Monday, April 22, 2013

Guest post from Jennbridge

One of the fun things about following blogs is you meet new friends, and cyber-friends become real-life friends. I don't remember how I discovered Jennifer Jones blog (see here), but later I met her at one of the North American Bridge Championships. When the NABC came to Memphis, she went out to dinner with Kate and me.

Jenn has offered to do a guest post here in MOJO-land discussing her favorite topic: losing trick count, so here we go:

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I never get tired of writing about losing trick count. Here's a hand I held recently at the club (spot cards approximate). With no one vulnerable, I had: A K Q 8 4 -- A 3 2 8 7 4 3 2. I dealt and opened 1.

Left-hand opponent overcalled 2 and partner jumped to 3. RHO bid 4 and it was my bid.

Although partner has shown a weak hand, now that we have a known fit, I can confidently employ losing trick count. This will enable me to properly evaluate my hand in order to decide what to do.

Although my hand has only 13 high-card points, it is a fairly powerful hand with only five losers (four and one-half after adjusting for aces and queens). Partner will have nine or more losers. With eight losers, he would have invited game. All things considered, it looks like 4 has a good chance of making, so I bid it.

Curiously, the A was led, followed by a diamond shift. It's a good bet that the ace of clubs was singleton and West is trying for a club ruff. After winning the K, I came to my hand with a spade and pitched a club on the A. I exited with a club (LHO showing out) and RHO won and returned a trump (they were 2-2). I crossruffed and the long club in my hand was my 10th trick (seven trumps, two diamonds and one club).

I was a bit surprised to see that plus 420 was a tie for top. Looking into the matter, I learned that only one-third of the field bid 4. The use of losing trick count principles should make bidding the game easy, despite only having 18 high-card points between the two hands.

As Ron Smith points out in his new blog regarding my losing trick count booklets: "I'm glad Jenn is doing what she is doing. Point count has been done forever, but it only works on balanced hands. When you have distributional hands, point count doesn't work. I evaluate using Losing Trick Count in almost every hand." Ron's blog is here.

My blog, with information about the losing trick count booklets is here.

See you at the table!

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Thanks for the deal, Jenn. For readers who don't know, Jenn did a series of articles on LTC for the Bridge Bulletin. Visit her site for more interesting deals.


  1. Nice visitor. Only criticism I have is her willingness to hang with old reprobates.

    Jenn, in poker we get our hand history's stored and can view them at leisure. It is often a blog topic. I have said that there are few that can bring a HH to life. Looking at this post, I'm sure I'd add you to the list -- should you take up poker. It is interesting because the best person doing hand histories that I knew was also a woman.

    I played bridge in college -- way back in time. Trying to make heads or tails of Mojo's excellent bridge posts causes me pain. He speaks over my head and probably would have then. You I could easily follow. That is what I meant about the HH part.

  2. Okay, you are a poker and a bridge player. And you're very funny. Perhaps you ought to write a book on "How to play poker or bridge." You'd help lots of folks like me learn the ropes.

    "learn the ropes"! See you are funny!

  3. This post really was about prostitution, right?

  4. Don't worry about Sparky36, Jenn. He the only one who's ever been to Vegas and never saw a prostitute. It is wistful thinking.

  5. Seems like you didn't need to bid 4S. Just put the red card on 4H, and take 2 spades, 2 diamonds and a diamond ruff, with possibly another heart trick in the wash. If people aren't bidding 4S your way, why take the risk?

  6. @Buffmeister: Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure doubling with a void is a good idea.

  7. Bridge sounds so interesting, I will have to try learning how to play one of these days!