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Can a bid change the meaning of a previous bid and is it alertable

edited July 2013 in All Things Bridge
Have just been reading Sally's summary of SAYC - which my partner and I play a (simple) version of. I'm particulary interested in the (no opps bidding) 1NT-2C-2H-3C auction where 3C is slam interest in clubs. This implies that the 3C bidder doesn't need to have 4 hearts or 4 spades for his stayman bid. Therefore the 3C bid has effectively changed the meaning of the stayman bid. My question is therefore is 3C alertable (and would you say something like slam interest in clubs and could be that partner doesn't have 4 of a major) and if opps dont ask what it means, should declarer tell them after the auction and before the lead as they have misinformation.


  • edited 12:54AM
    Firstly, the meaning of a two club stayman bid is an enquiry to ask partner about his/her hand: "Do you have a 4-card major partner?" Stayman does not need to promise that you yourself hold a 4-card major. The EBU in its regulations on alerting and announcing is clear that the Two Club bid should be announced as "Stayman", whether or not it holds the promise of a 4-card major. It is good practice to state on your convention card whether the Stayman bid is "non-promissary" (no promise of a 4-card major) or "promissary" (guaranteeing a 4-card major).

    In traditional Acol it used to be common to play the sequence 1NT, 2C; 3H, 3C as a weak sign off in clubs. The logic is that the Stayman bid loses the ability to sign-off in two clubs. I have not come across the treatment you give for this type of auction, where the sequence is a single-suited slam invitation in clubs ( I would simply bid 1NT, 3C to how this type of hand).

    The most usual modern meaning of this sequence would be "I have precisely four cards in the other major (spades) and I also have a 5-card club suit, with (at least) the values for game". But this is the type of sequence you should discuss with your regular partner.

    So to answer your specific questions:
    - 3C is not alertable because the bid promises clubs.
    - The meaning of the 2C bid has not "Changed". There was never a promise of a 4-card suit.
  • edited August 2013

    2C stayman followed by 3C is consistent with a WEAK (non game i.e <10hcp) hand with a 4-card major and a 6-card club suit.   This is the usual treatment.  Tramtickets's 'modern' sequence is an alternative but would need prior discussion. Sally's method would also need discussion; it's not all what a club-level pick-up partner would expect.

    With a 6-card club suit and no major most club players would these days use a transfer to show the clubs.  One common agreement is that a 2S response to 1NT forces 3C, which the responder passes with clubs or corrects to 3D with a weak hand and six diamonds.  (Q  Why a 6-card-suit? - A  You are playing at the 3-level and partner may have only a doubleton club/diamond within their 1NT). Slightly more advanced is to play "4-suit transfers" in which 2S shows clubs and 2NT shows diamonds.  There is no natural 2NT invitational raise, so this has to go through "non-promissory" stayman.

    With a big hand and a strong club suit a direct response of 3C is for most partnerships the bid that shows slam interest.  If partner (the 1Nt opener) then supports the clubs (i.e. does not sign off in 3NT) you are then more or less committed to bid the slam.

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