# Law of Total Tricks - Examples

Examples

For example, suppose that North-South have an eight-card heart fit and East-West have an eight-card spade fit. The total number of trumps is 16 so the "law" says the total number of tricks is also 16. That is, if North-South can take eight tricks playing in hearts, then East-West can take 16 - 8 (also eight) tricks playing in spades; if North-South can take nine tricks in hearts, LoTT says East-West can take only seven tricks in spades.

 ♠ K Q 8 5 3 ♥ K 6 3 ♦ 7 ♣ J 10 4 3 ♠ 10 7 N W E S ♠ J 4 ♥ A 8 7 6 5 ♥ 10 9 2 ♦ J 9 4 ♦ K Q 10 3 ♣ K Q 9 ♣ A 8 7 2 ♠ A 9 6 2 ♥ Q J ♦ A 8 6 5 2 ♣ 6 5

In the diagram, N-S have 9 spades and E-W 8 hearts combined. N-S can make 4 spades (conceding two clubs and heart ace) while E-W can make only 1 heart on a good defense (which takes a trump from QJ, two spades, diamond ace and two diamond ruffs)—the law holds, as the total tricks available is 10+7=17.

Note, however, how minor card rearrangements affect the law:

 If the N-S diamonds were divided 4-2 instead of 5-1, with clubs consequently divided 3-3, the available total tricks would be only 8 for N-S + 8 for E-W = 16 If, on the other hand, the E-W spades were divided 3-1 instead of 2-2 (with appropriate minor-suit rearrangement), they could make 2♥, while N-S could still make 4♠, giving 18 total tricks.

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