~Odd-Even Discards

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Declarer
S AQ542
H K65
D K65
C K654
You
S 65
H AQ43
D QT82
C T43

The opponents are playing a 4S contract. Partner leads a small spade at trick one and declarer plays three rounds of trumps. On the third round of trumps, you have the opportunity to signal partner for a heart lead. What is your play at trick three? Playing Standard Discards, you cannot discard a high heart without discarding the heart Q and giving up a heart trick–bummer! You could try a low club or a low diamond, stating that you want another suit led, and partner’s choice is narrowed to hearts or the other major. Maybe, partner will make the right choice and you set the contract; or, maybe partner makes the wrong choice and declarer sets up the diamond suit for two heart discards and makes the contract. With Standard discards, you often do not have the right cards with which to send a clear signal. Let’s look at Odd-Even Discards. Playing odd-even discards, an odd card (3, 5, 7,or 9) says, “lead this suit.” A low, even card (2, 4) says, “do not lead this suit; lead the lowest-ranking side-suit.” Conversely, the discard of a high, even card says, “do not lead this suit. Lead the highest side-suit.” With so many options, you seldom are at a loss for a clear lead signal. Look at the above hand. Once you are out of trumps, you can signal for hearts by playing the 3 of hearts (odd–I like it), the T or 8 of diamonds (even, high–switch to the highest ranking side suit–hearts), or the T of clubs (even, high–switch to the highest ranking side suit–hearts). Note what the play of the various cards would mean at this point:
~The 4 of hearts–switch to clubs
~The 3 of hearts–lead hearts
~The 2 of diamonds–switch to clubs
~The 4 of clubs–switch to diamonds
~The 3 of clubs–lead clubs
~The T of clubs–switch to hearts
~The T or 8 of diamonds–switch to hearts

You’ll like the flexibility of Odd-Even discards!

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