Friday, December 9, 2011

What's this losing trick count?

Above: A total of 11,429 tables of bridge were in play at the Fall NABC in Seattle. A table is four persons who play one session of bridge.

Your partner opens 1 and you hold:
7 5 4 Q 9 7 K 9 2 A J 7 5.

Would you make a limit raise to 3? Would you only bid 2 with 10 high-card points? Would you do something else?

If you think this hand is worth a limit raise, you need to think again. Yes, you have 10 HCP, but you should subtract 1 point for your flat distribution. Better yet, you should learn about losing trick count. This hand has 9 losers and you should have only 8 losers to invite. If LTC makes your eyes spin, check out the web site Jenn Bridge. Jennifer Jones has written a booklet that explains what it's all about. She also has written some articles for the Bridge Bulletin, the first of which is in the December issue.

I played this deal in the first qualifying session of the Senior Mixed Pairs -- board No. 25. Here are all four hands:

Kate and I received a bonus when the opponents balanced. I was able to double the final contract and +300 was worth 23.5 on a 25 top.

For information about ordering Jennifer's booklet, go here.

Photo taken with my Canon 40D.


  1. Amazing! To a non-bridge play, this is like a foreign language to me. Wow!

  2. I want a raise. Social Security hasn't been raised for two years! I'm really mad about it!

    Oh, wait, you're talking about bridge!


    Re Santa: You are right, but all semi-divine or major divine creatures seem to need to have their presence acknowledged and their egos stroked, so send the damn letter already!

    Heh, heh!

  3. I might have gone 2C or even 2NT considering my even distribution. Then if partner has a better than opening hand he can choose to go to 3NT or even push the hearts if he is really strong there. But it is risky if we are vulnerable, especially if partner has a penchant for pushing the bids.

  4. Yes, Xmas is coming soon. Are you doing anything special?

  5. So tell me, are you enjoying retirement? You've been gallivanting about the country so much I figured you must have big plans for the holidays...taking in some shows in Vegas, maybe?

  6. I forgot to tell you how much I like your header photo! Excellent!

  7. Was catching up on your blog tonight, Mojo. I need to hit up a poker tournament with you soon! I haven't played in forever! It would be great to catch up with you in person. Enjoyed your posts and pictures of Seattle. :)

  8. @Sherry: I've followed your photography business on Facebook and you're doing great! Focusing on kids sounds like a great idea.

    @Lowell: Funny you should mention a raise. I got a letter from Soc Security today, cost of living raise for geezers! Works for me. For Xmas, heading to CT to be with friends. Might go to FL in January, not decided yet. Retirement works for me.

    People ask what do you do now. I don't know the answer exactly, as strange as that sounds, but I do know I stay busy and am enjoying it.

    @Neophyte: Thanks for the comment. That's why bridge is such a great game -- there's often no right or wrong answer.

  9. I agree with Birdman. Your bridge comments seem so complex and foreign. But I bet it keeps the mind sharp.

  10. A single raise is definitely the right valuation, whether you use LTC or not. As people begin to open lighter and lighter, responders need to have more to invite.

    Also, the balancer made a clear error by doubling. Any expert would bid 2S there, making it harder for you to double.

  11. @new thx forthecommeny

    @pretender. Agreed

  12. Yes, 2S doubled down 1 for 100 is par on the hand...and if the defense slips just a little 2S might make.