# BBO Discussion Forums: Distribution points - BBO Discussion Forums

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## Distribution points

### #1CraigKD

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Posted 2021-February-20, 09:06

Hi
Would be grateful if someone could clarify how many points to add for shortages when a fit is found. I have read that its 5 for a void, three for a doubleton and 1 for a singleton. But Ive also read that its 3 for a void, two for a doubleton and 1 for a singleton (I play ACOL if that makes any difference).
Regards
Craig
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### #2steve2005

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Posted 2021-February-20, 12:52

seen for a void a point for number of trump up to 5
3 for a singleton, 1 for a doubleton
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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### #3ali quarg

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Posted 2021-February-20, 13:38

I use shortage points for initial evaluation so
V-3, S-2, D-1
When responder finds a 8-card fit I would add
V-2, S-1, 2xD-1
When responder finds a 9-card fit I would add
V-3, S-2, 2xD-1
With a 10-card fit as above, but add one for the extra trump

Opener revalues his hand
Add 1 for a 5-card trump suit
Add 2 for a 5-card trump suit & a 2nd 5-card suit
Add 3 for a 6-card trump suit

I now use an adjusted modified loosing trick count when a fit is found as I find this simpler since distributional points are largely built in.
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### #4morecharac

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Posted 2021-February-21, 00:30

I recommend learning basic Losing Trick Count and jettisoning distribution points. It's a lot less mental work.

Every expert seems to ignore the need to conserve mental energy over the course of a session or tournament. Hitting the wall a round or two later can make a huge difference.

Two other advantages are that certain conventions are actually better with it (like Cappelletti) and experienced users can tinker with it to their comfort level.

And man, is it ever good for spotting which hands are like a Northern Pikes lyric.[a]

[a] "She ain't pretty, she just looks that way."
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### #5nige1

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Posted 2021-February-21, 02:19

CraigKD, on 2021-February-20, 09:06, said:

Would be grateful if someone could clarify how many points to add for shortages when a fit is found. I have read that it's 5 for a void, three for a doubleton and 1 for a singleton. But I've also read that it's 3 for a void, two for a doubleton and 1 for a singleton (I play ACOL if that makes any difference).

morecharac, on 2021-February-21, 00:30, said:

I recommend learning basic Losing Trick Count and jettisoning distribution points. It's a lot less mental work.
The LTC (Losing Trick Count) or WTC (Winning Trick Count) is equivalent to
void = 9, singleton = 6, doubleton = 3
Adjusting downwards for duplication (honours in short suits or honours opposite short suits in partner's hand).
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### #6LBengtsson

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Posted 2021-February-21, 08:00

No way is right or wrong. there's so much more to think about than adding di/stributional points to a formula. let's say partner splinters on the way to game or slam. an ace opposite is better than a king. if the opponents can work out that you have bid based on distributional value than it's will be a trump lead and trump continuation as defense by good players.

cutting down ruff values for declarer by taking out 2 trumps to defense's 1 by leading trump could will be winning on 4/4 trump fit playing acol. also small trumps for ruffing are better than having HHx in 5/3 fit in one hand as trumps for ruff.

as for Losing trick count formula...I not use as I want Winning Trick formula. I found Losing Trick Count work for some hands, and other hands it did not. most good players feel game values, and will bid game with those values
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### #7nullve

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Posted 2021-February-21, 08:54

From an old book* on the Goren system (and the first bridge book I ever read):

Quote

Fordelingspoeng (fp)

Dobbelton = 1 fp
Singelton = 2 fp
Renons = 3 fp

Ugarderte honnører mister 1 fp i følgende kombinasjoner:

E-Kn, K-D, K-Kn, K, D-Kn, D-x, D, Kn-x, Kn

Når det meldes grand, regner De ikke med noen fordelingspoeng.

Støttepoeng
Når De støtter makkers fargen omvurderer De hånden slik

Dobbelton = 1 fp
Singelton = 3 fp
Renons = 5 fp

Til gjengjeld trekker De fra 1 fp for:

a) 4-3-3-3-fordeling
b) Støtte med bare 3 trumf

Endelig oppvurderer De følgende trumfkombinasjoner med 1 fp:

K, D, Kn, D-Kn

Når makker har støttet Deres farge --- eller når De sitter med en bunnsolid egen trumffarge (høyst 1 taper) --- legger De til 1 fp for fargens femte kort og 2 fp for hvert følgende kort i fargen.

* Jens Boeck, Moderne BRIDGE (Danish orignal: BRIDGE MED QUIZ).
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### #8CraigKD

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Posted 2021-February-21, 11:15

Many thanks everyone for all the interesting replies - much appreciated.

Think Ill go with Morecharacs suggestion to just use Losing Trick Count and drop distribution points. Seems much simpler.
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### #9ali quarg

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Posted 2021-February-21, 14:44

Basic LTC has its issues as it values Aces the same as Queens

For the Modified Loosing Trick count
Ace = 1.5
King = 1
Queen = 0.5

Value every suit missing the above working down to the number of cards in the suit

Axx = 1.5 missing a K & Q
xx = 2.5 missing A & K
AKQ = 0
etc.

An opening hand has roughly 7.5 MLT - may be a touch lower if balanced.
If you both have opening hands and an 8+card fit the safe level of the contract is given by 19 - 7.5 - 7.5 = 4
Slams will be a strong hand 5.5 + an opening hand upward 19-5.5-7.5 = 6 or any other combination

The approach is remarkable consistent in predicting the appropriate contract bar opponents trump holdings being lopsided
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### #10morecharac

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Posted 2021-February-21, 15:33

ali quarg, on 2021-February-21, 14:44, said:

Basic LTC has its issues as it values Aces the same as Queens

For the Modified Loosing Trick count
Ace = 1.5
King = 1
Queen = 0.5

Value every suit missing the above working down to the number of cards in the suit

Axx = 1.5 missing a K & Q
xx = 2.5 missing A & K
AKQ = 0
etc.

Like I said, experienced players can adjust it to their comfort level. This stuff is for the experienced and looks like almost as much work for a beginner as distribution points.
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### #11morecharac

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Posted 2021-February-21, 15:35

CraigKD, on 2021-February-21, 11:15, said:

Many thanks everyone for all the interesting replies - much appreciated.

Think I’ll go with Morecharac’s suggestion to just use Losing Trick Count and drop distribution points. Seems much simpler.

When you're just starting, keep it simple and remember that 1) LTC is based on eight-card fits and 2) LTC starts to break down above the 4 level.

Good luck.
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### #12morecharac

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Posted 2021-February-21, 15:38

nige1, on 2021-February-21, 02:19, said:

The LTC (Losing Trick Count) or WTC (Winning Trick Count) is equivalent to
void = 9, singleton = 6, doubleton = 3
Adjusting downwards for duplication (honours in short suits or honours opposite short suits in partner's hand).

That looks nothing like any LTC system I've ever seen.

Does WTC value high cards as something other than a 40-point deck? Serious question, as I'm trying to understand 9 points for a void, etc.
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### #13nige1

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Posted 2021-February-21, 17:03

nige1, on 2021-February-21, 02:19, said:

The LTC (Losing Trick Count) or WTC (Winning Trick Count) is equivalent to void = 9, singleton = 6, doubleton = 3 Adjusting downwards for duplication (honours in short suits or honours opposite short suits in partner's hand).

morecharac, on 2021-February-21, 15:38, said:

That looks nothing like any LTC system I've ever seen. Does WTC value high cards as something other than a 40-point deck? Serious question, as I'm trying to understand 9 points for a void, etc.
OK. Take AQxxx Kxxxx xx x (or any example hand of your own choosing). Furthermore assume that partner has shown a 4-card major raise.
• Using LTC this has 6- losers (1 loser 2 losers, 2 losers, and1 loser. You can probably deduct a loser for trump-control but forget that for the moment).. Subtracting from 12 you get 6+ winners
• Alternatively this hand is worth 18 points = 9 HCP + 9 distributional points (6 points for a singleton and 3 for a doubleton) . A crude approximation is that a king is a trick. So dividing 18 by 3 we also get 6+ winners.
• WTC uses a roughly equivalent formula: A=1.5 winners, K = 1 winner, Q = 0.5 winner, void = 3 winners, singleton = 2 winners, doubleton = 1 winner. So total winners = 6+.
• Caveat: All such rules-of-thumb must be adjusted for duplication (e.g.honours in short suits).

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### #14morecharac

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Posted 2021-February-21, 23:52

nige1, on 2021-February-21, 17:03, said:

OK. Take AQxxx Kxxxx xx x (or any example hand of your own choosing). Furthermore assume that partner has shown a 4-card major raise.
• Using LTC this has 6- losers (1 loser 2 losers, 2 losers, and1 loser. You can probably deduct a loser for trump-control but forget that for the moment).. Subtracting from 12 you get 6+ winners
• Alternatively this hand is worth 18 points = 9 HCP + 9 distributional points (6 points for a singleton and 3 for a doubleton) . Crudely speaking, a king is a trick. So dividing 18 by 3 we also get 6+ winners.
• WTC uses a roughly equivalent formula A=1.5 winners, K = 1 winner, Q = 0.5 winner, void = 3 winners, singleton = 2 winners, doubleton = 1 winner so total winners = 6+.
• Caveat: All such rules-of-thumb must be adjusted for duplication (e.g.honours in short suits).

Ah. A different system of distribution points than I've seen.

I think I'd hit the wall two or three rounds earlier with WTC.
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### #15ali quarg

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Posted 2021-February-22, 01:22

morecharac, on 2021-February-21, 15:33, said:

Like I said, experienced players can adjust it to their comfort level. This stuff is for the experienced and looks like almost as much work for a beginner as distribution points.

I started learning bridge from an old Goren 5CM book, and have only being playing casual bridge for a couple of years. I wish the MLT approach had been in the book. I find it much easier using this approach to assess contract level when a fit is found than trying to decide how many points I need to add as per the author of this article. Adding with halves is simple and the more experienced can go down to quarters and eighths. It also helps to distinguish between what is a good or a bad X points; a term that is banded around , but not often well-defined. This approach feels like one of the basics that ought to be taught at the outset when learning bridge. I also note your comment 'almost as much work as distribution points'.
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