The concept of Double Barreled Stayman originated with Mr. David C. Carter of St. Louis, Missouri, United States, born in the year 1906. (Source: OEofB, 1976, page 600). This conventional method is a variation of Two Way Stayman, which itself is a general designation for conventional methods, that employ a 2 Clubs response to an opening of 1 No Trump by partner.

Note: Other variations are designated as Stayman Two Diamonds, Roth Two Diamonds (Mr. Alvin Leon Roth), Murray Two Diamond (Mr. Eric Rutherford Murray), August Two Diamonds (Mr. William J. August), and Truscott Two Diamonds (Mr. Alan F. Truscott).

Although the above methods by the different developers are sub-chaptered under the same heading does not mean that they are identical. The bridge player should study the different methods, review the differences, and recognize the potential merits of each method.

The above mentioned methods as well as Double Barreled Stayman allow the partnership a two-way communication method of describing the responder's holding. The foundation of the concepts is that both Minor suits are employed as a response to a 1 No Trump opening by partner to communicate different information.

Note: In contrast to the above listed methods only the original version of the concept, later universally known as Stayman, only the first response of 2 Clubs communicated information following an opening bid of 1 No Trump by partner.

When the partnership agrees to include the Double Barreled Stayman method, then the understanding is as follows:

1. If the first response is 2, then the communicated information by the responder is that the responder does not hold game values opposite a 1 No Trump opening bid with a certain range.
2. If the first response is 2, then the communicated information by the responder is that the responder holds game values opposite a 1 No Trump opening bid with a certain range and is, therefore, game forcing.

However, and above all, both responses are asking the No Trump bidder to bid a 4-card Major suit when holding a 4-card Major suit. Hence the designation Stayman.

The examples below should assist in clarifying this concept.

Example
Opener   Responder   Meaning
AKQ4
A76
K43
J84
 
J876
KJ43
Q62
76
   
1 NT      

In this example the range of the No Trump opening is 15-17 high card points. Note: If the employed No Trump range is different, then the partnership must make value adjustments in order to employ the Double Barreled Stayman concept.

    2   Stayman. The bid by the responder asks partner to bid a 4-card Major suit. The communicated information by the responder, however, is that the responder does not hold game values opposite a 1 No Trump opening bid with a range of 15-17 high card points.

The responder holds 7 points and 4-cards in both Major suits. If the responder held a 5-card plus Major suit, then the responder would make a transfer bid.

The requirements for Double Barreled Stayman are that the responder hold at least one 4-card Major suit or both 4-card Major suits. The responder holds fewer than 10 high card points, or game values. How many high card points fewer than 10 high card points is a matter of partnership agreement. The distribution and the location of the (working) honors in the holding of the responder should be considered carefully.

Note: The generally accepted distribution of the responder is considered to be either 4M-3M-3-3, 4M-4M-3-2, or even 4M-4M-4-1, whereby the M equals a Major suit.

In the above example, the opener immediately realizes that the responder does not hold game values, because the 2 Clubs response communicates this information. If the responder makes a rebid, however, then the rebid is only invitational, and not forcing upon the opener. The correct rebid by the No Trump bidder is 2 Spades, which the responder would then pass.

Note: Although not published in written form by the originators the partnership has a 66%, or 2 out of 3 chances that a match can be found if the responder holds both 4-card Major suits. However, if the responder holds only one 4-card Major suit, then the odds of finding an 8-card Major suit fit is only 33%. However, if the responder holds a 4-3 distribution in both Major suits, then the partnership again will have a 66% chance of finding either an 8-card Major suit fit or a 7-card Moysian fit.

Percentages for a Moysian Fit

If the partnership finds a Moysian Fit in a Major suit, then the opponents hold combined 6 trump cards. The following odds are presented to show the percentages for a certain split:

Split Percentage
4-2 46.88%
3-3 31.75%
5-1 18.75%
6-0 1.49%

Declaring in a Major suit with only 7 trump cards the declarer has a 46.88% chance that the outstanding 6 trump cards will split 4-2. For a 3-3 split the declarer has a 31.75% chance, which are very good odds indeed in the game of bridge.

Holding Game Values

When the responder holds 10 high card points or more, then the response should be 2 Diamonds.

Opener   Responder   Meaning
AKQ4
A64
K43
J54
 
J1063
873
A7
KQJ7
   
1 NT       In this example the range of the No Trump opening is 15-17 high card points. Note: If the employed No Trump range is different, then the partnership must make value adjustments in order to employ the Double Barreled Stayman concept.
    2   Stayman. The responder also immediately communicates the information that game values are present.

The response of 2 Diamonds, after a 1 No Trump opening, commits the partnership to game. Note that a slam try is not excluded.

The opener can show certain information about the holding with the following rebids:

2 : Promises a 4-card Heart suit.
2 : Promises a 4-card Spade suit.
2 NT: Shows no 4-card Major suit.
3 : Promises a 5-card Club suit.
3 : Promises a 5-card Diamond suit.

Since the partnership has committed itself to game after the response of 2 Diamonds, slam possibilities may be explored at lower levels of bidding. This is a definite advantage to Double Barreled Stayman. However, it is generally accepted practice, that if the responder, after the rebid of the opener, jumps to game, then the responder does not have the values for slam, and the auction ends.

Note: Once the No Trump bidder has limited the holding with the No Trump bid, then the responder becomes the captain of the partnership and should guide partner to the final contract.

Note: One minor disadvantage of the response of the 2 Diamonds game-forcing bid is that the opponent directly following may double this bid, which is then lead directing for his partner.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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