192pp | Paperback | ISBN 978-1-55494-751-5
$16.95 $14.95 £8.95
Categories: Honors eBooks | Honors Books
You began by learning to count points, but that only got you so far. Then, someone introduced you to a new idea, Losing Trick Count. Better in theory, sure. But how do you use it? A response shows at least 6 high-card points, but how many losers? How many of these mysterious 'cover cards'? What's the range? Plus, something just seems wrong with the whole thing! How can A 3 2 be just as good as Q 3 2? That cannot be right!
Counting Goren high-card points is much easier, and is a very reasonable gauge for bidding square hands. When things start to get distributional, however, you know that you need a better way to evaluate your hand. The concept of winners, losers, and cover cards really seems to be the right path, allowing you to escape from counting points into the world of counting TRICKS!
In Winners, Losers and Cover Cards, Ken Eichenbaum reveals not only the secrets an expert would use to better evaluate the real power (or weakness) of your hand, but also how to use this knowledge to your advantage in a myriad number of ways. The author explains a fresh take on popular conventions and treatments, within the context of real auctions facing you at the table, and introduces novel methods, allowing you to maximize the benefit of your new understanding.
Ken Eichenbaum (Ohio) has been playing duplicate bridge since 1968 and has won numerous regional titles, including the 1987 State of Ohio pairs championship. He has been a guest lecturer at many regionals. Previous works include Bridge Without a Partner, Keys to Winning Defense, and two stage plays, The Wizard of Odds and Annie Count Your Trumps, both of which have been performed at Bridge Week in Pasadena.
"Shows how you can use the Losing Trick Count to get the most out of your system."
— Anders Wirgren, Sweden
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This could be a very good book easily deserving of at least four stars if it weren't for a number of inconsistencies in the method of hand evaluation described. The author has undertaken the task of refining the Losing Trick Count but the result is all rather messy with fractions rearing their ugly head. More worrying though is the lack of consistency given to certain key suit combinations. The author lists eleven of the more common honour holdings and gives them a value as regards losers. For example, a combination of AJ10x on the normal LTC would count as two losers ; Eichenbaum regards this as just 1 1/4 losers. All well and good, but on page 14 he then gives a hand with AJ108 of diamonds and tells us it's worth 1 1/2 losers !? Which is it to be then ? In discussing no trump hands he talks about "winners" ( page 15 for example ) and states his K82 is worth 3/4 of a winner. Really ? The reader is left to guess that an ace must be worth one trick, a king 3/4, a queen 1/2 and a jack a 1/4 since it isn't mentioned explicitly, which is a serious omission. On the plus side, this book really does get you thinking about what makes a good, average and poor distributional hand - same for balanced distributions - and has some interesting ideas in bidding to make best use of the material presented, but until the gaps in explanation have been filled and inconsistencies ironed out this will remain a largely frustrating read.
Reviewer: Ryan Garritty Date: 2010-03-27
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