Now that my second article about Losing Trick Count has appeared in the Bridge Bulletin, I am getting feedback and questions from readers. Thanks for the enthusiastic feedback! I'll try to address some of the questions in this forum.
It is important to realize that each article is a small snapshot of a larger subject--snapshots which will be spread out over the course of several months. In the articles I purposely present examples in which using LTC enables the optimum contract to be reached while traditional point count methods fail. Therefore some of the bidding may seem a bit surprising, but it is an effective way to explain and illustrate the LTC principles.
It should be noted that over the years different bridge writers have proposed various adjustments to the basic LTC system. Currently the most widely accepted adjustment pertains to the valuation of aces and queens. It is often recommended to add 1/2 loser for an "unsupported" queen and deduct 1/2 loser for each ace. A queen is "supported" when it it has a jack or 10 with it. The adjustment for aces is consistent with the fact that aces are considered to be undervalued in the point count system.
Using these adjustments would change the loser count of one of the hands in my January LTC--part 2 article. This hand: ♠Qx/♥AK1097/♦AK7/♣J84 was presented as a 7-loser hand, but if one loser is deducted for the two aces, then it is a 6-loser hand.
My advice is to try out LTC for yourself. Success will dispel any doubts. I love using LTC and have written up a lot of success stories in my Losing Trick Count booklet--hands my partners and I played at all levels. Bob, one of my regular partners who is a Diamond Life Master and NABC champion, started using LTC about 3 years ago at my behest, and is now a True Believer. "It has improved my bidding as well as made bidding easier!" he is fond of saying.
Feel free to leave comments or email questions.
Off to the Monterey Regional. See you at the table!