__ Preempts and Weak Two's in the Majors - using the Losing Trick Count. __

** ( Published Sunshine Bridge News 2016 July/August)**

By Linda J Green lindajgreen29@gmail.com

The losing trick count works well when we have ruffing potential, but when that does not exist, we use a better approach. Calculate partners losers, deduct from 13 , add on your winners. This gives you how many winners you can make in a hand.

Count losers by the number of Aces, Kings and Queens missing in each suit) We only count the number of losers depending on the number of cards you hold in each suit.

A singleton Ace = 0 losers.

AKxx = 1 loser Jxx = 3 losers

AQxx = 1 loser Qx = 2 losers

Kxxx = 2 losers x = 1 loser

__An unsupported Qxx = 3 losers__ __QJx = 2 losers __ __Q10x = 2 ½ losers.__

__Using the LTC over Preempts in a major:__

If your long suit is easy to determine, we then count “PLAYING TRICKS”. 13 minus the number of losers.

e.g. sp3 ht.QJ109654 d 9 cl J987. With heart ‘s as the trump suit, we have the following losers-1sp + 2ht + 1d +3 cl = 7 losers from 13 gives us 6 playing tricks. Open 3ht and forget about points. When we preempt we learnt about the Rule of 2 + 3 expecting to go down 2 vulnerable and 3 not vulnerable.

__If you have a 7 – card major suit with a side 4 –card suit and a 6- loser hand open 4 of the major!__

Use the LTC as your guideline as to whether to preempt in 1^{st} and 2^{nd} seat or not? __Suit Quality__ is most important as the suits should have 2 of the top 3 honors. AK or KQ or AQ plus length

.

__Using the LTC over Weak Two’s in a major: In 1st or 2nd seat only.__

( Weak 2 ¨ openings the LTC does not apply)

When we open a Weak Two in a major we either have an 8 loser or a 7 loser hand. No more than 8 losers- no less than 7 losers ( too strong)

e.g. A.sp AQ7653 B. sp 43

ht 9 ht KQJ843

d 542 ¨d K75

cl 865 = 8 losers cl 32 = 7 losers

Responder requires ruffing potential or playing TRICKS.

__Responder__

e.g. sp 982

ht 653

d AK76

cl AK3 .Should opener open 2 ht you have 4 playing tricks.

If opener has 8 losers example A.

Deduct 8 losers from 13 tricks = will give us 5 playing tricks + our 4 tricks = 9 No Game!

If opener has 7 losers example B.

Deduct 7 losers from 13 = will give us 6 playing tricks + our 4 tricks = 10 Game!

6/4 shapes might have 6 losers and are the same for weak jump overcalls. Too strong!

Therefore , my suggestion is as follows:

If you have a feature ( either an outside Ace or King) do not show the opponents what you have , BID GAME!

If you have a singleton in the hand ( you cannot have 2 outside features only one or the other) rather show the singleton, so responder can see if the cards are working tricks.

__Self Sufficient Suits__

Count the number of cards in your long suit. Add the number of honors in that suit.

The total is the SUIT QUALITY! If the suit is a __major__, try to insist on it as the trump suit.

If the suit adds up to TEN (10) or more, the suit is self sufficient.

e. g. AKQJ32: length = 6. Honors = 4 –Total 10 (SQ is 10 or more)

e. g. KQJ1065 or AQJ7432 or QJ1098532, and so on.

Therefore, you will have a self sufficient suit**.**

Count your losers.

Deduct from 13 to calculate your tricks.

Add on the winners estimated in partner’s hand. The answer is the number of tricks you are likely to make.

e.g. Opener : sp KQJ8765 ht K3 d 2 cl A76 = 5 losers subtract from 13 playing tricks gives you 8 playing tricks. When responder bids we expect 2 playing tricks = 10 tricks .

__Opener__ __Responder__

1 sp 1NT

4 sp ( shows a self sufficient suit ) If you have the 18/19 HCP the bid would be 2NT to show strength.

This formula will also work if you have a trump fit too!

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