Sunday, April 22, 2018

Losing Trick Count 2018

Welcome friends! Many of you are reading the first of my new series of articles on Losing Trick Count in the Bridge Bulletin.

It seems like a good time for a new series of articles on the subject as I find that more and more bridge players are using this valuable tool, some have questions and there seems to be a lot of interest in the subject.

As background, when I first learned about Losing Trick Count nearly 20 years ago, it seemed too good to be true, so my partner and I decided to try  it. It is a method of hand evaluation that leads to greater accuracy, and overnight our bidding improved. Gone was the agony of trying to decide what to do. When I was uncertain about what to bid I simply counted my losers and usually came up with the right answer. I still do that today!

I considered the concept so valuable that I wanted to share my experience with other bridge players, so I wrote a booklet on the subject, using my own hands from this blog. (Losing Trick Count, Vol. I--available for sale on this site.) A fellow bridge blogger, Memphis Mojo, encouraged me to send a copy to the editor of the Bridge Bulletin which resulted in the series of articles.

At the time I wrote the booklet, I don't believe that Losing Trick Count (LTC) was very well known. The literature on the subject was dated, and players who tried to use it often did so improperly. Now, six years later, it seems to be used fairly widely, and I believe that the articles in the Bridge Bulletin are, at least in part, responsible. I then wrote a second booklet, Losing Trick Count Vol. II, also available on this site, and included the articles, along with some new material.

In the last few years I have enjoyed the opportunity to give several talks on Losing Trick Count  at North American Bridge Championships, addressed the American Bridge Teachers' Association, and bridge teachers around the country have purchased my teacher's package in order to teach it to their students.

It may be safe to say that the concept has passed the tipping point and that more players use it than not. I base this notion in part on a recent incident. A few months ago in Sausalito, California, I was at a gathering of mostly rubber bridge players. Much to my surprise, I heard the ladies at the next table talking about their losers! (And they were talking about their bridge hands--not their husbands...:-)

With so many players interested in the subject I am pleased to have the opportunity to write more articles for the Bridge Bulletin. I have collected new hands over the years and am familiar with the most common questions, such as: "Can you use LTC in deciding whether to open the bidding?" The new series of articles will address these questions and also present some new applications for Losing Trick Count.

My email address is and I welcome a dialogue with the readers. How do you use it? How has it helped your bridge game? What questions do you have? I will try to address any questions either in this blog or in the new series of articles.

See you at the table!