I received the booklet yesterday. Very interesting. I've already used it in part score bidding today. Seems very helpful when deciding to pass at the two level or go on to the three level.
If you do not mind, I have a couple of questions. Can you apply LTC to an 8 card fit (5-3)? (All the examples in the book are 9 card fits.). On marginal opening hands, should you open a hand with greater than 7 LTC?
1. Losing trick count helps you bid to the correct level--not higher, not lower. That's the beauty of it. Glad you're finding the booklet helpful in your bidding.
2. LTC does apply to 5-3 fits. This is from page 5 of my LTC booklet:
It is important to remember that LTC should be used only when a trump fit (4-4 or 5-3 or better) has been found.
High card points should continue to be taken into account. If a hand with few high card points is distributional with a good fit, count the losers to determine whether to upgrade. If a hand strong on points is balanced and appears rather weak, count the losers to determine whether to downgrade. If still unsure, note that aces are better than kings and can tip the balance toward an upgrade.
3. Regarding opening with more than 7 losers, if you have 12 or more points, go ahead and open the bidding. In an upcoming Bridge Bulletin article I will be discussing whether to open at the one-level or two-level based on LTC.
Question: What about adjustments to LTC?
Answer: Many adjustments have been proposed over the years. The one currently most in favor is to reduce your loser count by 1/2 for each ace and increase your loser count by 1/2 for each unsupported queen. I have referred to this in my blog and in my booklet.
See you at the table!