The origin of this variation is unknown. The Slam Try Stayman is a variation of the Stayman conventional method and is generally used as a feature of Two-Way Stayman, which is employed with any of a variety of conventions, variations, and modifications that use a 2 Clubs response to a 1 No Trump opening as Stayman, and that employ a response of 2 Diamonds as a supplement to Stayman, with separate meanings given to the rebids of the partnership, allowing a two-way communication between the partners in order to describe the holding further.

Notes and Points of Interest

Note: The Slam Try Stayman also employs the bid by the responder of 2 Clubs as the normal Stayman inquiry as to whether a 4-card Major suit is held.

However, when playing Slam Try Stayman, if the responder bids 2 Diamonds, then this response immediately alerts the 1 No Trump bidder that his partner is already strongly interested in slam.

The responder can also have slam in mind when he responds 2 Clubs, and later makes a game-forcing rebid, similar to Forcing or Non-Forcing Stayman.


Note: The advantage of the Slam Try Stayman variation is that the partnership can realize slam possibilities at a low level and start exploring without using too much bidding space in advance.

In responding to 2 Diamonds, the opener can show any or both 4-card Major suits and whether he holds minimum or maximum values. This is essential in realizing whether the slam try is a valid try or whether the partnership should stop short of slam, due to lack of values and/or key cards. The rebids by the 1 No Trump bidder are as follows, and each rebid describes the holding further.

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT   2   Slam-Try Stayman by responder
2       Shows 4 Hearts, fewer than 4 Spades.
2       Shows 4 Spades, less than 4 Hearts.
2 NT       Shows no 4-card Major suit, minimum values.
3       Shows 4 Hearts and 4 Spades.
3       Shows no 4-card Major suit, maximum values.
3       Shows a 5-card Heart suit.
3       Shows a 5-card Heart suit.

It is not necessary to post an illustration for each and every rebid by the opener, but the following examples should illustrate the definite exchange of information necessary to decide whether slam is a definite possibility or not a possibility.

Opener   Responder
1 NT   2

The Continued Auction

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT   2   Slam-Try Stayman
2 NT       Shows no 4-card Major suit and minimum values.
    3 NT   The responder signs off.

Side Note: For those partnerships using the Losing Trick Count method in order to evaluate the combined holdings this example of both holdings illustrates that the LTC method is not always completely accurate. The opener must hold a maximum of 7 losing tricks when opening with a 1 No Trump bid. The responder, in the above example, holds only 5 losing tricks, which strongly indicates an almost secure slam contract. One feature of the Slam Try Stayman conventional method is that it communicates at a low level the impossibility of a slam contract even though the LTC method points strongly in that direction.


In each of the following examples of bidding sequences:

Example 1
Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT   2   Slam-Try Stayman.
2       Shows 4 Hearts, fewer than 4 Spades.
    2 NT   Shows equivalent values for a standard 4 No Trump response.
Example 2
Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT   2   Slam-Try Stayman.
2       Shows 4 Spades, fewer than 4 Hearts.
    3   Shows equivalent values for a standard 4 No Trump response.

Both the opener and the responder have exchanged and communicated sufficient information about the two holdings, that will decide the final contract. If the No Trump bidder, although he has not shown maximum values, has maximum values, he will then explore slam by cuebidding the key cards or per partnership agreement. If, however, the No Trump bidder has minimum values, then he will simply bid 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.


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