Mr. Samuel M. Stayman was born on May 28, 1909, in Worcester, Massachusetts, United States, and died on December 11, 1993, in Palm Beach, Florida, United States.

In the early days of the game of bridge, he devised a list of opening bids as the basic foundation for a partnership agreement. In his publication The Complete Stayman System of Contract Bidding, published by Rinehart and Company in New York, New York, United States, (LC: 56007005), in the year 1956, he outlined his bidding system and included the following opening bids.

As one of the leading American bridge personalities he was elected as an ACBL Honorary Member in the year 1969, and in the year 1979 he was elected as an Honorary Member of the American Bridge Teachers' Association. The American Contract Bridge League elected him to the ACBL Hall of Fame in the year 1996. As a bridge personality on the international circuit he also became a World Bridge Federation Grand Master.

     

Opening Bids Only

Bid Strength Meaning
1 : 13-21 high card points Promises 3 plus Clubs.
1 : 13-21 high card points Promises 3 plus Diamonds.
1 : 13-21 high card points Promises 5 plus Hearts.
1 : 13-21 high card points Promises 5 plus Spades.
1 NT: 12-14 high card points Shows balanced shape.
2 : 22+ high card points Shows any shape.
2 : 19-20 high card points Shows balanced shape, or
  20-24 high card points either Major suit; 1-suited or 2-suited.
2 : 6-12 high card points Promises 6 Hearts.
2 : 6-12 high card points Promises 6 Spades.
2NT: 21-23 high card points Shows balanced shape.

Additional Notes

Mr. Samuel M. Stayman advocated the use of opening No Trump with 12-14 points by favorable vulnerability and 15-17 points when vulnerable.

In the original version of The Complete Stayman System of Contract Bidding, the opening of 2 Diamonds was originally 6-12 points and a 6-card Diamond suit. This was later revised to include the other, alternative feature.

The Stayman system also included controlled psychics, which meant that opening one of a suit with 3-6 high card points and distributionally balanced was acceptable.

     
     

 

 

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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