An attitude signal is the most common signal in bridge. A high spot card encourages the lead of a suit, whereas a low spot card discourages.

Attitude signals are used when following suit to partner's lead, or when making the first discard in a suit. Of the three types of defensive signals, attitude signals have the highest priority:

  1. Attitude
  2. Count
  3. Suit-preference

By default, a signal is for attitude unless the situation clearly warrants a count signal or suit-preference signal.


Example: Following Suit

Against South's 5 contract, partner leads the K:

Dummy
AK76
Q43
963You
A32JT98
8752
Q82
64


Which card do you follow suit with?

Assuming that partner is leading from AK, the correct card is the 8. Since you hold the Q, you want to give partner an attitude signal indicating that it's safe to continue leading diamonds. The full deal:

Dummy
AK76
Q43
Partner963You
432A32JT98
J968752
AK43DeclarerQ82
875SQ564
HAKT
DJT7
CKQJT9


The defense must take its first three tricks in diamonds to defeat the contract. If you play the 2 at trick one instead, partner would read this as discouraging. He may well cash his two top diamonds before switching suits, thereby enabling declarer to make his contract.


Example: Discarding

This is an example of discarding to show attitude in another suit. Against South's 3NT contract, partner leads the Q:

Dummy
K5
Q43
963You
KQJT9AQJ2
8752
872
64


You follow suit with the 2 (discouraging) and declarer wins the A. Declarer now leads a club to dummy's K, continues with the Q, and then the J. What do you discard?

The objective is to advertise your spade strength to partner. Discarding a diamond would discourage diamonds, but wouldn't tell partner anything about your major suits. Discarding the 2 would discourage spades due to the diminutive size of the card.

The only suit that's left is hearts. Discarding the 2 is an attitude signal that discourages partner from switching to hearts if he gains the lead. Having seen your 2 at trick one, partner should know that you're not interested in diamonds either, and that a spade switch is implied.

The full deal:

Dummy
K5
Q43
Partner963You
T94KQJT9AQJ2
J968752
QJT5Declarer872
A87S876364
HAKT
DAK4
C532


Once partner wins the A, he can switch to the T to defeat the contract.

See also

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