Friday, May 19, 2017

Losing Trick Count

Good partnership bidding is a conversation between two players who are on the same wavelength. One of the keys to having great partnership rapport are:  both players should understand the principles of accurate hand evaluation (not just the 4-3-2-1 point count we all learned as beginners, but what cards are pure gold and what cards are wastepaper based on the previous bidding)

Losing Trick Count (“LTC”) is a valuation tool for determining the trick-taking potential of a bridge hand. The concept is widely used by better players. It is most effective on hands that have good distribution.

Determining the LTC of your hand is as simple as “points” once you get the hang of it. Here are the LTC Guidelines:
  •       Count missing Aces, Kings and Queens in each suit
  •   The maximum number of losing tricks that you can have in any one suit is three, so each suit card after the top three honors is completely ignored
  •     Count the losers in each suit according to how many cards in each suit. If you have a singleton=1 loser (missing an Ace), A doubleton = 2 losers (missing an Ace and King), etc.


  
Suit Length
3 cards or more
Doubletons
Singletons
Voids
Holding
LTC
Holding
LTC
Holding
LTC
LTC
AKQ(X)
0




0
AKX(X)
1




0
AQX(X)
1
AK
0


0
AXX(X)
2
AX
1


0
KQX(X)
1
KX
1


0
KXX(X)
2
KQ
1


0
OJX(X)
2
AQ
1
A
0
0
Q10X(X)
2 ½
QX
2
K
1
0
QXX(X)
3
QJ
2
Q
1
0
XXX(X)
3
XX
2
X
1
0
Chart made by Pam Earle

Here are a few practice examples:
1.♠ AK64 ♥KQ93 ◆J3 ♣432 (1 losing trick in spades, 1 in hearts, 2 in diamonds and three in                                          clubs). Total LTC= 7 HCPs 13.
2. ♠AK64 ♥KQ93 ⯁A9 ♣432 Total LTC=6 HCPs 16
3.♠ AK64 ♥KQ93 ◆A9 ♣K32 Total LTC=5 
 HCPs 19

 NoteThere is an inverse relationship between points and LTC. As points go up, LTC goes down.

Here are three more examples:
1. ♠AK642 ♥KQ94 ◆J3 ♣42 (like hand 1 above except it has a five card spade suit and a                                              doubleton club. Total LTC=6 
 HCPs 13
2. ♠AK642 ♥KQ932 ◆J3 ♣x. Two 5 card suits. Total LTC=5 
 HCPs 13
3. ♠AK6542 ♥KQ932 ◆J3 ♣void 6-5 come alive! Total LTC=4 
 HCPs 13 (I have opened 2 with hands similar to this one and made slam.)

NoteAs the hands get more unbalanced, the LTC goes down even when the HCPs remain the same. Do you see why LTC better reflects the actual playability of distributional hands?

Look for a future Hand Evaluation post about using LTC to open weak-twos and other distributional hands. It will change and improve your way of preemptive bidding.

Other Hand Evaluations discussed on this website: Self-Sufficient SuitRule of Twenty
                                         
Quick Tricks( Rule of 20/22)

“Quick tricks” are another useful adjunct in hand evaluation: AK = 2, AQ = 1½, A = 1, KQ = 1, Kx = ½
A hand that opens 1 of a suit usually has at least 2 quick tricks e.g 63 KQ43 AQJ4 752 2½ quick tricks: open 1 diamond AJ K643 Q643 Q52 1½ quick tricks: pass

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lessons


Learn New Tricks

Do you want to learn to play bridge?

Or have you played bridge and want to learn the most current bidding system?

Come to the Macon Duplicate Bridge Club on Monday, June 12, at 6:00 pm to learn
about our five seminar series "Learn to Play Bridge" and other seminars in our bridge education program - and meet our seminar leaders. There is no charge for the first two meetings.
Henry Tift Bridge Center - 1070 Southshore Place - Macon 31204

Questions? Email to  mdbcunit114@gmail.com


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Balancing No Trump

Bidding a No-Trump call in the balancing (4th) seat means different things when made at different levels and under varying circumstances.


      1.        North               East             South             West (Balancing Seat)                                                
                                                                                                 Pass
            1-of-any-suit        Pass              Pass                          1-NT
                                                    (or)
                 North               East             South             West (Balancing Seat)                                                
           1-of-any-suit         Pass              Pass                          1-NT
                
              A 1-NT bid in the balancing seat, by either a non-passed hand or by a previously-passed hand, both show 11-14 HCP’s, an evenly-balanced hand, and a desired, but not mandatory, stopper in the suit bid made by Opener. 


       2.        North               East             South             West (Balancing Seat)                                                
             1C/1D/1H           Pass              Pass                          Double
                 Pass             1D/1H/1S        Pass                            1-NT

             A 1-NT re-bid in the balancing seat, by a hand which previously made Take-Out Double shows a strong, balanced holding (15-17 HCP’s), a lack of support for Responder’s bid suit, and at least one stopper in Opener’s bid suit; i.e., a strong 1-NT opening.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Responding to 2 CLUBS



Responses to 2 CLUB Opening Bids by Partner
By Pam Earle

MDBC members play four different systems in response to partner's opening bid of 2 . The first two systems (I will call A1 and A2) both indicate information about the responder's suits and tell the opener if they have a bust*. The next two systems (B1 and B2) both designate information about either point count or numbers of aces and kings in responder’s hand but says nothing about the responder’s suit.


1A –   DOUBLE NEGATIVE
After an opening 2 bid by partner – responder bids 2 of any suit
that they have five cards, with at least two of the top three honors.
Otherwise, they bid two (waiting) which says nothing about the DIAMOND suit. After openers response, a bid of 3 by responder
says I have a bust*. All other bids (except 2 followed by
three) are natural.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rule of 20/22



Rule of Twenty Revised


Larry Cohen’s Thoughts:

I think the Rule of 20, is a good guideline, especially for newer players. It gives an immediate (and easy) ballpark estimate of what is or isn't an opening bid. However (and Marty would be the first to agree), it is just "general advice." It is not to be followed religiously. There are many tiny outside factors which need to be considered, such as:

1) Spot cards (especially 10's and 9's).
3) Points in long suits (
♠A Q 10 7 5 A 10 9 6 5  43  ♣2 is much better than   ♠8 6 5 4 2  9 7 6 5 4  AQ  ♣A.)


4) Short honors should be discounted a bit (such as singleton kings or doubleton queens or jacks).
5) Suits such as AJ10 or AQ10 are worth more than their point count, especially if accompanied by length.

Some writers have carelessly debunked the Rule of 20. What they really mean to say is that the Rule is a good basic starting point, but can use some fine-tuning.


 Jerry Helms’s thoughts:

The rule of twenty is attributed to Marty Bergan and is intended as a method to determine whether to open hands with marginal high card strength in first and second position. Bergan expected players to use some judgment, but many simply adopted the “rule” in its simplest form and abused the concept. Using the rule of 20, add the high-card points to the number of cards in the two longest suits and if the total equals 20 or more, you have an opening bid. As is frequently the case, blind adherence to rules can be a mistake.

*        QJ  QJ   QJ64 ♣QJ873

12 HCP plus nice cards in your two longest suits gives a total of 21. If you indiscriminately follow the rules all your life, this would be an opening bid. Aagghh! It hurts me to think that anyone would do anything other than pass with this collection of “Quacks” (queens and jacks).


Some experts require that a Rule of Twenty hands also contain a minimum of 2 quick tricks: two aces, an A and K in the same suit, or an ace and two unguarded kings. This changes the Rule of Twenty to the Rule of Twenty-Two. Jerry Helms teaches the Rule of Twenty-two.

AK(x) =2 quick tricks
AQ(x) =1 ½ quick tricks
A(x) =1 quick trick
KQ(x) = 1 quick trick
Kx(x) = ½ quick trick

Both hands can be opened using the rule of 22.

♠KQxxx  xx KQxxx ♣x    10 HCP +10 cards in 2 longest suits + 2 quick tricks (KQ=1)
♠x  A109xx xx ♣KQJxx   10 HCP +10 cards in 2 longest suits + 2 quick tricks (KQ=1, A=1)