By Peter Rhead
Examples of Stayman response to partner’s 1NT opening
We continue to investigate another example, Stayman, of your five common responses to partner’s One No-Trump opening. The five are PASS, Two No-Trump, Three No-Trump, Stayman and Transfers. Each is dependent on your hand distribution and your point count. With less than eight points you usually PASS. With eight to nine points you have more options. With 10 points or more, you are going for game which requires a partnership total of at least 25 points.
This week, you have examples of when to consider a Stayman response of Two Clubs. You have eight points or more and at least one four-card major. You at least want to invite game in case opening partner is at his maximum for his bid (17+8).
You sit there with these five hands. Your partner has opened One No-Trump showing a balanced or semi-balanced hand such as xxx xxxx xxx xxx (Spades Hearts Diamonds Clubs) or xx xxxxx xxx xxx with 15-17 points. What should you bid?
Case 1: You bid Three No-Trump directly. You want to be in game with your 10 points (15+10) and you have no other bid to force to game. You do not want to bid Stayman because you have no ruffing capability in a suit contract.
Case 2: You bid Stayman Two Clubs. You want to be in game (15+10) and Stayman is forcing for one round while you try to find the ideal eight-card major fit. If opening 1NT partner now bids either Spades or Hearts, you jump to game in his suit. Your Stayman bid did its job. You are in a great contract! If opening partner bids Two Diamonds denying four-card Spades or Hearts, you jump to game Three No-Trump.
Case 3: Is this a Trick Question? No!! You have zero to seven points with this special distribution. You first respond Two Clubs Stayman. Whatever opening 1NT partner replies, you PASS! He would have bid either Two Diamonds, Two Hearts or Two Spades. This is known as Garbage Stayman. Opening 1NT partner will be happier playing in one of these three suits at the two level than playing 1NT with your weak dummy hand.
Case 4: You bid Three No-Trump directly. You do not consider Stayman because you have no ruffing capability in a suit contract. However, you know your partnership should have a game (15+10).
Case 5: You first respond Two Hearts as a Transfer to Spades. After 1NT opener completes the Transfer with a bid of Two Spades, you then jump to Three No-Trump for the game contract (15+11). Opener can take the contract back to Four Spades if he prefers. Whichever happens, opener will be happy with your hand!
Next Week: Examples of Transfer response to partner’s 1NT Opening
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to email@example.com and I will try to include it in this column.
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