40 English Bridge February 2016 www.ebu.co.uk
t A t Q J 10 x
Signalling when dummy has a dead suit in a
If a card is led in a side-suit and dummy has no
losers in the suit:
A or A-K or A-K-Q
With no associated small cards we can expect to
take no tricks in the suit, since dummy will be able
to ruff. Again it is deemed to be a dead suit and
partner's signal should therefore be suit preference
rather than attitude or count.
Signalling when dummy has a singleton in the
suit led vs trump contracts
If partner leads an honour card and dummy has a
singleton in this suit signals revert immediately to
suit preference in place of attitude or count.
• A high card - suggests values in the higher
• A low card - suggests values in the lower
• A middle card - encourages a continuation
of the suit led. This can be quite
important, since on occasion it might be
vital to reduce/force the dummy early.
• An honour card - this is not always a suit
preference message. It is often vital simply
to clarify a solid holding between the
partnership so that the opening leader can
judge whether to continue the suit and it
allows them to place the values more
accurately around the table.
I HAVE always found that the use of the suitpreference
(sp) signal spells chaos and confusion for
many pairs at all levels of ability and experience.
There seems to be an inconsistency - due essentially
to a lack of organisation and structure to their
A quick recap of what we have looked at in the
last two articles may help:
Count or attitude depends upon the situation.
Attitude is virtually always when partner has led to
the trick, whereas count is more usually when
declarer has led to the trick. This is a generalisation
of course but useful nonetheless.
Signalling when dummy has a 'dead' suit in
If partner leads a suit in no trumps and dummy
turns up with A-K-Q-x, or something similarly
solid, it should be clear that there are no defence
riches coming from this suit! This is known as a
'dead suit' for the defence.
In this situation the partner of the opening leader
should play a card at trick one which is suit
preference. It is neither attitude nor count when the
suit led is deemed to be a dead suit.
The Suit-preference Signal Part 3by Neil Rosen
Count or attitude?
• In 'obvious ruffing situations' the SP
signal should certainly apply.
• We have an established order of
c) Suit Preference
This can vary for specific partnerships -
many pairs prefer count as their first priority
• a) having given attitude our next signal
b) having given count our next signal is SP.