Monday, 13 July 2009

Losing Trick Count

What is the Losing Trick Count?

The losing trick count is a way of finding a more accurate value for your hand if it is an unbalanced hand.

The basic idea is that an Ace should never lose; a King shouldn't lose if you hold 2 or more cards in a suit and a Queen shouldn't lose if you hold 3 or more cards.

  • You should only use the Losing Trick Count if you have already established that you and your partner have an 8 card fit.
  • You don't count more losing tricks per suit than the number of cards held in that suit, and you never count more than three per suit.

How to count your losing tricks

* If you hold a Singleton:
 Ace is a winner. K and all other cards as a singleton = 1 losing trick
* If you hold a Doubleton:
 AK = no losing tricks. Ax or Kx = 1 losing trick, all other combinations = 2 losing tricks
* If you hold Three cards:
 AKQ = no losing tricks. AKx, AQx, KQx = 1 losing trick, Axx, Kxx and Qxx = 2 losing tricks, all other combinations = 3 losing tricks

Some Examples

Holding a singleton

A  - No losers
K - One loser (King has to be at least a doubleton to count as a winner)
10 - One loser

Holding a doubleton

A K - No losers
A Q 8 6 3 - One losing trick (A Q are winners and you don't count more than three tricks in total)

Applying The Losing Trick Count

Add the number of losing tricks in your hand to the assumed number of losers in your partners hand  -assume 7 if partner has bid 1 of a suit.  Then subtract the answer from 24.  This is "the losing trick count" and tells you the number of tricks you should win.  You can then bid accordingly.

At No Fear Bridge you will find a printable handout, an interactive tutorial and some interacive practice hands hands to help you learn how to use the losing trick count.  Click Here to sign up for your two week trial. No credit card details required.