Guaranteed To Improve Your Signals - Audio Lesson

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Audio Visual Lesson you view on your computer browser
Approximate running time: 110 minutes.
Marty's audio visual format significantly enhances your learning experience:

  • The combination of voice and visual effects makes it easier to understand what Marty is teaching.
  • The lesson is interactive, so students "learn by doing."
  • You can proceed at your own pace.
  • You can play and replay all or some of the lesson whenever you choose as many times as you like.
  • The lesson includes a written transcript for you to study. The transcript format has been improved for increased readability.
    Click here for an example transcript.
  • The lesson contains several hours of extensive material.
  • The lesson is designed to work on most popular computers and browsers, including Windows, Mac, and iPad.

This very special lesson includes the following bonus sections:

  • Essential principles of all signals
  • Time-tested practical tips to enable you to make better signals
  • Knowing how to proceed after receiving partner's signals
  • The correct way to signal with a worthless doubleton when partner leads the suit
  • 19 instructive, carefully explained lesson deals

        The Real Truth About Signals

The key to good defense is good signals.

And without good signals, even an expert will sometimes mis-defend.


Because defense is so difficult, the best pairs are constantly exchanging information

with their attitude, count and suit-preference signals.

And if experts need all that info from their partner

in order to have a chance to defend accurately,

it must be all the more critical for a non-expert.


Players reluctant to signal in fear of helping declarer are as wrong as they could be.

If your partner will or might benefit from your signal - give it.


It is important to keep in mind that whether partner encourages or discourages,

he is NOT giving a command.

He is simply expressing his opinion based on the information available to HIM.


As important as it is to give an accurate signal,

your partner MUST be able to interpret your spot card.

On some deals a 3 could be encouraging, or an 8 could be discouraging.

When asked if a 6 is high or low, the only correct answer is "YES."


In this lesson, I will discuss:

  • The correct thought process to go thru before making your signal
  • The correct thought process to go thru after receiving partner's signal.
  • How to ensure that your partner will do the right thing
  • How to help your partner find the key shift
  • When should you signal with an honor
  • How partner's signal can enable you to know declarer's exact holding in the suit.
  • How to decide whether you can afford to signal with a high card
  • When should you discourage despite great strength in the suit.
  • When should you encourage despite no strength in the suit
  • When is it correct (and safe) to falsecard
  • What is an "alarm clock" lead or play and when should you make it?

Here is an example of what I will teach:


Contract: 4

6 5 4 2

A K 4 3
A K J 10 6


West (You)
Q 3
6 4
Q J 10 8
Q 9 7 4 3

















All Pass


After a quick auction, you lead the Q.

Partner plays the 8 and declarer follows with the 7.

How will you defend?




Answer To How Will You Defend?


Contract: 4

6 5 4 2

A K 4 3
A K J 10 6


West (You)
Q 3
6 4
Q J 10 8
Q 9 7 4 3




Trick 1:

You won the Q.

Your partner played the 8 and declarer played the 7.


If declarer could have won the first trick, he would have.

Your partner is marked with the A and K, so it seems automatic to continue spades.

However, if you do so, you are ignoring two factors.


1. Your partner signaled with his lowest spade.

This attitude signal said that he was discouraging a spade continuation.


2. Partner could have won the opening lead by overtaking your queen,

but he preferred to leave you on lead.


Based on #1 and #2, what should you conclude?

Your partner must be void in a minor!

In that case, it's up to you to find his void.

You and dummy have a total of 10 clubs, but only 8 diamonds.


So your correct defense is to shift to a club.

Once partner gets his club ruff, he will revert to spades.

You will sit back and hope that partner can take two additional tricks.


As you can see in the diagram of the full deal below,

if you found the club shift, 4 will be down 1.

Declarer will ruff the third round of spades with the Q and cash the A.

Partner's K will take the setting trick.


If you had led a spade at trick 2,

the defense would be limited to three tricks.


In conclusion, here are two crucial principles of signaling that all players MUST be aware of:


1. After showing a suit in the auction, when partner leads your suit,

if it is possible for you to like the suit, you are still obligated to give an attitude signal.

That is true regardless of the type of bid (or lead-directing double) you made.

No matter what action you took in the auction, you didn't GUARANTEE

that after seeing the dummy and the cards played at trick 1,

you would want to encourage your partner to continue the suit.


2. "Later takes priority."

Whatever partner tells you in the defense carries more weight than anything he said in the auction.


Here is the full deal:


Contract: 4

6 5 4 2

A K 4 3
A K J 10 6


West (You)
Q 3
6 4
Q J 10 8
Q 9 7 4 3


A K J 9 8
K 8 2
9 7 6 5 2


10 7
A Q J 10 9 7 5 3

8 5 2


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