We had a nice turnout at the Santa Rosa sectional recently. Good bridge and good food! Here are a couple of hands I liked--one from the pair game and one from the team game.
Bd. 4, March 23, Second session, partner Erwin Linzner.
Erwin opened 1♦ and I responded 1♠ with this hand:
I was pleased and surprised when Erwin then jumped to 3♠. With my big hand I immediately bid 4NT, RKC, and learned that Erwin held 3 aces. I bid 6♠ and partner laid down a nice dummy:
The K♥ was led and I saw that I could make 7 if I ruffed two hearts. The 4th heart would go on a club. Spades broke 2-2 and the play went as I envisioned.
The hand seemed fairly routine so I was surprised to get 13 out of 17 matchpoints. Looking at the loser count, Erwin's hand has 6 1/2 losers, but deducting 1/2 loser for each ace brings the loser count down to 5. This clearly makes it worth a jump raise. My hand also has 5 losers, so it is not surprising that we made all the tricks. (Adding our losers together equals 10 and subtracting them from 24 equals 14, the number of tricks we can expect to make. Gee--that would really be a top!)
2. Playing in the Sunday team game with Larry Hansen, I held this hand in 4th seat and there were 3 passes to me.
Only 10 high card points, but another powerful hand in terms of loser count: 5 losers. I opened 1♠, LHO bid 2♣ and partner bid 2♠. RHO bid 3♣ and I jumped to game.
Partner's hand was suitable and I ended up making 450 when the opponents failed to cash their 2 heart tricks.
When you're not sure what to bid, count your losers. The proper use of losing trick count will make your decisions easier and guide you to the correct contract more often than not.
See you at the table!