Some time ago when trying to improve on The Law, I came up with the idea of 'Total Losers (TL)'. Total Losers is the number of losers for NS plus the number of losers for EW. Provided the suits are 'pure' with no duplication, TL is (usually) equal to the sum of the shortest holdings in each of the four suits.
Taking your hand on page 156 for example:
A 7 6 | ||
9 5 2 | ||
J 10 7 5 | ||
Q 8 7 | ||
K Q 9 4 2 | J 8 5 3 | |
A K 7 | Q J 10 3 | |
9 2 | 8 | |
A 6 3 | 10 9 4 2 | |
10 | ||
8 6 4 | ||
A K Q 6 4 3 | ||
K J 5 |
TL = 1() + 3() + 1() + 3() = 8. This agrees with the 18 tricks on this hand. The number of losers can be a help in the bidding. And if you prefer to work with winners you can subtract from 26. Note: if there is duplication with wasted high cards opposite a shortage the number of losers will increase.
I find Total Losers to be helpful during the post-mortem but more difficult at the table.
J.R. Dent
Answer
If neither side has wastage opposite shortness, and there are no defensive ruffs, TL will usually be the same as SST for North-South plus SST for East-West. So your idea is close to ours. And since it deals with the most important thing – distribution – we consider the concept more important than the concept of total tricks.
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