Lesson 24 - REVIEW

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R-BR 24.2 - Losing Trick Count - Own Hand

The Losing Trick Count (LTC) is a valuation method for . . . . . . . contracts only. You can use it after a . . . . . . . . . has been found.

Count your losers in the top . . . . . cards in each suit. Cards beyond these are considered . . . . . . . .

1. Ace = . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2. King = . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3. Queen = . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4. Void = . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5. Singleton = . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6. Doubleton = . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Combining above Honour and shortage counts : an A x or K x doubleton counts for . . . . . . . . A K doubleton is . . . . . . . . . . , so does a singleton . . . . . . . K Q doubleton is . . . . . . . . . as is . . . . . . ., .

The maximum number of losers you can hold in your hand is . . . x . . . losers = . . . . losers. The same applies to the hand of your Partner, therefore :

. . . . - ( . . . . . . . losers + . . . . . . . . losers) = the likely number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This means that if you and Partner have . . . . . losers in the combined hand you are likely to have 10 winning trick, enough for a . . . . . . . contract in a . . . . . . . suit. With . . . . losers a Slam is a very good proposition.

Let us have a look at how the two hands from the previous chapter are valued using this method.

Hand 1 is valued at . . . . . losers. This is the same as the strength as an . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . opening hand.
No wonder then that a Game contract with this supporting hand is going to be a good prospect.

Hand 2 in comparison, despite its much higher point count contains . . . . losers, . . . . . . . . . more than the average opening hand.

If for arguments sake we take away the Club Queen in Hand 1, reducing its strength to . . . . HCPs only, it is still equal in loser count (now . . . ) to Hand 2, which now has more than . . . . . the number of HCPs.

The above comparison makes it very clear that the distribution pattern of a hand has a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . on its trick taking potential, much more than expressed by the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
It is essential to always remember that you must have a good . . . . . . . , as much of the trick taking potential is based on being able to take advantage of the . . . . . . . . . . . in a hand.

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R-BR 24.3 - Losing Trick Count - Partner's Hand

Valuating your own hand with the LTC method is easy, but how about assessing Partner's hand ?
Here you need to rely on . . . . . . . . . . .
Approximate valuations for standard opening bids and responses are :

•   6-10 pts : Single raise or 1NT Response = . . . . . . losers

• 6-9 HCP : Game raise to Partner's 1H or 1S = . . . . . . losers

• 11+ pts : New suit at the 2 level Response = . . . . . . losers or less

• 13+ pts : Jump raise = . . . . . . losers or less

• 13-15 pts : Minimum Opening bid or 2NT Response = . . . . . . losers

• 16-18 pts : Strong Opening bid or 3NT Response = . . . . . . losers

• 19-21 pts : Maximum 1 Opening bid = . . . . . . losers

• 22+ pts : Strong 2C, 2NT Opening bid = . . . . . . losers or less

Various other bids are :
• 9-15 pts : Overcall at the 1 level = . . . . . . losers or less

• 11-15 pts : Overcall at the 2 level = . . . . . . losers or less

• 12+ pts : Takeout Double = . . . . . . losers or less

• 6-10 HCP : Weak 2 Opening, Weak Jump overcall = . . . . . . losers

• 6-10 HCP : Preemptive 3 Opening bid = . . . . . . losers (not vulnerable) or 6 losers (vulnerable)

• 6-10 HCP : Preemptive 4 Opening bid = . . . . . . losers (not vulnerable) or 5 losers (vulnerable)

• 8-12 HCP : Michaels Cue bid, Unusual 2NT = . . . . . . losers
The key totals you need to remember are . . . . . losers or less required for a . . . . . . contract, while . . . . . losers or less are required for a . . . . . . . . . . .

Most importantly however remember that all LTC calculations are only valid when you have a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The best approach is then to use both the . . . . . and the . . . . . . . . . side by side in your overall assessment of the game.

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R-BR 24.4 - Trick Value Shortage Points

To make a Game trump contract in a major suit requires . . . . points. This means that each of the 10 winning tricks requires on average . . . . . points.
Therefore, combining the point count system with the the losing trick count :

• If a void is valued at . . . loser and in consequence represents . . . . winning tricks, its true point count value must be . . . x . . . = . . . . . points

• Likewise, if a singleton is valued at . . . . loser and in consequence represents . . . winning tricks, its true point count value must be . . . x . . . = . . . . points

• And if a doubleton is valued at . . . . losers and in consequence represents . . . winning trick, its true point count value must be . . . x . . . = . . . . points
The only variation to the above valuation concerns the doubleton
The . . . . points valuation for a doubleton is fair enough. However before you can effectively consummate this single winner it is necessary to first . . . . . tricks. In a Game contract this represents at least . . .. . % of your permissible loss.

Two useless doubletons in a hand are potentially what I call the kiss of death. You may well be down one trick already before you have managed to gain the lead.
Count the doubleton therefore always for . . . . . . . . . , unless the doubleton includes the . . . . . If so count it for . . . . points.

With an abundance of trumps ( . . . . or more in the combined hands) you may add . . . . . . . . TSP to the singleton and void.

With a 5-3 trump fit and . . . . . . . . in the long trump suited hand (usually Declarer's hand) it is wise to . . . . . . . . . of the singleton or void TSP value.

Assessing Hand 1 (after has Partner opened 1S) in terms of TSPs one reaches a more realistic valuation of . . . . HCP + . . . . TSP = . . . . points total. The extra . . . TSP being awarded for the . . . . card trump fit.

In general be . . . . . . . . . . . when you hold a balanced or semibalanced hand with one or two useless doubletons, or worse, a useless 3 card suit.

With an unbalanced hand be . . . . . . . . . . in your approach.

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R-BR 24.5 - Long Suit Trial bid

The long suit trial bid :

 When a . . . . . . . suit is single raised to the . . . . level (by either Partner) the bid of . . . . . . . . . . . . is a long suit trial bid, asking Partner for his . . . . . . . . . . in the . . . . . . . .

To make a long suit trial bid you should have . . . . . . . cards in the suit and preferably . . . but definitely at least . . . . losers.
Partner may not Pass but replies :

For Hand 3 the bidding would therefore go : 1S - 2S - You ? . . . . . . . .

Partner will reply 4S with . . . . . . . loser in . . . . . . . . even with . . . . . . points, or with . . . losers and a . . . . . .

He will reply 3S with . . . . losers and a . . . . . . or . . . . losers and . . . . . . . . . . points.

The long suit trial bid can also be made by the Responder.
Partner opened the bidding with 1C, you holding Hand 4 responded with 1S and Partner raised to 2S.
What do you do next ?

Same dilemma, Game is likely, but if Partner has . . . losers in . . . . . too the Game contract may well go down. Once again the long suit trial bid can come to the rescue.

1C - 1S - 2S - You ? . . . . . .

Whatever bid Partner makes, your contract will be more secure for it.

A long suit trial bid can also be made after . . . . . . . . . . with an . . . . . . . . . .
For example :
1S - (3D) - 2S - (Pass) - 3D

3D is still a . . . . . . . . . . . . . , to which Partner must . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .