A trump echo is a count signal in the trump suit. It is used when following suit or when ruffing a trick. Playing high-low in the trump suit indicates an odd number of trumps (usually three). This is opposite to standard count signals
, in which playing high-low shows an even number of cards.
The purpose of the trump echo is to provide partner with a count of the trump suit, especially for the purpose of getting a ruff. Trump echoes should be reserved for these situations only. (Declarer gleans too much information if you always use trump echoes to give count.)
As a corollary, playing low-high in the trump suit indicates an even number of trumps. These agreements are part of standard carding, and should not be considered special carding.
Example: Following Suit
Against South's 2
contract, partner leads the A:
| ||Dummy|| |
Assuming that your side has agreed to lead the king from ace-king, then partner must be missing the K
and you should discourage him by playing the 5
at trick one. However, he soldiers on with a low heart at trick two, dummy's queen capturing the trick.
At trick three, declarer plays dummy's A.
Which trump card do you follow with?
This situation calls for a trump echo. You hold three trumps and are interested in a ruff, so you should play the 6.
Declarer plays the 4
and partner the 7.
Declarer now leads a low spade from dummy. You complete your trump echo by playing the 5.
Declarer sticks in the T
and partner wins the trick with the K.
Having seen your high-low signal, partner can now lead a heart for you to ruff.
The full deal:
| ||Dummy|| |
Partner should have figured out the heart situation already, because declarer must hold the K
after you failed to play it at trick two. But your trump echo helped clarify the situation for him.