A Coup En Passant is the lead of a plain suit card to promote a low trump card behind a higher trump card to a winning position. This designation is taken from the game of chess. It is the simplest type of a situation called an elopement. The following illustration should clarify the concept.


The contract is Spades. The lead is from North, with South as the declarer.

South has no winning cards, but when South leads a Heart from the dummy, East must decide whether to play the Ten of Spades, taking the trick by trumping, or discard the Ace of Diamonds.

If East decides to play the Ten of Spades, then South wins an additional trick with the Six of Spades, the trump suit.

If East decides to discard the Ace of Diamonds, then South ruffs with the Six of Spades, the trump suit. This action is called the Coup En Passant.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.





Claus and Raymond


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