Romex Stayman Over 2 NT and 1 NT

Mr. Marshall Miles, Mr. George Rosenkranz, the developer of the Romex Bidding System, and others developed this alternative to Puppet Stayman, five-card and Fiskforsk Stayman for discovering a 5-card Major suit after a 2 No Trump opening. This method can also be used after systemic 2 No Trump rebids when no suit has been bid naturally. The idea behind employing this method serves several purposes, which include:

This method generally places the declarership in the strong hand.

This method provides the responder additional bidding space with a distributional 5-4-x-x holding.

This method does not disclose excessive information to the opponents.

This method is relatively natural and is easy to learn, which means that it can be incorporated into a natural bidding system.

Although this method was originally devised to deal with an opening of 2 No Trump, the application can be employed also for an opening of 1 No Trump.

 

2 No Trump Auctions

The Romex Bidding System uses 3 Diamonds and 3 Hearts responses as Jacoby Transfer bids in the standard way. If the responder holds a distribution of 4-5-x-x, the responder first bids 3 Clubs. The application of the 3 Spades responses as possible transfers to the Minor suits has not been maturely developed or devised or explained and has been left to the individual partnership to determine. The 3 Clubs first response to a 2 No Trump opening is employed when the distribution is 4-4-x-x or 5-3-x-x and the responder is searching for a Major suit fit. However, the responder will also employ the same bidding sequence when holding a distributional Minor suit of at least a 5-card suit and has slam ambition. The bidding sequences are outlined in the schematics below with corresponding clarifications and explanations.

Auctions after: 2 No Trump - 3 , 3 :

Opener

Responder

Opener

Responder

3       May have distribtuiona 4-card Spade suit but otherwise denies any Major suit interest.
  3     A relay bid asking if the opener has four Spades.
    3   Promises four Spades.
    3 NT   This response denies four Spades.
  3     Shows 5-4-x-x distribution. The responder is informed that the opener does not have 4 Hearts or a 5-5-x-x distribution with any slam interest. Slam interest is indicated by first transferring to Spades and then rebidding four or more Hearts.
    3 NT   This rebid denies any interest in responder's Spades.
      4 This rebid shows 5-5-x-x distribution and no slam interest.
    4 ,,   These are cuebids showing Spade support.
    4   To play.
  3 NT     To play.
  4   This rebid shows a 5-card suit and slam interest.
4 This rebid shows a 5-card suit and slam interest.

 

Auctions after: 2 No Trump - 3 , 3 :

Opener

Responder

Opener

Responder

3       Shows a 4/5-card Heart suit and denies a 4-card Spade suit.
  3     Relay asking if opener has 4 or 5 Hearts. Responder must have at least 3 Hearts support to ask.
    3 NT   Only four hearts.
      4 / Shows a 5-card suit and slam interest.
    4   Shows a 5-card Heart suit. Optionally the opener could rebid 4 of a Minor suit to show 3-5-3-2 or 3-5-2-3 by bidding the doubleton. Then 4 would show 2-5-3-3. A disadvantage to this sequence is that the wrong player would declare.
  3 NT     To play. The assumption is that the responder was, most likely, interested in Spades.
  4 /     Shows a 5-card suit and slam interest.
  4     To play.
4     Roman Keycard Blackwood with Hearts as the agreed trump suit. This is partnership agreement.
  4 NT     Quantitative.

 

Auctions after: 2 No Trump - 3 , 3 :

Opener Responder
3 Shows a 5-card Spade suit.
3 NT To play.
4 / Shows a 5-card suit and slam interest.
4 Roman Keycard Blackwood with Spades as the agreed trump suit. This is partnership agreement.
4 To play.
4 NT Quantitative.

 

Auctions after: 2 No Trump - 3 , 3 No Trump:

Opener Responder Opener
3 NT Distribution: 4-4-x-x
4 / This rebid can be employed by partnership understanding that the continued auction showing a 5-card plus Minor suit is not seeking a Minor suit slam, but rather to place the declarership in the stronger hand. Therefore, the understanding could be that a rebid of 4 establishes Hearts where as 4 establishes Spades. The opener is now in the position to bid the suit and if the responder has slam ambitions, can continue the search for slam.
4 / This rebid is natural and is to play.
4 NT This rebid is natural and is to play. It also shows no interest in the Minor suit of the responder.
other By partnership agreement, other rebids are cuebids with mutual agreement that the Minor suit of the responder is the better contract.
4 NT Quantitative.

 

Auctions after: 2 No Trump - 3 , 3 No Trump forced:

In the Romex Bidding System, the first response of 3 Spades is employed with holdings, where the contract should be played in No Trump, but also with holdings by the responder, which contain slam or slam-possible holdings containing a 6-card or better Minor suit. After a first response of 3 Spades, the opener is required to bid 3 No Trump, whereupon the responder has the opportunity to further explore for slam, either in No Trump or in a Minor suit. These second responses are outlined in the schematic below.

Responder

Pass To play.
4 / This shows a 6-card plus suit and slam interest. The opener can now cuebid or sign off in 4 NT or 5 of the Minor suit.
4 / This shows a Minor two-suiter with singleton or void in the suit bid. Slam interest. The opener can now bid 4 NT to play or chooses one of Minor suits of the responder.
4 NT This shows a strong x-x-4-4, 2-2-5-4 or 2-2-4-5 distributional hand. Although this bid is non-forcing, it is slam-inviting.
5 / To play.
5 NT This shows a strong x-x-5-5 or better hand. The opener is required to select a Minor suit.

 

After a 2 No Trump opening, any first response on the Four Level is considered conventional:

Opener Responder
2 NT 4 Gerber
4 Texas Transfer
4 Texas Transfer

 

1 No Trump Auctions:

The Romex Stayman 2 No Trump auctions can be adapted to the 1 No Trump opening by using the additional level of bidding to accommodate invitational and signoff sequences. The responses are outlined below in the schematic, which include the information regarding the significance of the response.

 

Responses to: 1 No Trump:

Opener

Responder

1 NT  
  2 Romex Stayman. Invitational or better, nominally interested in a 4-card or 5-card Major suit of the opener. This first response could also be a distributional 5-5-x-x with invitational strength only or 5-4-x-x, or slam interest with a 5-card Minor suit or a strong Minor two-suiter. Additional explanations are included below.
  2 This is a Jacoby Transfer to Hearts. Rebidding 3 or 3 is forcing and suggests slam interest. Rebidding 2 suggests strongly a distributional 4-5-x-x and is forcing one round.
  2 This is a Jacoby Transfer to Spades. Rebidding 3, 3 or 3 generally shows a 4-card plus side suit. This bid is forcing and suggests slam interest. Rebidding 4Hearts shows 5-5 and denies slam interest.
  2 This response is either 1. a Minor suit bust or 2. a weak Minor two-suiter or 3. a strong Minor two-suiter. Additional explanations are included below.
  2 NT This response is natural and invitational. The opener should rebid a 5-card Major suit if possible on holdings that fit the description and accept the invitation.
   3 / This shows a long suit, little outside strength, and is invitational to 3 NT. The opener can accept with xxx, Kx or Ax and coverage in the other suits.
3 This first response shows a long broken Club or Diamond suit with slam interest. The opener rebids 3 with a top honor, Ace, King or Queen, in only one Minor suit, 3 NT with no Minor suit top honors, or 4 with honors in both Minor suits. After 3, the responder rebids 3 NT to play or four of his Minor suit to investigate further. The opener must rebid 4 NT if that is the suit without the honor, otherwise the opener will cuebid. After a 4 rebid by the opener, to which the responder rebids 4, if that is his suit. Otherwise the responder cuebids or employs Roman KeyCard Blackwood with 4 No Trump.
3 This shows a reasonably solid, long Minor suit with possibly zero losers opposite a small doubleton, which is unsuited for Gerber. The opener is required to rebid 3 NT and the responder rebids the intended suit. Cuebids follow.
  3 NT To play.
  4 Gerber.
  4 / Texas Transfers
  4 NT Quantitative.

 

Rebids by the Opener after: 1 No Trump - 2 Clubs:

The following schematic outlines the progressive bids employed to investigate the possibility of a Major suit fit and to discover whether the final contract should be in a Minor suit fit when the responder holds at least a 5-card Minor or longer suit and/or a two-suited holding in the Minor suits.

Responder

Opener

2   Romex Stayman. Invitational or better, nominally interested in a 4- or 5-card Major suit of the opener. This first response could also be a distributional 5-5-x-x with invitational strength only or 5-4-x-x, or slam interest with a 5-card Minor suit or a strong Minor two-suiter. Additional explanations are included below.
  2 The opener may have a 4-card Spade suit, or 4-4-x-x with maximum values, but otherwise denies any Major suit interest.
  2 The opener has a 4- or 5-card Heart suit, but less than a 4-card Spade suit.
  2 The opener has a 5-card Spade suit.
  2 NT The opener has a distribution of 4-4-x-x, and minimum values.

 

Auctions after: 1 No Trump - 2 , 2 :

Opener

Responder

Opener

Responder

2       A possible 4-card Spade suit, but otherwise denies any Major suit interest.
  2     Asks if opener has a 4-card Spade suit, or maximum 4-4-x-x holding. The responder must have a 4-card Major suit to make this bid.
    2   Shows a 4-card Spade suit, one-round forcing; denies a maximum 4-4-x-x holding. Compare 3 below.
      No Trump This continuation is natural.
      3 / These bids are natural, invitational slam try with four Hearts.
    2 NT   Denies a 4-card Spade suit and shows a minimum 1 NT opening. This rebid also denies a 4-card Heart suit. This rebid is non-forcing.
      3 / Natural rebid and slam attempt.
    3   Shows a 4-4-x-x and maximum 1 No Trump opening.
      3 Establishes Spades as the trump suit; continuation with cuebids.
      other Establishes Hearts as the trump suit; continuation with cuebids. Partnership agreement
    3 NT   Shows a maximum 1 No Trump opening.
  2     Shows a 5-4-x-x and unlimited values or 5-5-x-x and invitational values which could be shown by a 3 rebid. This is a one-round forcing bid.
    2 NT   Shows a minimum holding and a doubleton Spade. Distribution is necessarily 2-3-3-5, 2-3-5-3 or 2-3-4-4.
  3 //   Shows a maximum 1 No Trump and three or four Spades, cuebid.
    3   Shows a minimum 1 No Trump and three or four Spades.
    3 NT   Shows a maximum 1 No Trump and two Spades.
  2 NT     Natural.
  3 /     Promises a 5-card suit and slam interest.
3     Shows 6-4-x-x and is invitational.
3     Shows 6-4-x-x and is game-forcing and shows no slam interest, which would be shown with a transfer.
  3 NT     Natural.

 

Auctions after: 1 No Trump - 2 , 2 :

Opener

Responder

Opener

2       Shows a 4- or 5-card Heart suit and less than four Spades.
  2     Relay asking if opener has four or five Hearts. The responder must have exactly three hearts to bid this.
    2 NT   Shows a minimum 1 No Trump with exactly four Hearts. All rebids by the responder, except 3 NT, show slam interest.
    3   Shows a minimum 1 No Trump and five Hearts. Cuebids as continuation.
    3 NT   Shows a maximum 1 No Trump and four Hearts. It is possible to employ 3, 3 and 3 to clarify the distribution of the opener, but this disclosure is generally of more help to the defense.
    4   Shows a maximum 1 No Trump and five Hearts. Cuebids as continuation.
  2 NT     Natural.
  3 /     Shows a 5-card Minor suit with slam interest. Since the responder may have three Hearts, the opener should immediately rebid 3 holding five, postponing support for the Minor suit, if present.
  3     Invitational.
  3 NT     Natural
  4     Roman Keycard Gerber.
  4     To play.
  4 NT     Quantitative.

 

Auctions after: 1 No Trump - 2 , 2 :

Opener

Responder

2   Either a Minor suit bust or a weak or strong Minor two-suiter.
  2 NT Natural.
  3 / Shows a 5-card Minor suit with slam interest.
3 Strong Spade agreement.
  3 Invitational.
  3 NT Natural.
  4 Roman Keycard Gerber with Spades as agreed trump suit.
4 / Splinter. Partnership agreement.
  4 To play.
  4 NT Quantitative.

 

Auctions after: 1 No Trump - 2 , 2 NT:

Opener

Responder

2 NT   Shows minimum values and 4-4-x-x.
  3 / Shows a 5-card Minor suit with slam interest.
  3 / Natural, non-forcing.
  3 NT To play.
4 / Roman Keycard Gerber in corresponding Major suit - Clubs show Hearts, Diamonds show Spades.
  4 / To play.
  4 NT Quantitative.

 

Auctions after: 1 No Trump - 2 :

Responder

Opener

Responder

Opener

2       Either a Minor suit bust or a weak or strong Minor two-suiter.
  2 NT     Diamonds or no preference.
    3 /   To play
    3 /   Singleton or void showing strong x-x-5-5 distribution.
      3 NT The opener has no interest.
      4 / The opener has interest and establishes the preferred suit.
    3 NT   Distribution: 2-2-4-5 or 2-2-5-4 showing mild slam interest; non-forcing.
    4 /   Distribution: 2-2-4-5 or 2-2-5-4 The Minor suit bid shows the 5-card suit; strong slam interest.
      4 / 5 Agreement with the 4-card suit of the responder.
      4 / Agreement with the 5-card suit of the responder. Continuation with cuebids.
      4 NT Natural.
  3     Club preference.
    3   To play showing a Diamond bust.
    3 /   Club suit established. Continuation with cuebids.
    3 NT   Club suit established. Shows mild slam interest, but is non-forcing.
    4   Roman Keycard Gerber with Clubs as agreed trump suit.

 

The guidelines have been set forth in the publications of Mr. George Rosenkranz and Mr. Phillip Alder, but as with every bidding system, there will be several auctions, whereby so-called idle bids can be introduced to designate certain interpretations or assigned certain definitions. With the Romex Bidding System, these idle bids can be employed individually by the partnership.

 

 

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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