The origin of the following variation of the Stayman conventional method is unknown. Any additional information to the development of this variation would be greatly appreciated. This web presentation attempts to provide the bridge player with a manner to deal length in Minor suits.

From Major Suits to Minor Suits

Ever since Mr. George Rapee devised the Stayman conventional method, bridge players around the world have been trying to improve it. Therefore, there are many variations. Following is a variation which deals with the Minor suits. Since the original version dealt only with the Major suits, the bridge community discovered methods of modifying the concept to include the Minor suits.

     
     

Parameters of the Concept

The following example of the holding of the responder illustrates this variation:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
AJ4
AK76
K43
J74
 
98
53
Q65
KQ9865
   
1 NT   2   Stayman Convention

The basic guidelines of the Stayman conventional method admonish the bridge player to pass the above holding and allow the opener to declare in a 1 No Trump contract. The responder has a long Club Suit, and it appears to be fruitless and non-productive in continuing the auction.

However, when the declarer actually plays the hand, the declarer finds that he can most likely take nine tricks. In order to reach the contract of 3 No Trump it is necessary and most effective if the Stayman conventional method is employed. The question is how to communicate this possibility to partner and also that the responder holds a long Minor one-suiter.

The responder has 7 high card points. The responder does not remain silent, but applies the Stayman convention by bidding 2 Clubs. The Stayman conventional method covers this case because the chance to win three extra tricks in Clubs is great, if, and only if, the No Trump bidder has a chance to get to the dummy, thereby making 3 No Trump. And the auction proceeds as follows:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
AJ4
AK76
KJ3
J74
 
98
53
Q65
KQ9865
   
1 NT   2   Stayman Convention inquiring about a 4-card Major suit.
2       The No Trump bidder guarantees at least 4 cards in Hearts.
    3   This continuation promises a 6-card plus Club suit and about 6/7 points. The responder also promises that the main working points are also located in the Club suit, such as AK, AQ, KQ, KJ.
3 NT       Holding sufficient entries to the additional Club tricks, the No Trump bidder bids game.

The opener, with a 3-card Club suit, recognizes a guaranteed entry to the long Club suit and bids 3 No Trump. The general consensus is that the No Trump bidder should hold at least three cards to the long Minor suit in order to establish the long Minor suit as a source of tricks. One of these three cards must be a spot card so that this spot card can be overtaken in dummy.

Note: As the bridge player can recognize from the above example, if the the Clubs split 4-0, then the opponent can duck three times thereby refusing declarer an entry to the remaining winning Club tricks. However, with the Queen of Diamonds the declarer may be able to regain entry. The bridge student will also recognize that there are no guarantees that this concept will function successfully every time, but at least the bridge player can take a calculated risk.

Strength Requirements

The requirements for the Minor Suits are a minimum of 6-7 high card points and a good 6-card Minor suit with several top honors. These parameters are will established. If the responder holds game values and a long Minor suit, then the responder should bid game in No Trump directly instead of communicating information about a long Minor suit.

Opener   Responder   Meaning
AJ64
A76
AK
J542
 
97
J3
QJ10965
K98
   
1 NT   2   Stayman Convention inquiring about a 4-card Major suit.
2       The No Trump bidder guarantees at least 4 cards in Hearts.
    3   This continuation promises a 6-card plus Diamond suit and about 6/7 points. The responder also promises that the main working points are also located in the Club suit, such as AK, AQ, KQ, KJ.
Pass       Holding insufficient entries to the additional Diamond tricks, the No Trump bidder passes.

The opener, realizing that the Diamonds are blocked, does not see any possible entry to the 6-card Diamond suit of his partner and passes.

When the No Trump Bidder rebids Diamonds

What happens in that case when the No Trump bidder has no 4-card Major suit, and responds 2 Diamonds. In the following example the responder holds a long Diamond suit and partner has denied any possession of a 4-card Major suit.

Opener   Responder   Meaning
AJ4
AQ7
A8
Q7542
 
97
J3
QJ10965
K98
   
1 NT   2   Stayman Convention inquiring about a 4-card Major suit.
2       The No Trump bidder does not hold a 4-card Major suit.
    3   This continuation promises a 6-card plus Diamond suit and about 6/7 points. The responder also promises that the main woring points are also located in the Club suit, such as AK, AQ, KQ, KJ.
Pass       The No Trump bidder passes when holding insufficient entries to the long Diamond suit.

The responder continues to inform his partner know that he does have a 6-card Diamond suit by bidding 3 Diamonds. If the No Trump bidder discovers an entry, then he bids 3 No Trump. If the No Trump bidder has insufficient entries, then the No Trump bidder discontinues any further bidding, because he realizes that his holding does not allow the number of entries necessary to run the long Diamond suit. The two holdings are not compatible to continue the auction.

Note: Therefore, that additional entry to the Minor suit in the dummy is the most important factor in the auction.

Slam Values in Minor Suits

When the responder has possible slam values in a Minor suit the responder also uses another feature of the Stayman conventional method to bid his holding. Instead of responding 2 Clubs, the responder jumps in the Minor suit, in which he holds a 6-card plus suit. This action alerts the No Trump bidder to a possible Minor suit slam, as shown in the following illustration:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
AK8
Q764
AK7
J54
 
Q97
K
QJ10965
AK9
   
1 NT   3   Promises slam values in the Diamond suit.

After the partner opens a No Trump, the responder jumps one level in Diamonds, (or Clubs, if Clubs), informing the No Trump bidder that he has a good 6-card Diamond suit and possible slam values.

Note: This agreement is only if the partnership has no other agreement for a Minor suit jump. However, if the partnership has attached another meaning to a Minor suit jump bid, then the Minor suit slam try is not applicable.

The above auction proceeds as follows:

Opener   Responder   Meaning
AK8
Q764
AK7
J54
 
Q97
K
QJ10965
AK9
   
1 NT   3   Promises possible slam values in the Diamond suit.
4       Partner accepts a slam try in Diamonds by establishing the Diamond suit as the trump suit.
    4 NT   Aces or Keycard asking bid.
5 x       Agreed conventional response to communicate the number of Aces or Keycards.
    6   1 Ace of Keycard is missing and the partnership stops in a small slam.

A 6 Diamonds final contract is a safe and secure final contract with the above holdings of the two bridge players. However, as one can see, a final contract of 6 No Trump is also possible. The essential element of the partnership is to use a bidding method establishing either the possession of the Ace of Hearts or the Queen of Hearts to successfully bid 6 No Trump. The result would be a better score.

 

 

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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