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The Foster Echo is an antiquated defensive signal used by third hand against a no-trump contract. When dummy covers partner's opening lead and third hand does not have a higher card to play, a Foster Echo can be employed. It's the play of third hand's second-highest card in the suit, and is meant to unblock the suit while simultaneously providing a count signal.

From a small tripleton, third hand would play the middle card (i.e. the second-highest card), followed by the highest card and then the lowest. Playing low-high shows an odd number of cards, a la MUD.

From a four-card holding, third hand would play his second-highest card, followed by the third-highest card. Playing high-low shows an even number of cards, as in standard count signals.


The Foster Echo is named for its inventor, the late American card player and writer Robert Frederick Foster.

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.