News Flash! I will be giving a talk on Losing Trick Count at the upcoming Fall North American Bridge Championship in San Diego. My time slot is Fri., Dec. 1 at 9:15 a.m. If you're at the nationals, stop by and say hello!
I never get tired of writing about losing trick count. Here's a hand I held recently at the club. With no one vul., I dealt and opened 1♠.
LHO overcalled 2♥ and partner jumped to 3♠, preemptive. RHO bid 4♥ and it was my bid.
Although partner has shown a weak hand, now that we have a known fit, I can confidently employ losing trick count. This will enable me to properly evaluate my hand in order to decide what to do.
Although my hand has only 13 high card points, it is actually a fairly powerful hand distributionally, and has only 5 losers (4 1/2 adjusting for aces). Partner will have 9 or more losers. With 8 losers he would have invited game. All things considered, it looks like 4♠ has a good chance of making, so I bid it.
Curiously, the ace of clubs is led, followed by a diamond shift. It is a good bet that the ace of clubs is singleton and the opening leader is trying for a ruff. After winning the ♦K, I come to my hand with a spade and pitch a club on the ♦A. I exit with a club, LHO showing out and RHO winning. RHO now returns a trump and trumps are 2-2. I cross-ruff the hand and the long club in my hand is my 10th trick (7 trumps, 2 diamonds and 1 club).
I was a bit surprised to see that plus 420 was a tie for top. Looking into the matter, I learned that only 1/3 of the field bid 4♠. The use of losing trick count principles should make bidding the spade game relatively easy despite having only 18 high card points between the two hands.
As Ron Smith (well known bridge pro...:-) points out in his blog regarding my losing trick count booklets: "I'm glad Jenn is doing what what she is doing. Point count has been done
forever but it only works on balanced hands. When you have
distributional hands, point count doesn't work. I evaluate using Losing
Trick Count in almost every hand."
See you at the table!