did not bid vs no trump contract :

lead “top of touching honours” from a 4 card suit or longer suit in your hand.

There are three types of sequences as follows:

A- Regular sequence:

Q J 10 x — always & forever (I promise) lead the “TOP CARD – the Queen!!!  Now partner knows you have 3 high cards that touch —the Queen followed by the Jack and ten and maybe a couple of small cards!!!

Guideline:  With a “REGULAR SEQUENCE” always lead the TOP OF TOUCHING!

B- Broken Sequence

Q J 9 x x – two “touching high cards that touch with a break” —-notice if you lead the “9” – declarer can win the first trick with the 10!!!!!!!

Guideline:  With a “BROKEN SEQUENCE” treat as if it were a “regular sequence” and lead the HIGHEST CARD—the queen from Q J 9 —the TOP OF TOUCHING!

C-Interior Sequence 

K J 10 x x – a sequence of two or more cards that touch  the “J 10” with a “higher-ranking” card in the suit!

If you led the King, Declarer could win the Ace and still hold the Queen!

Guideline:  With an ‘INTERIOR SEQUENCE”  (K J 10 X X) lead the TOP of the touching honours”—lead the J!

3.  With no sequence:

lead 4th from longest and strongest (with a choice of suits lead the stronger or the unbid suit)

Don’t forget to hit ‘FOLLOW” so will be get a reminder in your e-mail when a new lesson is posted.

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Defence Part 3 of 5

PART 3 OF 5 – PRIMARY LINES OF DEFENSE

3. REMAIN PASSIVE WHEN YOUR TRICKS ARE SAFE

Last blog was about GOING ACTIVE –
Some conditions dictate the opposite approach which is remaining passive. When these conditions exist, the main idea is to relax and not grab your winners, not “break a new suit” for declarer or otherwise take him off the guess. You just sit back and wait for your tricks!

6 CONDITIONS FOR REMAINING PASSIVE

1. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A STRONG SIDE SUIT FOR DECLARER
2. DECLARER IS VERY STRONG AND DUMMY IS WEAK
3. THERE IS A BAD SPLIT IN KEY SUITS
4. THERE IS NO REAL SUIT TO LEAD AGAINST NO TRUMP
5. WHEN DEFENDING 6NT AND GRAND SLAMS
6. THE DUMMY IS FLAT AND WEAK

The basic condition for going passive is the absence of any outside source of tricks on which declarer can get rid of her losers.

How do you figure that out?
– From the bidding
– From your cards
– ‘Later’ from dummy’s cards YOU SEE that
– (a) no side suit exists
– (B) if a side suit exists, it is breaking badly
– (C) there is no entry to the side suit

SO LEAD A SUIT THAT DOESN”T GIVE DECLARER A FREE TRICK

UNDER THESE CONDITIONS, THE GOOD DEFENDER MAKES A PASSIVE LEAD
AND SITS BACK WAITING FOR HIS TRICKS!!!!!

THE GOOD DEFENDER WILL SIMPLY RETURN DECLARER’S LEADS OR OTHERWISE ENDPLAY HIM AT EVERY TURN.

AGAINST NO TRUMP CONTRACTS, RAGGED FOUR CARD SUITS ARE USUALLY NOT HELPFUL FOR ATTACK WITH POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF AN UNBID MAJOR!!!! INSTEAD, GOOD DEFENDERS TRY TO FIND PARTNER’S SUIT OR MAKE A PASSIVE LEAD.

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Topic of Defence Part 2 of 5

GOING ACTIVE
 
LISTEN TO THE BIDDING – LOOK AT YOUR HAND – LOOK AT DUMMY
 
This line of defence should be adopted whenever the auction indicates that Declarer has a long running suit on which to discard losers.   On many hands , if declarer is given enough time, he will set up winners on which to throw losers.
 
CONDITIONS FOR GOING ACTIVE:
 
1.  ANY TIME YOUR TRICKS CAN GO AWAY
2.  DECLARER ‘S SIDE SUIT IS BREAKING favourably for Declarer
3.  STRONG BIDDING  (slam interest)
4.  LONG-RUNNING SUIT
 
It is important to note that an ACTIVE DEFENCE gives the defence everything to gain while there is nothing to lose.
 
When the auction indicates there is a good suit in dummy against which you have no defense or you can tell from your own hand that dummy’s suit is going to break favourably, it’s TIME TO GO ACTIVE!
 
YOUR BEST LEAD IS TO ATTACK WITH YOUR BEST SUIT
This is a case of taking your tricks before, they disappear!
 
Often you can tell from the auction and from your hand, that Declarer will be able to run a long side suit and discard losers so it is in your best interest to try to go active and grab your tricks immediately.    This may require leading from a king or leading an ace!
 
This first two lines of defense FORCING & GOING ACTIVE require you to lead your partnerships best suit.  These are active defenses and should be used :
– to FORCE declarer to lose control of the hand by making him ruff your strong suit OR
– WHEN your TRICKS CAN GO AWAY.
Stayed TUNED FOR PART 3 of 5 – Topic of Defense –  REMAINING PASSIVE !  
 

✍🏻

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Topic of Defence -Part One of Five

OPENING LEADS & THE “FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE
The simplest way not to miss a post!
go to www.thebridgeburu.com and CLICK “FOLLOW” then you will get an e-mail when each instalment is posted.   IT’S THAT SIMPLE!  There will be four more posts on Defence over the next month or so.
OPENING LEADS
Opening leads are the most important part of defence and one of the most challenging.
On most hands, however, a useful lead can be found by:
– listening carefully to the bidding
– finding clues in the auction
It is my plan to give you basic info to keep the guesswork to a minimum and to find strategies to find the best possible and often the killing lead.  Keep in mind once Dummy appears, you will have more info available and your initial strategy may need revision.
It is very gratifying to defeat the contract by getting off to the best defence.  As these defence strategies are posted,  make time with your bridge partner or group, to discuss and try out the five defensive strategies and how to recognize and implement them.  Send the website address to your friends so they can ‘FOLLOW’
The overall defence system can be broken down into FIVE PRIMARY LINES OF DEFENSE.  This first post we will discuss:
#1 – FORCING DECLARER.
This line of defence is one of the most powerful and it’s job is to force declarer to lose control of the hand.  Eventually, the defenders get control of the trump suit so that declarer can no longer cash their side suit winners – YOU WILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO STOP DECLARER BY TRUMPING HER SIDESUIT!  WHOO HOO
CONDITIONS FOR FORCING DECLARER (LISTEN TO THE BIDDING!)
when one or more of the conditions below exist use a Forcing Defense
 
A) Declarer has a two-suited hand. A few examples of a two-suited hand by opener!
– she opened spades and rebid ♥️
Another example – SHE OPENED ♦️; bid ♠️; THEN REBID ♦️
B) anytime you have 4 of declarer’s trump or think your partner has 4
– declarer opened a ❤,
her partner bid a 1 NT (does not have 3 hearts)
– Declarer rebid 2 clubs
her partner now raises the bid to 2 ♥️- she is choosing opener’s first bid suit with 2 card support
You have one ❤—— who has the other 4??????
C) Declarer’s trump suit is split 4-3 (listen to auction) – make her trump in the side with the 4 trump!
D) any time the LONG trump hand can be forced early.  (USUALLY the long trump are in Declarer’s HAND!).
HOW DO I FORCE?
LEAD THE MOST POWERFUL SUIT BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR PARTNER EVERY CHANCE YOU GET!
EXAMPLE:  YOU AND PARTNER BID DURING THE AUCTION AND YOU HAVE A GREAT SUIT BETWEEN YOU, LEAD THAT SUIT!
********** IF DUMMY SHOWS 4 CARDS IN YOU AND YOUR PARTNER’S SUIT, DECLARER ONLY HAS A FEW, KEEP PLAYING YOUR GOOD SUIT AND MAKE Declarer TRUMP FROM HER HAND!!!  SHE IS SHORTENING UP THE TRUMP SUIT AND MAY LOSE CONTROL AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DRAW YOUR TRUMP.  THEN YOU AND PARTNER KEEP RUNNING YOUR SUIT AND TRUMP DECLARER’S SIDE SUIT
Sometimes, you may have to lead from tenaces  such as AQ10, KJ10 or AJ10 BUT IN THIS DEFENSE , it is the CORRECT LEAD!

YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR DECLARER TO DRAW TRUMPS AND SAFELY CASH HER SIDE SUIT TRICKS!

♏✍🏻