Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Elevate your game

Accurate hand evaluation is the key to good bridge bidding. Milton Work developed the high-card point count which Charles Goren simplified then gave to the masses. For many years after that, methods of hand evaluation didn't change much.

Now top players are incorporating losing-trick count into their repertoire. LTC doesn't replace point count, but is an additional tool. Jennifer Jones, in her 28-page booklet titled Losing Trick Count, explains what this is and how to use it.

Jones gives examples from actual play. I love this. Many authors make up deals to illustrate whatever point they are making. I prefer real-life deals.

There have been other books on losing-trick count, but Jones takes it a step farther. She explains how to incorporate LTC with Bergen and constructive raises. Because many tournament players use Bergen raises, this is important.

Here's a hand from Jones' booklet that is instructive. You hold:
A 10 8 4 3 10 9 6 2 5 K 9 7.

Your partner opens 1 and right-hand opponent overcalls 2. What would you bid?

Many players would see and ace and a king for 7 HCP and add 2 for the singleton and raise to 2.

As Jones' excellent booklet explains, this is an eight-loser hand, so you must invite such as by bidding 3. If you don't know how to calculate losers or what all this means, grab a copy -- you can thank me later.

You can order the book for only $10 (includes handling and shipping) in North America if you go here.

You can find out more about Jones' book if you click here.


Jennifer Jones is a retired attorney and an ACBL Diamond Life Master. She lives in Santa Rosa CA.

Jones regularly attends North American Bridge Championships and has many high finishes. Several of the example deals in the book are from world championship play (World Bridge Series) held in Philadelphia last year.

Read her blog JennBridge here.


  1. I have thought on occasion that I'd like to learn to play bridge. Then, I realized I'm too old. I'll be long dead by the time I try to figure out how to "elevate" my game! :-)

    "Texas de Brazil"? Weird!

  2. @Jacob: wonder how Texas got in their name. Maybe it's Portuguese for lotsa good food, lol. I Googled it and see that it's a chain. There's on in Orlando here:

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  7. muy bueno LTC que enseƱa JJ