I cannot overstress the importance of being able to stop a lone call by your opponents. A successful call means they have added four points to their score. At best, your team will need more than a few things to go right to able to recover. While possible, this may be difficult to achieve.
A better way would be having the skills necessary to stop a lone call dead in its tracks. This takes a coordinated effort by both partners. Over the last few pages, we've covered some potential ways to stop a lone. Below is a series of hands that are played alone. As you look through them ask yourself if you would you have made the correct decision to stop the call?
The dealer sits in the North position and has turned-up the queen of clubs. Bidding gets passed to the West seat and he calls alone. Here's the two-part question. As the dealer(N) what card would you get rid of? If you sat in the South seat, how would you start the hand?
This is a typical 3rd seat lone call situation. The dealer discards next and his partner leads next. Here next must be lead, be it a 9 or an ace.
Once again it's the dealer (in the East seat) that calls alone. You're sitting in South seat, what card do you lead?
This is the same as the hand above. 3rd seat call, dealer discards next, partner leads next.
Here the dealer sits in the South position, has dealt and turned up a 9 of clubs. The dealer is playing alone. You're in the West seat, and you hold two aces. You correctly lead the ace of spade. Your partner shows void in trump. (or he would have trumped your ace) The dealer/maker(S) does trump the ace and next leads back the right. What card would you throw on the right?
The 10 of diamonds. Once you cannot follow trump, the next card you should play is from a suit that will be unable to stop the call. This will show your partner that you don't have that suit covered. In this example, your partner already knows that spades will not stop the lone. After you throw off a diamond, they will then know you have no power cards in diamonds. This leaves hearts. Hold any hearts until the end to give your team the best chance of stopping the call.
East seat is going alone in hearts. He trumps your ace of diamonds lead and then leads back the Right. You're sitting in South. What card do you play on his right?
Once again, help your team by showing your partner that you can't take a club trick.
West seat is the dealer and is going alone. You sit in North and have the first lead. What card do you play?
Even though your partner led an ace, trump it. The main objective here is to stop your opponent's from getting four points. If that ace was to be the stopper, so be it. If not then trumping will cause the maker to overtrump, as it did in this hand. This could promote the cards your partner holds.