# BBO Discussion Forums: AK count/attitude leads - BBO Discussion Forums

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## AK count/attitude leads need input guys

### #1whereagles

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Posted 2011-June-17, 14:31

Hi all,

I'm used to lead A from AK, pard giving attitude except in a couple well-defined situations.

However, pard insists on playing AK count/attitude leads, i.e. like A asks for attitude and K for count. I tried to talk him out of it 3 times already, but failed.

Since I like to keep pards happy, I need some help here. If you happen to play this, I need you to tell me in a nutshell how it works. In particular, I'm interested in knowing:

1. Is it A attitude/K kount or the other way around?
2. What does 3rd hand do in each case?
3. When is it better to ask for attitude or count? Is it a judgement thing only or are there some theoretical pointers?
4. Can you play the same way in NT? If so, say how; if not, say why.

Would really appreciate some opinions here. Thx all in advance.

Cheers
where
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### #2Hanoi5

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Posted 2011-June-17, 14:53

1. Whether you use A(ttitude) and K(ount) or the other way around is a matter of agreement. People prefer it like the former because of mnemonic reasons I suppose.
2. In case the Ace is led 3rd hand will show attitude (holding the Q, K or a doubleton as usual) and in case the K is led count is shown.
3. I suppose there's a theoritical reason to ask for one or the other. If you have many cards or AKQ you might want to know count instead of attitude, if you hold 4 or 3 cards maybe you need to know attitude.
4. You should already be playing something similar in NT. People 'reserve' one of those leads to ask partner to unblock an honour or give the count in the suit and the other to ask for attitude. For example, if you lead AKJTx against NT you might want to lead a card to which partner will give count (if he doesn't unblock the Queen), then you know whether to continue or look for partner's entry so that he plays 'through strength'.

wyman, on 2012-May-04, 09:48, said:

Also, he rates to not have a heart void when he leads the 3.

rbforster, on 2012-May-20, 21:04, said:

Besides playing for fun, most people also like to play bridge to win

Mi Blog

In all fields of endeavour emotion is the arch-enemy of judgement.

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### #3MrAce

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Posted 2011-June-17, 16:36

whereagles, on 2011-June-17, 14:31, said:

Hi all,

I'm used to lead A from AK, pard giving attitude except in a couple well-defined situations.

However, pard insists on playing AK count/attitude leads, i.e. like A asks for attitude and K for count. I tried to talk him out of it 3 times already, but failed.

Since I like to keep pards happy, I need some help here. If you happen to play this, I need you to tell me in a nutshell how it works. In particular, I'm interested in knowing:

1. Is it A attitude/K kount or the other way around?
2. What does 3rd hand do in each case?
3. When is it better to ask for attitude or count? Is it a judgement thing only or are there some theoretical pointers?
4. Can you play the same way in NT? If so, say how; if not, say why.

Would really appreciate some opinions here. Thx all in advance.

Cheers
where

1- You can play either way

2-3rd hand will always give count when u ask for count and att when u ask for att.(Warning you, 3rd hand will not be able to figure some situations and give u what u actually need when u ask him to give count or att, he will follow your orders, this is the downside to this agreement)

3-It is mostly a judgement thing, but having played this method (and gave up on it later ) you will find yourself in positions where u wish u asked for opposite of what u planned after seeing the dummy.

4-This actually works better in NT than suit contracts imo.

Overall this is some sort of easy formula for "lazy pdships" who either not willing to or doesnt have the time to discuss the positions after dummy appears. Indeed it takes some serious work to achieve a firm pdship signalling/carding and this starts with lead and 3rd hand signals.

I just cant see, how one can give pd an order such as "give me count" or "give me att" b4 dummy appears and be satisfied with what he asked after dummy appears everytime. If you are going to play this, you MUST make firm agreements about positions which OVERRIDES the opening leader's order imo. It is very hard for me to give you examples, because there are A LOT of them.
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### #4dake50

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Posted 2011-June-17, 16:54

I like A for suit-preference;
K for count against suits.
This works especially well with A single
or Ax for ruff entry.
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### #5paulg

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Posted 2011-June-18, 01:29

MrAce, on 2011-June-17, 16:36, said:

Overall this is some sort of easy formula for "lazy pdships" who either not willing to or doesnt have the time to discuss the positions after dummy appears. Indeed it takes some serious work to achieve a firm pdship signalling/carding and this starts with lead and 3rd hand signals.

I just cant see, how one can give pd an order such as "give me count" or "give me att" b4 dummy appears and be satisfied with what he asked after dummy appears everytime. If you are going to play this, you MUST make firm agreements about positions which OVERRIDES the opening leader's order imo. It is very hard for me to give you examples, because there are A LOT of them.

Ditto.
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I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
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### #6awm

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Posted 2011-June-18, 01:41

I think it is better to play that the ace asks for count, assuming your other honor leads are fairly standard. The issue is that you most often want an attitude signal, and if king asks count this forces you to lead the queen from king-queen routinely. If you want king for count, then your standard lead from king-queen will be the queen and you probably should then play rusinow the rest of the way down.

To somewhat contradict what MrAce says, I think there are occasionally times when it is obvious that you want a count signal. The two most frequent examples are leading from a very strong holding against notrump, or leading from an ace-king combination against a five or six-level suit contract. With this said, most of the time you want attitude and/or suit preference. So it makes sense to have a particular lead that is the "count lead" (usually when you want count it's obvious to opening leader, but not necessarily obvious to his partner). If you don't make the count lead, it is not 100% clear that partner should always give attitude; the idea is that he just gives his normal signal. Basically that's attitude but you have the usual exceptions like when dummy has shortage in a suit contract or a very strong holding in a notrump contract.
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### #7Zelandakh

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Posted 2011-June-18, 11:00

In many parts of England A=att, K=count is absolutely standard against suit contracts so I have played it on a few occasions. Like Adam, I believe the reverse method is far superior. Generally you lead your count card when you have a suit headed by AKQ or in obvious fast-cash situations where you need to know if the AK will both score. It is often extended that leading the count honour followed by the other and then switching is specifically a doubleton. With suits headed by just the AK you usually make the lead asking for attitude. With KQ you naturally have to lead the king (which is why the reverse is better) or try Adam's suggestion of switching to Rusinow. That is too much work for most who are using this method specifically to keep things simple.

Against NT there is a long history for A = unblock/count, K = attitude. Culbertson played it and it is a part of the formerly popular Journalist lead system. The reverse is essentially strong King and is played by many top pairs in differing forms.

Overall I would say to try it but insist on the Ace count, King attitude approach unless you like to lead unsupported aces alot. That is really the main losing situation for this method and there are actually times when getting an immediate count signal is nice and saves an early guess.
(-: Zel :-)

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### #8whereagles

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Posted 2011-June-18, 16:58

Thx all. Question:

Suppose you play A=count/K=att. The king is led and dummy has like xxx. What is 3rd hand supposed to do with Jxx?

You would like to encourage if pard has KQx+ and discourage if he has AKx+. You could play the J from JTx, but you don't have the ten, so what do you do?
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### #9TWO4BRIDGE

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Posted 2011-June-18, 17:28

Zelandakh, on 2011-June-18, 11:00, said:

In many parts of England A=att, K=count is absolutely standard against suit contracts so I have played it on a few occasions. Like Adam, I believe the reverse method is far superior. Generally you lead your count card when you have a suit headed by AKQ or in obvious fast-cash situations where you need to know if the AK will both score. It is often extended that leading the count honour followed by the other and then switching is specifically a doubleton. With suits headed by just the AK you usually make the lead asking for attitude. With KQ you naturally have to lead the king (which is why the reverse is better) or try Adam's suggestion of switching to Rusinow. That is too much work for most who are using this method specifically to keep things simple.

Against NT there is a long history for A = unblock/count, K = attitude. Culbertson played it and it is a part of the formerly popular Journalist lead system. The reverse is essentially strong King and is played by many top pairs in differing forms.

Overall I would say to try it but insist on the Ace count, King attitude approach unless you like to lead unsupported aces alot. That is really the main losing situation for this method and there are actually times when getting an immediate count signal is nice and saves an early guess.

Nicely put, Zel.

Another situation preferring COUNT first is to avoid giving Declarer a ruffNsluff on the 3rd round.

Another situation for COUNT first is allowing for a suit preference signal next by partner.
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### #10CSGibson

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Posted 2011-June-18, 21:04

whereagles, on 2011-June-18, 16:58, said:

Thx all. Question:

Suppose you play A=count/K=att. The king is led and dummy has like xxx. What is 3rd hand supposed to do with Jxx?

You would like to encourage if pard has KQx+ and discourage if he has AKx+. You could play the J from JTx, but you don't have the ten, so what do you do?

It obviously depends on the rest of the hand. I would typically discourage if:

1). I want a switch or
2). It does not look as though declarer will be able to get rid of his losers in the suit

and encourage otherwise.
Chris Gibson
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### #11Mbodell

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Posted 2011-June-19, 01:13

whereagles, on 2011-June-18, 16:58, said:

Thx all. Question:

Suppose you play A=count/K=att. The king is led and dummy has like xxx. What is 3rd hand supposed to do with Jxx?

You would like to encourage if pard has KQx+ and discourage if he has AKx+. You could play the J from JTx, but you don't have the ten, so what do you do?

Typically most people play that's what the slow encourage is for. Except those who play slow *discourage* shows Jxx.

I would usually discourage, although the bidding or rest of hand might have me not expect partner has the A, in which case I could encourage.
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### #12bluecalm

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Posted 2011-June-19, 01:45

Quote

Suppose you play A=count/K=att. The king is led and dummy has like xxx. What is 3rd hand supposed to do with Jxx?

This seems to be pretty serious problem with this method.
It's also a problem with strong king, when you lead Q from KQ and QJ and partner is faced with awkward decision what to do with a Txx(+). Maybe one can avoid this by not leading a from empty KQ, if we always have KQT the problems disappears. If we could have KQ9+ then the problem is a bit less sever (because we sometimes see the nine somewhere) but still exists. It make me think that maybe in recent hand I posted Bocchi has chosen low heart for this particular reason.

My opinion about this agreement is that one should encourage with Jxx and one should lead A from AK basically always. I think the more "judgement" is used when selecting honor card you lead the less effective this is (and less ethical). I played A=count, K=att for some time with partner who insisted on it and I didn't like it but I think that if you follow standard lead rules (ie. lead A from AK and K from KQ unless AKQ/AKJT or KQT9+) you will be fine in most cases.
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### #13nigel_k

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Posted 2011-June-19, 14:48

whereagles, on 2011-June-18, 16:58, said:

Thx all. Question:

Suppose you play A=count/K=att. The king is led and dummy has like xxx. What is 3rd hand supposed to do with Jxx?

You would like to encourage if pard has KQx+ and discourage if he has AKx+. You could play the J from JTx, but you don't have the ten, so what do you do?

Some of my partners like K for count as well and whereagles' point is enough to persuade me that A for count instead is not much of an improvement. Rusinow is better but I would only do it in a well established partnership or with someone who already plays it regularly.
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### #14whereagles

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Posted 2011-June-20, 02:19

Ok, so to sum it up, basically you either play

A=count/K=att, which means you either go Rusinow or live with uncertainty with Jxx on a king lead.

or

A=att/K=count, which has the problem of systematically asking for count on a king lead from KQ when you'd often rather attitude.

Of course, standard leads and some agreements would mean we could leave without this mess... lol.
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### #15bluecalm

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Posted 2011-June-20, 05:18

Quote

Of course, standard leads and some agreements would mean we could leave without this mess... lol.

Yes, standard is better than this crap but if you were to play it just lead standard anyway and agree on K att A count (unless AKQ/AKJT or KQT9 vs NT); your loses will be minimized then :-)
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### #16gordontd

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Posted 2011-June-20, 05:35

bluecalm, on 2011-June-20, 05:18, said:

Yes, standard is better than this crap

Standard being...?
Gordon Rainsford
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### #17fromageGB

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Posted 2011-June-20, 05:47

I thought A for attitude and K for count was standard !
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### #18bluecalm

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Posted 2011-June-20, 06:08

Standard is A from AK, K from KQ, Q from QJ, J from JT.
Or in other parts of the world K from AK, Q fom KQ, J from QJ, T from JT.

The card you lead should depend on what you have in clear way not on wishful thinking like "I think seeing attitude will be nice so I lead this or that". As far as I am aware no elite pair play in such a way unless they hide it diligently in their cc's and on vugraph hands (I mean some of them play ct to king or the other way around especially vs NT, but they lead given cards from given combos)

EDIT: I just found an expception. It seems that Bocchi - Duboin played K=cnt, A=att at least at some point but they combined with something similar to rusinov (so Q is always KQ)
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### #19whereagles

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Posted 2011-June-20, 16:01

It certainly ok to have AK leads to show att/count and blend it with Rusinow. But that basically means anytime you lead the A or K you must have both those cards. That doesn't seem very efficient. Oh and you probably can't play Rusinow if you're leading pard's suit, as Hx leads are common in that case.

Also, most of the time you're interested in attitude. It seems to be more rare that you want pard to give you count.

So I'm thinking of defining the following:

Standard leads, but the K lead asks for count if...

- Opening leader is leading from a known 5-card suit (i.e. he opened 1M or overcalled) OR
- Opps are at the 5-level

These seem to be the cases where it's more likely that opening leader wants to know count and the Jxx indecision is less important.

I'll show pard this idea and label other schemes as akin to "opening a can of worms"
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### #20Free

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Posted 2011-June-21, 08:50

1. Is it A attitude/K kount or the other way around?
You can choose, I think A att K count is most used because of the alliteration. Perhaps also because the K is also used for deblock in NT contracts.

2. What does 3rd hand do in each case?
When the count is asked, responder gives his count. I prefer to have 1 exception: in a suit contract and dummy brings a singleton/void.
When attitude is asked, you give an attitude signal (or suit preference if you prefer that).

3. When is it better to ask for attitude or count? Is it a judgement thing only or are there some theoretical pointers?
Yep, it's a judgement thing.
Obviously it's easy with AKxxx, you lead the K. If partner shows an even number and dummy has 3, you can give him a ruff. That's the basic example, it just depends on what information you need.
One thing to point out though: if you lead the A, have clear agreements what encouraging means in a suit contract. Can this be a doubleton, or does it show the K/Q?

4. Can you play the same way in NT? If so, say how; if not, say why.
In NT I prefer to use the K for deblocking. If partner can't deblock the Q (most often), he'll give his count.
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