Bechgaard signals are an obscure type of "delayed" count signal in long suits. They are "delayed" because a defender must play to 3 or 4 tricks to show count, as opposed to a standard low-high or high-low signal.

As an extension to standard count signals that only show an even or odd # of cards, Bechgaard signals show an exact # of cards when holding a 5, 6, or 7 card suit. In count situations, the defender follows suit or discards thusly:

From a 5-card suit, play 4th-highest, 3rd-highest, and then 5th-highest. Example:

  1. 65432
  2. 65432
  3. 65432

From a 6-card suit, play 4th-highest, 5th-highest, and then 6th-highest. Example:

  1. 765432
  2. 765432
  3. 765432

From a 7-card suit, peter twice ( high-low) by playing 6th-highest, 7th-highest, 4th-highest, and finally 5th-highest. Example:

  1. 8765432
  2. 8765432
  3. 8765432
  4. 8765432


Origins

Bechgaard signals are named for their inventor, the late South African expert Kai Bechgaard.

See also

  • Count Signals
    Signals used to show the number of cards held in a given suit.

  • Present Count
    A type of discard that's used as a count signal.

  • Vinje signals
    A high-low signal in the trump suit to describe one's hand pattern.

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