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 Bridge Card Play on Defense

When you play Bridge you spend 50% of your time as the defense, trying to score points for you side by reducing the amount of tricks the declarer can make. The purpose of these lessons is to help you and your partner win as many tricks as you can possibly even taking the contract light!
When you are on defense there are several ways (called systems) you can communicate with your partner. Of course you can only communicate using the cards you put down, your partner needs to watch carefully and try to watch for your signals. These lessons cover a few of the more commonly used systems and are intended as general guides for players and are not intended to be rigid failsafe rules.... [MORE]



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Beginner Defensive Card Play Lessons

LESSON 1A.Opening leads : What is my first lead?
When you are on defense there are several ways (called systems) you can communicate with your partner. Of course you can only communicate using the cards you put down, your partner needs to watch carefully and try to watch for your signals. These lessons cover a few of the more commonly used systems and are intended as general guides for players and are not intended to be rigid failsafe rules.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 1B.The rule of Eleven : Analyzing my partners lead
Using this rule is helpful in your decision about which card to play, either from the hand of the partner of the opening lead, or the hand of the declarer or from dummy.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 1C.Which suit? : The lead is different depending on whether you are in No Trumps or a Suit Contract
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LESSON 1E.Attacking Leads : What do I lead against a suit contract?
Usually against a suit contract your defensive plan should involve an attack if at all possible. The second choice would be to defend passively. Once dummy is laid down you may have to change the plan, as that new information will often change your defensive strategy.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 1F.No Trump Opening Leads :  What do I lead against a NoTrump Contract?
When you are on defense you should develop a defensive plan just as you do when you are the declarer playing the contract. The opening lead is the first part of a defensive plan.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2A.High-Low and Low-High Count Signals : Can I show how many cards I have in a suit?
Count signals may be used when either partner or declarer leads the suit. Give partner good count signals so he can count out the hand, too. Use your judgment though as some signals help declarer more than helping your partner. Sometimes right to not show a count signal if you think it will inform declarer how to play a particular suit. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 2C.Counting Cards : Tips for Counting Cards as they are Played
Counting cards is hard work but it is extremely valuable in getting top scores. You will notice that if you can follow even 1 suit your bridge game will improve. Do you wonder why the really good players always seem to guess correctly against you? One of the reasons is they know how to count cards.
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Intermediate Defensive Card Play Lessons

LESSON 3A.Attitude Signals : How can I encourage my partner to keep leading their suit?
You need to learn to count and to draw inferences, you will not defend well consistently without doing this. It is important to think about your combined partnership assets. For example - If the opponents bid, how many points can partner have?... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 3B.Lavinthal Discards : What's the Lavinthal Discard System ?
Some partnerships agree in advance to assign special meaning to the first discard. Lavinthal discards are used on defender's first discard. A high card is shows preference for the higher ranking of the two outstanding suits, whereas a low ranked card shows preference for the other lower ranked suit. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 3C.Suit Preference Signal : How can I show my partner what suit I want led?
Signalling your partner is only used when you are on defence - it makes no sense to signal dummy or declarer because you know the cards in both hands, signals are only done using your cards any other form of signal is illegal and you can be penalised for it.
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LESSON 3D. Odd - Even Roman Discard System : 
Odd Even Discards often known as Roman Discards are a signal to your partner about attitude towards a particular suit and suit preferences you may have. ... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 3E.Revolving discard system : Whats the simplest Discard system
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LESSON 4A.Rules for the second player to a trick  :  Second player - plays low
The question you should ask yourself when trying to form a defensive plan is, "How many tricks do we need to take this contract down?" To defend well you must pay attention at all times, even when you appear to have a worthless hand.... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4B.The rule for third player to a trick : Third hand plays high
Work through how the play is likely to go if you perform a particular action. As each trick is played and you gain more information, you must continually revise your defensive plan in the light of what you have observed. Third hand plays high, the usual mantra for the defense - meaning when you are playing the third card to the trick and you are on defense you should in most situations play a high card... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4C.On defense leading to a new trick : Lead through strength and toward weakness
This rule is designed to maximise your partnerships chances of winning tricks giving partner more opportunity to take advantage of possible finessing situations as your partner will play after the strong hand is played... [MORE] To view and play this lesson CLICK HERE to Login or Register
LESSON 4D.Returning partners opening lead : I won a trick- what suit should I lead now?
When you are the defense you should always be aware of how many tricks you need to take declarer light. Always ask yourself, "Where are our other winners going to come from?"
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