Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jennbridge: LTC Q & A II

Hi Jennifer,

After reading the two LTC articles in the Bridge Bulletin, I find that I’m completely captivated by the subject and will be ordering your booklet.  I’ve recently started to put the theory to practice and I see that so often LTC’s get one to a better contract than just relying on point count.

I have a very simplistic question.  How on earth can you know what partners LTC’s are so that you can theoretically subtract from 24?

Thanks for your answer!

Sue B.  Washington State

Dear Sue:  Glad Losing Trick Count is working for you--it's great isn't it?!

Start with the assumption that your partner, who has opened the bidding, has 7 losers.  (A normal minimum opening bid has 7 losers.)  Add your losers to hers and subtract from 24 to get the number of tricks the partnership should expect to take.  

For example, if you have 8 losers, invite game with a limit raise. (8 + 7 = 15 which, subtracted from 24 = 9--the number of tricks you can expect to take at the 3 level.)  When partner hears your limit raise she will know you have 8 losers, so she will pass with a 7-loser minimum opener, but bid game with a 6-loser hand.  

So, first you assume that partner has opened a 7-loser minimum.  You add your losers to hers and make the appropriate response.  When she hears your response she then adds your losers to hers and makes the appropriate rebid.  You start with an assumption and then begin filling in the details based on the actual hands you hold. Understand?

Good luck!

See you at the table!

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