Source: The Free Lance-Star – 25 Feb 1946

Counting the known cards in a suit held by various players, next adding their amounts together and then subtracting that total from 13—that simple process constitutes about half of the entire procedure known as “card reading.” By doing that you sometimes can tell positively that a certain player holds a singleton ace, king or queen. You can then cash in on that information by dropping a lower honor with a higher one or by using a small card to forte out an ace, thereby saving your own secondary high cards.

Dealer: East. Neither Vul

Q J 6 4

Q J 7 5
Q 9 7 3 2
8 7 3 2
K 10 6 5
10 4 3 2
K 10 9 5
A 7 3
K 8
A J 10 5
Q J 9 8 4 2
A 9 6
K 6 4
West North East South
1 1
Pass Pass 1 2
2 Pass Pass 3
Dbl Pass Pass Pass

Identical bidding came on this deal at two tables of a duplicate tournament, and in each case West led the2. Both declarers played theQ from dummmy to tempt a cover by the K. At one table East fell for that, and theA killed his honor.

Next that declarer led theQ to theK and the2 came back, bringing theJ,K and A The6 was led to theQ and theJ brought a discard of South’s last diamond.

The5 was ruffed by East’s7 and over-ruffed by the8. South then reckoned thus: “West surely had four hearts for his double, I have six, so that leaves no more than three for East, to have bid as he did, he must have had theA, which would now be singleton, since he has played hearts to two tricks.”

So he led his2 not hisJ, and forced out theA. East scored theA, and led the5 for West to ruff. The8 return was ruffed by the4. The conserved7 now dropped the 10, and the last two tricks were taken by the9 andK.

At the other table, S. Garton Churchill a fine defensive player in the East read the2 lead as showing exactly four cards, with South having just one. This he was sure would be theA because West would have led theA if he had it. So when theQ was played from dummy, Churchill played low. That enabled him to prevent a diamond discard later on theJ and beat the contract_.