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HCP versus LTC  who wins?










HCP weighs in at 10, LTC dominates with 13 tricks - and the winner is...

This is in response to your question:

Does one use either the point count or the LTC or both in

As we know, there are many ways to evaluate the strength of a hand, including:

Quick tricks and playing tricks

High Card Points

HCP plus distribution points (count length/shortage points)

Losing Trick Count

Cover Cards

Losing Trick Count, popularized by the Bridge professional Ron Klinger, is used by many advanced Bridge players in conjunction with other hand evaluation methods. Let's take a look at an overly simplistic hand as an example:

A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2  --  --  --

Using HCP, the hand counts to 10. Using HCP plus distribution, the hand is worth 10 + 9 = 19 points.  But certainly we wouldn't Pass using HCP or only open 1 Spade using distribution points -- the hand can take all 13 Spade tricks! Using LTC, we can easily see the
hand has zero losers. LTC also considers factoring a partnership trump suit fit, a very important factor as the bidding progresses.

Here's another trivial but illustrative example:

Your Partner opens 1 Spade and you are holding:

A K Q 4 3 2  --  --  A K Q 5 4 3 2

Unlike other methods, you'd be quite comfortable bidding 7 Spades using the LTC method. Using LTC, this hand doesn't have any losers and we could ruff out the Clubs to make 13 tricks.

In addition to Losing Trick Count, I recommend you review Cover Cards - an important concept for accurate responder bidding.

Additionally, an astute player learns to consider environmental factors, such as cards held relative opponents' bidding.  For instance, if you held  K J 9 8 in their suit, your hand would likely be worth more if it was your Right Hand Opponent -- if your Left Hand Opponent bid that suit, you would likely be finessed.   See Environmental Factors for further information.



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