An important part of signalling is giving partner information about suit preference ( SP). The standard method is known variously as Lavinthal or McKenny and a high spot card suggests interest in the higher ranking suit other than trumps and a low spot card suggests interest in the lower ranking suit. When a defender leads a suit and their partner is not trying to win the trick, the priority is for an attitude signal about continuation of the suit. On the next round, a count signal and, on the third round, a suit preference signal is given. When declarer leads a suit, the defenders’ priority is a count signal then a suit preference signal. However, when the defenders are trying to make tricks by ruffing, it is important to show partner where there is a possible re- entry. To make this SP signal, one plays a small card for partner to ruff when you want the lower ranking suit returned and a high one when you want the higher ranking suit returned. This hand is from a recent teams event in Canberra.
Over the strong club bid ( 16+ hcp), West made a weak jump overcall. North showed the good spade suit even though he was short of the 8- 10 points this showed and South bid the good game ( there are 5 heart and 5 spade tricks) and East led partner’s suit. West won and returned the 4D to suggest an entry in the lower suit. East ruffed and considered his return. North looks to have the QS and KH and 10 quick tricks so the only chance to beat the contract is for partner to have the KC as an entry and the 4D seems to reinforce this idea so East returned the 2C ( low card suggesting another diamond ruff) to duly beat the game. At the other table, South opened 1H and North chose to bid 2H over 2D. South bid 4H and, although AD was led and continued, the singleton club was hidden in hand and, when the AC was cashed the contract could not be beaten.