What & Why (25)

You are South and have landed in a delicate 4S in a teams match. West leads the jack of clubs.
Dealer E All Vul


Would you have reached 4S if you had doubled the 1C opening? Or if you had overcalled with 1S or even 1NT? I wanted to hear from some of the people who would have doubled the 1C opening bid, and how their bidding sequence would then have proceeded. I also wanted to hear from our ‘losing trick count’ aficionados as to how the bidding should have proceeded and how the losing tricks are calculated.

Well, the upshot was that I did hear from one doubler who said their bidding would go 1C-DBL-PASS-2H which would show 4+ hearts and 7-9 HCP, then 2S which would be raised to 3S and then 4S.

I’m not entirely convinced that this is the best way to go, in fact I am in full agreement with Gerry who would not even consider double and said he would say no more since this is a family show! He also had a very interesting comment about the ‘losing trick count’, something that seems to have captured some adherents. Let me quote him (I don’t know whether this quote can be directly attributed to him or no ; "Counting losers is easy. Round up all people who talk about losing trick count, line them up, and count them!"

Since it’s not my thing nor the way I play, I will not talk any more about the losing trick count, but will mention my own very simple version of “Total Tricks” which I call “TNT”. In a nutshell, here’s how it works: in any competitive situation, the number of TRUMPS equals the NUMBER OF TRICKS if you have a combined 20 HCP. That is your expectation of TRICKS based on the total number of TRUMPS. Using this very easy guide, we would have bid to 4S knowing that we had an expectation of 9 1/2 tricks in a spade contract. There have been books written on the “Law of Total Tricks” but this is my very simple version.

In the next issue I will give a very brief run down on how we would bid the NS hands using this guideline, and also review the declarer play and defence.