This conventional method was devised and developed by Mr. Raoul Maltais of Kénogami, Quebec, Canada, born in the year 1917 and died July 5, 2010. The concept is also known as and designated as Stayman After Overcall. Mr. Raoul Maltais, prompted by Mr. Eugene Lavoie, Mr. Thomas Hudon, and Mr. Edgar Duguay, created in the year 1950 the bridge club Kénogami in Quebec, Canada. Otherwise very little information can be obtained about the developer of this concept and any additional information will be greatly appreciated.

Note: The daughter of Raoul and Simone Maltais, Louise Maltais, has contributed a homage each to her mother and to her father, in French and in English. We have included these as additional information about these two pioneers of the game of bridge and who devoted many years to making the game of bridge enjoyable to many others around them. These homages are in .pdf file format and will open in a new window.

Portrait de ma Mère - French

Portrait of my Mother - in English

Portrait de mon Père - in French

Portrait of my Father - in English

     

Concept of the Maltais Convention

The partnership agreement is such that if the immediate opponent does not interfere or compete following a No Trump opening by partner, then the Stayman conventional method is employed in order to discover whether the No Trump bidder holds a 4-card Major suit and the responses are identical to the Stayman convention. If the immediate opponent, however, interferes or overcalls, then the partnership initiates the Maltais conventional method to counter this interference.

Note: This action taken by the responder of the opener is technically a defense method to a competitive defense method.

The conventional method differs in the approach when the immediate opponent interferes with an overcall of a Minor suit as opposed to the immediate opponent overcalling in a Major suit.

Overcall in a Minor Suit

Opener   Intervenor   Responder   Advancer   Meaning
    Interference with Overcall of 2 Clubs
1 NT   2 club           It is preferable that the opener-responder pair inform themselves of the significance of the immediate overcall.
        2 diamonds   Pass   The bid of the other Minor suit by the responder is Stayman and asks partner whether there is a 4-card Major suit fit.
2               The opener promises a 4-card Heart suit.
2 spade               The opener promises a 4-card Spade suit.
2 NT               The opener does not hold either a 4-card Heart suit or a 4-card Spade suit. Denial bid.
                 
    Interference with Overcall of 2 Diamonds
Opener   Intervenor   Responder   Advancer    
1 NT   2 diamonds           It is preferable that the opener-responder pair inform themselves of the significance of the immediate overcall.
        3 club       The bid of the other Minor suit by the responder is Stayman and asks partner whether there is a 4-card Major suit fit. It is imperative that the responder have the necessary values to bid on the three level.
3 diamonds               The opener does not hold either a 4-card Heart suit or a 4-card Spade suit. Denial bid.
3               The opener promises a 4-card Heart suit.
3 spade               The opener promises a 4-card Spade suit.

Overcall in a Major Suit

The difference between the Minor suit overcall and the Major suit overcall is that the continuance by the responder shows not only sufficient values to bid at that level, but that the bid of a Minor suit shows a two-suited holding, namely the bid suit and the unbid Major suit. It is a partnership agreement as to whether to confine the length of the two-suited holdings to five cards in each suit, or to allow for patterns of 4-5, 4-6, or 5-5 plus depending on the state of the vulnerability.

The following examples should serve as illustrations for this method of responding:

Opener   Intervenor   Responder   Advancer   Meaning
    Interference of a Major Suit Overcall
1 NT   2           It is preferable that the North-South pair inform themselves of the significance of the immediate overcall.
        3 club   Pass  

The bid by the responder of 3 Clubs promises a two-suited holding and defines both suits: Clubs and the unbid Major suit, or Spades.

spade AJ73
82
diamonds 65
club AQ1094
                A: By bidding 3spade the No Trump bidder, knowing that partner has both Spades and Diamonds, shows a 4-card Spade suit. The No Trump bidder could have a longer Spade suit, but 4 cards constitute a minimum length.
               
spade KQ85
AQ
diamonds KJ3
club J1094
                 
                B: By bidding 3 by the No Trump bidder would show at least 1 Heart stopper and is asking responder to commit to game in No Trump.
               
spade KQ5
QJ10
diamonds KJ10
club A1094
                 
                C: By bidding 4diamonds denies a 4-card Spade suit and denies a stopper in Hearts. The No Trump bidder shows at least a 3-card Diamond support. The responder can either pass or bid game in Diamonds. With adequate values and distributional shape the responder may also consider slam possibilities.
               
spade KQ5
QJ10
diamonds KJ106
club A109
The above guidelines are also valid if the intervenor overcalls 2 Spades. The responses remain the same and the continuances remain the same.

Generally the continuances following an overcall by the immediate opponent are considered to be only one-round forcing. However, if the responder does not hold game values, then a pass may be considered to be the preferred action.

The Maltais conventional method, following a No Trump opening, can be initiated by weak No Trump openings and by stronger No Trump openings. The possible ranges between 12 points to 18 points should be defined by the values for a King, or at the maximum for an Ace. The partnership evaluates for each possible No Trump range in order to reach the best and highest possible contract. Game is definitely considered a possibility, especially when holding distributional patterns. Information regarding the overcall is also a factor when considering game.

 

 

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.

 


     
Email Conventions Bridge Sites
     
Home Page I Glossary Home Page II
     
Stayman   Defense Methods