With various partners I play Stayman and Transfers over a weak 1NT opener, however, a few nights ago I ran into a problem regarding the right way to show a strong hand with a Club suit.
I have always played 2C (Stayman) followed by 3C over opener's response as a weak sign off, whereas a direct raise to 3C is a positive (game going) bid showing a Club suit.
A few evenings ago, my partner opened 1NT to which I responded 3C, with a solid six card club suit with definite slam potential after my partners opening. To my amazement, partner passed, as he interpreted the bids the other way round! Consequently we missed out on a stone cold 6 Clubs.
So what is the current "accepted" way of differentiating between weak sign offs and forcing bids in the minors when using Stayman and Transfers?
The logic behind my approach is that when using transfers, the best sequence for a weak take out in Diamonds is to use Stayman, which allows you to stop in 2D when opener does not have a four card major.
So, if using 2C as the route to a weak diamond take out, it seems to make sense to be consistent (and try to avoid confusion) and use the same bid as the route to a weak take out in both minors. Direct jumps to 3C or 3D then become positive, forcing bids.
My further reasoning is, what is the value in giving the opponents information about the shape of partner's hand by having to use stayman as the route to show a game going minor suit hand with no interest in the majors.