Stayman
     
 
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  This is an extract from the Beginner's Pages' and basic Stayman briefly covered. Stayman is covered in much more detail in chapter 3 of the advanced No Trump bidding book.  
     
  The first thing to remember when partner opens 1NT is that he has a balanced hand. Balanced hands usually play well in NoTrump and No Trump scores more than a minor suit. In all of our examples, partner had opened 1NT (15-17).  
     
  Now when partner opens 1NT we know how many points he has (15-17) and it is up to us to stop now, invite game or bid game. We need 8-9 points to invite game and a good 9+ points is usually enough to bid game without inviting.  
     
 
Hand 1 Hand 2 Hand 3 All of these hands are fairly balanced and we have no reason to think of anything other than NT asa final strain. So with hand 1 we pass; with Hand 2 we invite with 2NT and with Hand 3 we bid 3NT. Note that even a 5 card or suit is not worth mentioning, No Trump scores more.
           
1095 1095 K105
976 Q76 QJ8
J9 KJ942 KJ942
KJ942 Q9 KJ
 
     
  Stayman  
     
  Fine, a minor suit is usually not even worth mentioning; but major suit(s) are different! There is only 10 points difference between the scores for a NT contract and a / contract and if there is a major suit fit (4-4, 5-3 or better) then you usually get more tricks by playing in the major.  
     
 
Hand 4 Hand 5 Partner has again opened 1NT. Hand 4 is worth a game invitation and Hand 5 is worth game. But in NT or is there a 4-4 fit? If we respond 2, how does opener know if that is a 4 or 5 card suit? Now I said above that we don't bother to mention a or suit, so the 2/ bids are spare. We use the 2bid for the Stayman Convention. It says I have a 4 card major' (possibly two 4 card majors) and I want to find out if we have a fit. It is totally artificial and says nothing about the suit
       
J87 Q76
Q1095 A1095
KJ92 KJ92
Q9 J9
       
       
 
     
  With both Hand 4 and 5 we bid Stayman 2 . The responses to Stayman by opener are: -  
     
 
2 = I have no 4 card major
2 = I have 4 's (and also possibly 4 's)
2 = I have 4 's but do not have 4 's.
 
     
  So with Hand 4 we bid 2 Stayman. If partner replies 2 (no major) or 2 (4 's but not 4 's) then we bid 2NT showing our 8-9 points and invitational to 3NT. If partner bids 2 then we invite the 4 game by bidding 3. Hand 5 is worth game but we still start with Stayman. Over 2/ we bid 3NT and over 2 we bid 4. One final point; since partner must respond to 2 we may have to play in 2NT and so 2 guarantees invitational values +. There are exceptions (see Garbage Stayman), but for now let's say Stayman guarantees 8 or more points.  
     
  Stayman when you have both majors.  
     
  Let's now consider the situation when responder has two 4 card majors: -  
     
 
Hand 6 Hand 7 Partner has again opened 1NT. Hand 6 is worth a game invitation and Hand 7 is worth game. But in NT or is there a 4-4 major suit fit? So we know now to bid 2 , Stayman. It's easy then. If partner responds 2 or 2 we invite with 3 of the major with hand 6 and bid 4 of the major with Hand 7. If partner responds 2 then we bid an invitational 2NT with hand 6 and bid 3NT with Hand 7.
       
KJ92 KJ92
Q1095 A1095
J87 Q76
Q9 J9
         
 
     
     
 
  Pattaya Bridge Club - www.pattayabridge.com
 
     
 
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