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
A32
QJ9
9863You
Q82J65
75
K72
T9765


West
1
2
Pass
North
Pass
2

You
Pass
Pass

South
1S
Pass


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
A32
QJ9
Partner9863You
K7Q82J65
AT43275
AQ54DeclarerK72
J4SQT984T9765
HK86
DJT
CAK3


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.

See also

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

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

Sponsors