New Losing Trick Count (NLTC)
Recent insights on these issues have led to the New Losing Trick Count (Bridge World, 2003). For more precision this count utilises the concept of half-losers and, more importantly, distinguishes between 'ace-losers', 'king-losers' and 'queen-losers':
- a missing Ace = three half losers.
- a missing King = two half losers.
- a missing queen = one half loser.
A typical opening bid is assumed to have 15 or fewer half losers (i.e. half a loser more than in the basic LTC method). NLTC differs from LTC also in the fact that it utilises a value of 25 (instead of 24) in determining the trick taking potential of two partnering hands. Hence, in NLTC the expected number of tricks equates to 25 minus the sum of the losers in the two hands (i.e. half the sum of the half losers of both hands). So, 15 half-losers opposite 15 half-losers leads to 25-(15+15)/2 = 10 tricks.
The NLTC solves the problem that the basic LTC method underestimates the trick taking potential by one on hands with a balance between 'ace-losers' and 'queen-losers'. For instance, the LTC can never predict a grand slam when both hands are 4333 distribution:
will yield 13 tricks when played in spades on around 95% of occasions (failing only on a 5:0 trump break or on a ruff of the lead from a 7-card suit). However this combination is valued as only 12 tricks using the basic method (24 minus 4 and 8 losers = 12 tricks); whereas using the NLTC it is valued at 13 tricks (25 minus 12/2 and 12/2 losers = 13 tricks). Note, if the west hand happens to hold a small spade instead of the jack, both the LTC as well as the NLTC count would remain unchanged, whilst the chance of making 13 tricks falls to 67%. As a result, NLTC still produces the preferred result.
The NLTC also helps to prevent overstatement on hands which are missing aces. For example:
will yield 10 tricks only, provided defenders cash their three aces. The NLTC predicts this accurately (13/2 + 17/2 = 15 losers, subtracted from 25 = 10 tricks); whereas the basic LTC predicts 12 tricks (5 + 7 = 12 losers, subtracted from 24 = 12).
Read more about this topic: Losing-Trick Count
... Recent insights on these issues have led to the New LosingTrick Count(The Bridge World, 2003) ... For more precision this countutilises the concept of half-losers and, more importantly, distinguishes between 'ace-losers', 'king-losers' and 'queen-losers' a missing Ace ... NLTCdiffers from LTC also in the fact that it utilises a value of 25 (instead of 24) in determining the tricktaking potential of two partnering hands ...
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