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what to do with 2 little trump signal question

#1 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2024-May-18, 08:59

Say bidding has gone 1H-2H-4H by opponents. Partner makes an opening lead and declarer takes the trick and starts running trump. You have the 9 and 5 of trump...so you can play 5 then 9 or 9 then 5, hence you have an opportunity to suggest a lead. I have been playing 9-5 suggests lead a higher-ranking suit of the remaining three ---so a Spade or Diamond lead whilst playing 5 then 9 suggests a Club or Diamond lead.... And maybe from the bidding or a look at the dummy, it can be inferred which makes more sense. Of course, sometimes you don't care what suit is led, so the 5-9 order is not as strong a suggestion as the 9-5 order.

I would be interested in comments on what I do, and what other possible options are out there . Thanks in advancew
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#2 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2024-May-18, 09:39

I’m not sure that suit preference in trump is ‘expert standard’ but I’ve been playing it with all expert partners for at least twenty years.

The only time I give count in trump is if it’s obvious to everyone that I’m looking for at least one ruff and possibly two. That, by definition, is known early on, so I’ve not seen any ambiguity arise…hi-lo shows three (or more but with more one is often playing a forcing game rather than going for ruffs).

With only two trump, there are (in your example auction) three side suits but either you or partner will probably have led one at trick one, so attitude may well already be known. If so, then the trump plays relate to the other two suits. However, if the opening suit situation is not yet clear, one should include that suit in the signalling…often dummy has a holding that pretty much eliminates one of the suits.

One can be more subtle with three trump…middle high low is different from middle low high, while highest, middle low is different from highest, low, middle.

Always, as with all attitude signals, remember that an expert declarer will be paying at least as much attention as partner.

If there is a suit that you can’t logically want played, a trump signal showing that suit is really a warning that you don’t want a switch to either of the other suits.

Btw, if you want to get into a really thorough discussion of preference signals, get yourself a copy of A Switch in Time by Granovetter.

He describes a method known as Obvious Switch. You can’t play obvious switch by yourself…your partner needs to know it as well or you’ll have disaster after disaster. However, if you have a willing victim/partner I’m pretty sure that obvious switch will significantly improve your defence.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#3 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2024-June-04, 10:17

View Postmikeh, on 2024-May-18, 09:39, said:

Btw, if you want to get into a really thorough discussion of preference signals, get yourself a copy of A Switch in Time by Granovetter.

He describes a method known as Obvious Switch.
In combination with Obvious Switch, we play reverse Smith call at trick 2 (Low card encouraging for initial lead). I never really liked Smith call, but that is my partners preference. And it makes more sense in combination with Obvious Switch than with simple encouraging.
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