Questions and Answers


Question 16

I have just read I Fought the Law of Total Tricks with great pleasure and I translate it in French to discuss with my wife and some friends. This seems to me a good tool for evaluating the combined hands potential in competitive situations when a critical decision is to be taken. I use it in the form

NT=13-SST-((W-20)/3).

When you compare the result given by that formula and the real number of tricks at the table, the precision is almost 100% because the SST and WP are evaluated on a double dummy basis. The real problems for evaluating its real prevision potential is the accuracy obtained at the table for the estimation of SST and WP. This requires a lot of experience and judgment, probably more than required by the Law or by LTC.
   My question is: what is the precision of your own evaluations of SST and WP at the table when the informations obtained are both not complete nor always reliable?

Truly yours
G. Thirot


Answer

You are right. Both the Law of Total Tricks and the Losing Trick Count are simper to use, since they require less judgment – but that is also why they aren't as accurate as our method.
   Our own experience with the method is good. Most of the time our estimation will be either spot on or close to. Some of the time we will estimate too high, because partner's values were in places you didn't expect them to be or that his distribution was worse than expected; and some of the time we will estimate too low, either because an honor we thought was worthless was valuable or because our partner had an unexpected distributional plus value. But as long as we estimate realistically, we'll do fine.


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