Monday, December 31, 2012

Jennbridge: Best of 2012

I have selected some of the best Jennbridge posts from 2012 and collected them here for your holiday reading.  Happy New Year!

2012 was the year that most of my articles on Losing Trick Count appeared in the Bridge Bulletin. This prompted a flurry of blog posts.  Here are a few:
Fun preempts from a Northern CA regional:
What do you do when a world championship pair makes a lead out of turn?
Exciting hands from 2012 NABCs
Play Problems:
Defensive Problems:
Bidding Problems:
See you at the table!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jennbridge: 2 Endplays

Here's a hand I played recently which reminded of a hand that my friend Erwin Linzner had given me earlier in the week.  We executed very similar endplays. I'll present them both.

I found myself in 3NT with these hands.  I believe that I jumped to 3NT after partner opened 1♣.



The Q was led and it was clear that I had enough tricks--at least 10.  As this was a pair game, however, it was incumbent on me to look for the 11th.

I won the heart and played a diamond to the king which RHO won.  She seemed to be considering a (spade) switch but, instead, continued hearts.  Now I ran my clubs, putting LHO under pressure.  At one point she made a telling discard:  the 3♠.  When I inquired about the carding I was informed that they were playing odd-even discards. Very informative.  I judged that this was a true card and that LHO did indeed hold the spade king. This steered me away from a possible spade finesse, but, instead, set the stage for an endplay.

I cashed the diamonds and ran the clubs, pitching a diamond on the 5th club and was down to these cards:



I now exited with a heart, and sure enough, LHO had come down to one heart and the Kx of spades and was forced to lead into my spade tenace.  Making 5 was worth most of the matchpoints.

This hand reminded me of a hand that Erwin Linzner had related to me earlier in the week in which his LHO also made a telling discard and he executed  a similar endplay.  Erwin's hand came in a regional pair game at the San Francisco NABC and helped him and Gary Robinson nab a second place finish in the event.

Erwin found himself in 6NT with these hands.  His story follows.

Gary opened 1♠, I bid 2♣, and after a minorwood auction I decided to blast and bid 6NT. I opted for NT rather a club slam because this was a matchpoint game.
So I got a heart lead.  Looking at dummy I was not pleased with my decision. I had 9 tricks off the top, so I had to develop 3 tricks. There are 2 possible lines. RHO has Kxx in spades (low odds - maybe 18 percent) or find the Q onside, K♠ onside, and the K onside (about 13 percent). Not exactly a great slam. Is there a way to combine chances?
In any case there was no harm in taking the heart finesse. If off, I can still fall back on Kxx of spades onside. So I  called for J and RHO contributed the 10. Great, my chances had improved. Both possible winning scenarios required a spade from dummy towards my queen. So at trick two I played a low spade towards the Q. To my surprise the Q won the trick. I now have 11 tricks. 
So it was time to play a few rounds of clubs and see what happened. I led K♣ from hand and LHO pitched a heart. I played the Q♣ and LHO signaled encouragement in diamonds. If that's a legitimate signal, the diamond finesse won't work. I now play a low club towards the ace and LHO pitches a spade. Well, that pitch makes it safe to test the spades. If spades are 3-3 I'm home free. If not, LHO, with 2 only spades, will be 6-5 in the red suits and ripe for an endplay. 
The A♠ produces another red card from LHO. It is now time to cash the K before crossing back to my hand. RHO pitches a diamond. That confirms the distribution: LHO started with 2-6-5-0. I am now cold if LHO has the K
I finish clubs ending in hand. My last 4 cards are A9 and AQ. LHO has 2 options: keep both honors guarded in the red suits or stiff either honor. My opponent chose the first option since he did have the K. I cashed the A and exited with the 9. When LHO won the Q I showed my hand. Making 6NT was a top board.
Lessons for defense here are:
1) The hand is defeated if my RHO pops the K♠ at trick 2. That eliminates the endplay and there are no squeezes on this layout. Difficult to anticipate that early in the hand.
2) Be careful on signaling where key cards are (i.e., LHO encouraged in diamonds) if it will help declarer. RHO certainly didn't need that information. In this case it pointed towards the winning line versus the losing one for declarer.

Thanks Erwin--well done!  I appreciate the symmetry of these two hands.  We both threw our left hand opponent in with hearts late in the hand, forcing them to lead into our AQ tenaces.

See you at the table!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Jennbridge: Don't Just Sit There!

We had an interesting bidding situation in the first qualifying session of the Senior Mixed Pairs in San Francisco recently. LHO opened 1♣, partner overcalled 1, RHO bid 1NT and I passed with this hand:


LHO rebid 2♣ and it was passed around to me.  I hated to sell out, so I considered my options.  The main argument against bidding was the vulnerability--unfavorable.  On the other hand, we probably had close to half of the points based on the bidding.  I liked my diamond holding and my club shortness.  Where are the majors, I wondered?

They must be evenly divided around the table.  Can we find our way to a major suit part-score?  What would a double by me mean?  Takeout for the unbid suits--the majors?

I couldn't bear to pass and let them play at the two-level, so I hazarded a double.  Partner, to my relief, bid 2!  I was pleased when everyone passed. A club was led.

NABC 11/28/2012

Board 2
East Deals
N-S Vul
♠ K 6 5 3 2
J 10 7 4 2
Q 7
♣ 2
♠ Q 10 4
9 6 3
A 10 5 3
♣ K 10 4
♠ A J 8
K 8
6 4
♣ A J 9 8 7 3

♠ 9 7
A Q 5
K J 9 8 2
♣ Q 6 5


1 ♣1
1 NTPass2 ♣Pass
All pass
2 by South
Made 3 — +140
Partner managed to make 3 for a great score of plus 140.  This was worth 36.5 matchpoints out of 39.  As it turned out, any plus score our way would have been a big score as the opponents could make 2NT (W) 4NT (E) or 4♣.

As you can see, the opponents' bidding left something to be desired.  East could certainly have passed 1NT.  West would have played it there and probably taken a lot of tricks. On the given auction, West should have competed to 3♣ over 2.

Unwilling to sell out over 2♣, I competed with an unusual balancing takeout double and it paid off. I tell my bridge students:  Don't just sit there!  Find ways to get into the auction.  Good things can happen.   

See partner's comments on the auction following this post.

See you at the table! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jennbridge: Along For the Ride

Here's a hand from the finals of the Nail Life Master Open Pairs played recently at the San Francisco NABC.  My partner, Larry Hansen, had an unusual hand after I opened one notrump and had to both guide and force the bidding in an effort to get to the best contract.

I opened 1 notrump with:  (Board 2, 1:00 game, Nov. 24)


Partner bid 2♠, which is a relay to 3♣ after which partner can describe his hand--a hand weak or strong in one or both minors.  After I bid 3♣, he bid 3♠, showing a slammish hand with diamonds.  With my strong holdings in the majors and weak diamonds, I bid 3NT, denying interest in diamonds.

He then made a surprise bid of 4♣.  This bid hadn't exactly been discussed and I had to decide what to do.  He had a way to show a hand that was strong in both minors by bidding 3NT over my forced 3♣.  So it didn't sound like that.  Perhaps it was Gerber, ace-asking.  I decided to treat it as such and bid 4♠, showing two aces.

Partner now surprised me again by jumping to 6♣!  What is going on here?  Did he misbid earlier in the auction and he really had clubs?  Did he have both minors?  Should I correct to 6NT with my strong holdings in the majors?

I really wasn't sure what was going on--I was just along for the ride.  I decided to trust my partner, however--to trust that he had bid correctly and was trying to send me a message.  Accordingly, I passed 6♣.



Wow--nice hand.  I got a spade lead and starting on diamonds, planning to ruff a diamond in my hand. LHO, whose original diamond holding was K8, won and returned a spade.  Now I played the ♣Q and ♣A, both opponents following, and ruffed a diamond with my ♣J. Now it was a simple of getting to the board to draw the last trump and claim.

Plus 920 was worth 73 out of 90 matchpoints.  Several pairs had minus scores.  Six notrump doesn't make because you have to lose 2 diamonds.

Most of us are unable to discuss every possible auction and must do our best to guide and force the bidding as the situation requires.  A successful partnership is amenable to that.

See you at the table!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jennbridge: An Extraordinary Hand from the Nationals

By Bob Klein. My penultimate hand, following six mediocre days of results at the San Francisco NABC, made me forget everything that preceded it.  I picked up this monster:

♠  KQTxx
♣  void

Once I realized that I had indeed sorted it correctly and mentally got up off the floor after having been knocked down, I started to think of how I would approach the bidding.  Before getting too far, I heard my partner, Dave Neuman, open one Heart in front of me in first seat.  Now my perspective changed considerably.  I saw that the only thing I needed to know about his hand was his spade holding to as much specificity as possible.

I decided that if I showed a 6-5 or longer in diamonds and spades, I might get to find out if he has 3-card or longer spade support.  I thought it unlikely that he would have 4 spades since he didn't use Flannery, which he could have done even if he was 4-6 in the majors.  So I bid 2 Diamonds.  He rebid 2 Hearts, I bid 2 Spades, he bid 2NT and I completed the picture with 3 spades.  Now I would get an answer.  He obliged by bidding 4 Spades.  This almost certainly showed 3 spades.

Now the stage was set for me to get the information I needed: did he have the ace of spades, never mind any other aces he might hold?  I therefore bid 5NT, which in this auction was unambiguously a grand slam force with spades agreed.  His reply of 6 Spades confirmed that he had the ace, since if he didn't have any of the top three spade honors, he would have replied 6 Clubs.   I now bid 7 Diamonds, confident that Dave, knowing that I had already bid diamonds and had assumed captaincy, wasn't giving him a choice (if I really wanted him to choose between spades and diamonds, I would instead have bid 7 Clubs.)

I got the king of clubs lead, and looked at:



So I had to avoid losing a trick to the nasty jack of spades.  I saw three chances:

1.  Spades split 3-2
2.  RHO has four to the jack.  Here you cannot misguess if you play the king first.
3.  LHO has four to the jack and the ace of hearts and will be squeezed at trick ten.

So I played the ace of clubs pitching a spade, drew trump, cashed the king of spades and ran all of the diamonds to reach this 3-card ending:

                     ♠    Ax

                     ♠  QTx

If the heart ace has not already appeared, play for the spades to come in.  If LHO started with Jxxx, he would already have been squeezed.  It turned out that RHO had Jxxx so I had a marked finesse of the jack and the grand came home for an 11-IMP win. 

At the other table, after the player holding Dave's hand opened 1 Heart, my teammate preempted with 3 Clubs.  They never got to bid spades, eventually had to guess what to do, and ended up in 6 Diamonds.  Here are all four hands:


x                                                   J9xx
AQJxx                                          xx
xxx                                               void
QJxx                                             KTxxxxx


Good luck!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jennbridge: It Has My Heart

Reporting live from the NABC in San Francisco.  This city is getting decked out for Christmas and it is glitzy, spectacular and grand.  There's still time to get to this beautiful city for some great bridge!

I'm taking a break today and the possibilities are endless.  Take a walk, take a swim, visit a museum, ride a cable car, shop, have a great dinner and finish up with some good kibitizing.  There's an exciting semi-final match going on in the Senior KOs which I plan to check out.

In preparing for my talk on Losing Trick Count tomorrow morning, I have been keeping track of hands where LTC was used successfully.  Here are a couple--one from teams and one from the Life Master Pairs earlier this week.

1.  In a KO match my partner opened a strong notrump and I held:

♠ 10987xx
♣ void

The hand contains 7 losers so I decided to be aggressive and push to game.  Accordingly, I transferred to spades and then jumped to 4.  Partner, holding, oddly, 2-2 in the majors corrected to 4♠.  

♠ Jx
♣ Axxx

Hearts broke 3-3 and  the only tricks he lost were the A,K,Q of spades.   We won 11 IMPs (as well as the match) as the opponents went down in a minor suit part-score.

2.  In the second qualifiying session of the Life Master Pairs, I opened this hand 2, Flannery, (5 hearts, 4 spades, 11-15 points) and partner invited with 3♠.  (Board 5)


As the range for Flannery is 11-15, my 13 point hand was exactly in the middle.  I studied the hand for a moment, trying to decide what to do and then I counted my losers.  I decided that a 6-loser hand was sufficient to accept the invitation so I bid 4♠.



Partner played it well and our score of 420 earned the great score of 47 out of 50 matchpoints--part of a 62% session!

When in doubt, count your losers.

See you at the table!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jennbridge: Back to Bridge

Between the World Series (here's a link to the great 2012 SF Giants Celebratory Anthem and the election, many of us were temporarily distracted from our favorite hobby--bridge!

Here's a hand I received from a reader as a comment about losing trick count:

Today playing in the flight A NAP qualifier, my partner held:


He opened 1S. I raised to 2. A raise to 2 should normally have about 9 losers. He counted 5 losers in his own hand, and went to 4.

I held:


...a 7-loser hand!

Well, the opponents led a trump, and when my partner ducked a heart they then played two more rounds of trumps. We went down two for a poor score. 

That was the entire comment, but one can surmise that there is an underlying question:  Why didn't losing trick count work in this instance?

To answer that I will begin with a quote from my booklet, Losing Trick Count (2011):  Losing Trick Count is the number of tricks the partnership can expect to win most of the time; i.e., if suits break normally and half of your finesses win.  LTC does not measure certain winners, but only the potential of the hand.

With that gentle disclaimer, let's look at these two hands:



At first glance, the most glaring feature of the two hands is the incredible misfit.  Dummy's only high card points are in declarer's void!  With the devastating defense described, (trump lead!) I'm surprised the declarer only went down two as he shouldn't ever be able to get to the dummy.

With average defense (no spade lead, but a spade shift after a heart is ducked) the declarer should be able to scramble 8 tricks. He should be able to get to the board with a heart ruff and discard a diamond on the club ace. With a favorable placement of the ace of diamonds, he can score his diamond king, but that may be all.

With poor defense the contract might actually make.  Consider a diamond lead and a heart shift. Under that scenario a heart could be pitched on the diamond king and the hand could be cross-ruffed for (probably) 10 tricks.

But, back to losing trick count.  It is a method of hand evaluation which helps you get to the right contract more often than other methods, such as simply counting high card points.  Most competent pairs would bid these hands to 4♠ and then be disappointed that they were such a misfit. It's instructive to realize that the poor fit dooms this normal contract under any system!

See you at the table!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jennbridge: Advantages of Playing Bridge over Poker

This post is in collaboration with Daniel Smith, a fellow Bridge enthusiast and a Poker fan.

Professional poker has seen tremendous growth over the last decade.  Several of the game's current stars have come to poker from other mind sports such as Bridge and Chess.

For example,  Martin De Knijff and Barry Greenstein were both former bridge players prior to taking up poker. Martin deKnijff was actually five time winner of the Swedish Bridge Championship.

Of course, not everyone who tries to make the transition from bridge to poker is successful because there are clear differences, and in some ways bridge has advantages over poker and vice versa.  Let's take a look at some of those advantages.

Advantages of Playing Poker over Bridge

In the game of poker, you can pick up a myriad of physical and psychological tells on your opponent that you generally cannot do in bridge.

Another advantage of poker over bridge is the bluff.  Bluffing is a talent that is used much more in poker than in bridge, although good bridge players are often successful at bluffing.  Finally, there is a lot more money to be won playing poker than bridge.  Poker's World Champion recently won $8 Million. 

Advantages of Playing Bridge over Poker

The first major advantage of playing bridge over the game of poker is that you have a partner (although some players would describe this as a dubious advantage).  Poker is a solo game where you are competing against everyone at the table.  Barry Greenstein once said that he socializes much more in bridge than in poker due to this fact.

Also, one hand in bridge is not going to end your game like it can in poker.  Depending on circumstances, you can lose all your money in a single hand of poker or be eliminated from the tournament based on the results of one hand.  That doesn't happen in bridge.

Finally, bridge is a game that does not have a significant financial impact on its players like poker.  Poker players often go broke, including the most successful.  There are many more losing poker players than winning poker players.  Excepting big-time money bridge players, when have you ever heard of someone going broke playing bridge?

Game Enjoyment

One huge difference between poker and bridge is game enjoyment.  If a poker player is not winning money, he or she is usually not having fun.  Conversely, each hand of bridge presents its players with a challenge.  You have a set goal each hand and work towards achieving that goal. 

Bridge players can play for hours or days and never win or lose a dime, and they are perfectly happy to do so.  If a poker player loses for hours or days, he or she may not be able to pay the rent.

If you are someone who enjoys an element of gambling in their gaming, you may want to give poker a try.  Conversely, if you are a poker player who is looking for a mental challenge that isn't going to drain your bankroll, it may be time to take up bridge.  Just be sure to pick a good partner, and pick up the Losing Trick Count booklet.  Good luck at the tables.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Jennbridge: Are You Using Losing Trick Count?

Losing trick count is a method of hand evaluation which improves bidding accuracy and bestows good results on its users!  Here is a hand I played online last night and a hand that was played against me today in a sectional which demonstrate this proposition.

1.  Playing IMPs online I opened 1♠ with this hand:

♠ KQ1032

♣ A93

Partner bid 3♠, a limit raise, and it was my call.  Partner's bid should show 8 losers.  Although I only had 12 high card points, I counted 6 losers so I bid 4♠.  A heart was led and I saw this dummy.

♠ J965
♣ 6

♠ KQ1032

♣ A93

Diamonds were 3-3 with split honors and the hand made 4 rather easily.  We won 7 IMPs.

2.  In a sectional pair game today, partner passed and RHO opened 1♠. I overcalled 2 and LHO bid 3, showing a limit raise or better in spades.  Partner passed and RHO jumped to 4♠, ending the auction.

I held:  void/A87652/9874/AKJ.  I cashed both aces and partner later got his ace of spades.  Here were the hands:

♠ J542

♠ KQ10873
♣ 3

Another 20 point game that can't be defeated! Our opponents properly used losing trick count and handed us a below-average score.

For more information (and to raise your bridge scores!) you can purchase my losing trick count booklets on this site.  Also, I'll be giving a presentation on this subject at the fall NABC in San Francisco on Wed., Nov. 28 at 9:15 a.m.

See you at the table!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Jennbridge: Executing the Squeeze

My partner, Larry Hansen, executed a couple of nice squeezes in a club game recently and I'll present the first one here. On the first board of the day, I seized the opportunity to kick off the action with a non-textbook 2♠ bid:

♠ QJ10764
♣ K43

Larry bid 2NT, asking for a feature and I responded 3♣.  He then bid 3NT which I passed (a little nervously, hoping we weren't missing a 4-4 heart fit). 

♠ QJ10764
♣ K43

♠ K5

The 6 was led and he won the queen with the king.  He then started on spades by leading the king out of his hand, followed by the 5 to the queen which RHO won with the ace as LHO showed out.   The 8 was returned, covered by the 9 and won by the 10 on his left.  LHO now cashed the A and returned  the 3 which he won with the jack, RHO showing out.  LHO started with 6 diamonds.

Now watch what happens as a club is led to the king and the spades are played.  RHO is unable both to guard clubs and hold on to the ace of hearts.  Here are the last 3 cards, and as Larry points out: We are now down to the following, where the 6♠ will be the Squeeze Card.

-- --
Q7           A
--     --
Q            J9

As the 6♠ was played , RHO had no answer.  If he discarded the ace of hearts Larry's king would be good and if he discarded a club, Larry would discard the king of hearts and the clubs would be winners.  

The score of 630 was worth all the matchpoints.

Here is the entire hand:

Larry's Squeeze #1  10/26/12

Board 13
North Deals
Both Vul
♠ Q J 10 7 6 4
10 8 6 5

♣ K 4 3
♠ 8
Q 7 3 2
A 10 6 5 4 3
♣ Q 2
♠ A 9 3 2
A 4
Q 8 2
♣ J 9 7 6

♠ K 5
K J 9
K J 9 7
♣ A 10 8 5

2 ♠Pass2 NT
Pass3 ♣Pass3 NT
All pass
3 NT by South

See you at the table!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jennbridge: Defending against 3NT

The defense of a bridge hand has been called the "Achilles heel" of all bridge players.  I agree.  I find it easier to defend the contract of 3NT rather than a suit contract, however, as partner's hand is so well-defined.

Here's a hand from a pair game at a recent regional.  With none vul., partner passed, RHO opened 1NT and I held:

♠ Q105

While I could have made a bid showing hearts and a minor, I elected to pass and LHO bid 3NT.  I led the fourth best 5, and saw this dummy:

♠ 984

                         ♠ Q105
                         ♥ AQ852 
                         ♦ 10

The jack won the trick as partner followed with the 7 and declarer played the 6.  I paused before moving on to the next trick, as is my habit, as this is the best time to study the hand.  This is the time to count the points to determine the number of points partner is likely to hold.  It is important to do it at the beginning of the hand, because as the hand progresses there are new problems and issues to focus on which may make it difficult to reconstruct the initial hands.

So, the opponents hold between 24 and 26 points and I hold 12.  That means my partner holds 2-4 points.  With this in mind I proceed with the defense.

Declarer plays 3 rounds of diamonds ending in her hand with the ace and then leads a club toward dummy.  What do you do?


At the table I grabbed the ♣K and led a spade, convinced that partner held either the ace or king of spades.  Partner obliged by winning the ace and returning a heart, enabling me to cash out the heart suit for a two-trick set and 32 out of 38 matchpoints. (9 pairs made 3NT, 13 pairs were down 1 and 8 pairs were down 2.)  Here is the whole hand--I was East:

All Western Open Pairs, Afternoon Session 1 of 4

Board 8
West Deals
None Vul
K J 7
K 10 6
A 9 8 5
A 7 4
A 6 3 2
9 7
7 6 3
10 6 5 3


Q 10 5
A Q 8 5 2
K J 9 8

9 8 4
J 4 3
K Q J 4 2
Q 2
NS 2N; EW 3♣; N 2; EW 1♠; EW 1; S 1; Par −100: N 3×−1; NS 3N×−1

Some pointers for defending notrump contracts:
  • First, it's usually right to lead from length. 
  • Second, it's vital to determine partner's strength--this should be done at trick one.
  • Third, absent a signal from partner, an educated guess needs to be made about the location of partner's values.  In this case it was apparent that partner had nothing in hearts or diamonds.  The way declarer played the hand caused me to conclude that partner's values were probably in spades.  Therefore a spade play from my side rated to be safe.
  • Fourth, stay alert and don't let declarer steal a trick.  As you can see, if I duck the ♣K, declarer can score 8 tricks and and get a much better score.  (Or consider this horror if partner and I are both asleep...I duck the ♣K and partner then ducks the ♠A, handing declarer the contract!)
 Go Giants!  See you at the table!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jennbridge: Losing Trick Count--October Update

Here's the latest news on Losing Trick Count. If you're attending the Fall NABC in San Francisco you are welcome to attend a free presentation on Losing Trick Count which I'll be giving with Gene Simpson on Wed., Nov. 28 at 9: 15 a.m.  I've prepared a 2-page handout and am looking forward to it.
  • In the works is a project to have LTC Vol. II translated into Japanese! 
  • Baron Barclay is now selling LTC Vol. I and Vol. II.
 Here are some recent comments from readers:
  • Ruth in Ontario and Maureen in St. Louis both write:  Please send me Vol. II.  I enjoyed your first volume very much. 
  •  From Vickie in Oregon:  I have benefited from the ideas in Vol. I.  Thanks for putting this in a booklet form--great information.  Please send a copy of Losing Trick Count, Vol. II.

Andres from Canada writes:  What is the difference between LTC Vol. I and Vol. I?

In response I sent him the following:  Losing Trick Count Vol. I explains how to count losers, when to count losers and why to count losers and also includes an "optional refinement" section on incorporating losing trick count with elements of Bergen raises.  The second part of the booklet presents actual hands played at both matchpoints and team play which illustrate the principles.

This booklet explains the basics of LTC and includes actual hands played at all levels of competition from the local duplicate to the World Mixed Pairs. Using only these basics will greatly fine-tune your bidding and hand evaluation. 

Losing Trick Count, Vol. II contains the six Bridge Bulletin articles *expanded* along with New Topics and More Great Hands. New topics include additional ways to use Losing Trick Count:
  •   LTC Bidding Chart
  •   LTC in opening 1NT
  •   LTC in opening 2 Clubs
  •   LTC & Reverse Drury
  •   LTC & Inverted Minors
  •   Preemptive Gerber
  •   New hands using LTC in notrump auctions
  •   A Note on Cover Cards
  •   Adjustments to LTC
  •   Why Deduct the Losers from 24?
  •   Using LTC with Bergen Raises
  •   New Great & Fun Hands

I'll close with an anecdote.  In a recent team game my partner overcalled 1♠.  Both opponents were bidding and I made a cuebid showing a limit raise in spades--an 8-loser hand.  Partner stopped short of game and we lost 10 IMPs as our counterparts bid it.

It wasn't until the next day that he made a confession:  He actually had a 6-loser hand, but he "didn't like it" so he didn't bid game when I invited!  Luckily there is a happy ending.  We won the event despite this hand and he vowed that henceforth he would faithfully follow Losing Trick Count principles--a method that has been proven time and again to be effective.

See you at the table!