In the mythology of Amber, nearly all of Corwin's relatives carry a deck of Tarot cards, with a key alteration: each family member is on one of the Trumps. Each Trump, when concentrated upon by another family member, allows instant communication across the dimensions, and if both parties are willing, instant travel. Traveling in this way requires trust — placing oneself temporarily at the mercy of the non-traveling host. People watching someone leave via a Trump will notice them suddenly becoming two-dimensional, followed by a burst of color. It is also possible to contact a person via the Trumps and then hold them by an act of will and thereby prevent them from doing other things. Contact is broken by passing one's hand over the Trump. Contact is prevented if the person is drugged, deeply asleep, unconscious or imprisoned in a fashion designed to prevent Trump use. Trump use is also impossible if the original Power (Logrus or Pattern) is disabled in the area. A synchronous attempt by several users strengthens the Trump contact.
Trumps can also be made for places, for example the Palace of Amber. In the second cycle Merlin discovers cards which he refers to as "Trumps of Doom". These transport the individual to locations of extreme danger. They are, therefore, traps for the unwary. The author of these trumps is Rinaldo, who learned the craft from his father Brand. As shown later, Trumps of Doom all lead to neighboring locations and serve Rinaldo as a quick escapeway to the blue stone cave, while hindering or disabling pursuit.
Trumps can be made by both Amberites and Chaosites. Those of double power (Dworkin, Dara and Merlin) can create Logrus and Pattern Trumps, although only Dworkin and Oberon knew this. The main sets of Trumps were created by Dworkin, but other individuals who have gained power by walking the Pattern or the Logrus, such as Merlin, Fiona and Brand were able to learn enough to be able to create new Trumps. While regular Trumps are in Tarot card form, they can also be drawn upon walls, doors and even living beings.
A trump is a playing card which is elevated above its normal rank in trick-taking games. Typically an entire Suit is nominated as a trump suit - these cards then outrank all cards of plain (non-trump) suits. In other contexts, the term trump card can refer to any sort of action, authority, or policy which automatically prevails over all others.