Join Bridge Winners
How Do You Signal, and When?

In the USA2 Seniors Trials finals, you pick up, at favorable vulnerability:

J642
64
Q8
98543

 

The dealer on your left opens 1. Your partner overcalls 2. RHO splinters with 4, and you raise to 5. It goes pass, pass, 5, all pass.

Partner leads the K (from AK or KQ, but not AKQ, in your methods). Dummy hits with:

North
A87
AQJ10
J9652
2
East
J642
64
Q8
98543
W
N
E
S
1
2
4
5
P
P
5
P
P
P


Several questions....

- What are your signaling methods here?

- What signal would you like to give?

- If your methods were: low encourages clubs, middle suggests diamonds, and high suggests spades, what would you play?

- Is this a tempo sensitive situation?


In other words, assuming declarer pauses for a normal 10-15 seconds before calling for dummy's deuce, and assuming you have (perhaps carelessly) not made up your mind yet what signal to give, should you just play something after another short delay, in order not to create a UI problem for partner?

At the table, the 5, suggesting diamonds, was played "in tempo", using the following (perhaps flawed) logic: Encouraging clubs could be dangerous, because it could lead to a ruff-sluff, and diamonds is not a logical shift, looking at that dummy.  Partner, however, did shift to a diamond (hoping to give a ruff). Here is the full deal:

West
1053
97
A104
AKJ107
North
A87
AQJ10
J9652
2
East
J642
64
Q8
98543
South
KQ9
K8532
K73
Q6
W
N
E
S
1
2
4
5
P
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0


A diamond shift was the only way to let 5 make, missing a chance to win IMPs.  At the other table, the contract was 4, scoring +620.

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