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|
|♣||J 10 4 3|
|♥||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|
|♦||A 8 6 5 2|
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:
Read more about this topic: Law Of Total Tricks
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