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Stayman - what is it and what is it not

edited March 2011 in All Things Bridge
Stayman over a weak NT (12-14) is a choice of bid for partner holding a 4 card major and eleven points. That, I suggest is standard ACOL bidding. I know that there are other conventions such as garbage stayman, puppet stayman and others. My question is, if someone is playing something other than the standard 11 point, one or more 4 card major and calling it Stayman do they need to alert it?

Next question: In a search for the answer to that question on previous threads in this forum I have seen posts of people referring to a Stayman response over bids other than 1NT and 2NT – surely any response of 2C or 3C over any bid other than NT cannot be called Stayman?

Comments

  • RMBRMB
    edited 11:38PM
    Any 2C response to 1NT where the rebids are 2D = no 4 card major, 2H/2S = 4 card suit, should be announced as Stayman; regardless of how strong the response is or whether it promises a 4 card major. If you want to know how opponents play it you have to ask.
    If other bids are explained as Stayman this just means the bid shows interest in 4 card majors.
  • edited 11:38PM
    I agree with RMB. Stayman is a request for partner to say if he has a 4 card major. If you held:
    S xxxx
    H xxxx
    D xxxxx
    C -
    I think it would be normal to bid Stayman and also if I had
    S KJxxx
    H K10xx
    D xx
    C xx
    so the idea of it showing 11 points(I assume this meant 11+ points) is not standard in any way shape or form.
    Plenty of players use non promissory Stayman whichis to say they may just have a raise to 2NT because 1NT No 2NT means something else. This is also announced as Stayman. If you care which it is then ask. The chances of it making any differecne during the auction are, in my opinion, small but it could make a difference to what I lead or how I subsequently defend.
  • edited 11:38PM
    The requirement of 11 points when bidding Stayman has never been standard Acol.
    The only criterion was that the 2C bidder could live with any of the respnses. Ben Cohen and Rhoda Barrow's book "All About Acol" published in 1969 specifically mentions that Stayman can be used with a Yarborough in the responding hand. The 11 points idea is a safeguard in that if you can't live with one of the responses you can always bid 2NT to get out of troublel
  • edited 11:38PM
    I agree with JackC's post above. I have been taught Stayman is an asking device, not a promise. If playing Stayman, 2C cannot be used as a weak takeout of 1NT, so one goes through the process of asking for majors, but whatever the answer then rebids 3C - weak take out, and partner knows that is its meaning and stops!
  • edited 11:38PM
    "If playing Stayman, 2C cannot be used as a weak takeout of 1NT, so one goes through the process of asking for majors, but whatever the answer then rebids 3C - weak take out, and partner knows that is its meaning and stops!!"

    Careful! this very old-fashioned agreement is far from standard today.
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