Duplicate Bridge results and tip: Useful conventions worth learning, part five



By Val Rhead

Bidding Stayman

Your partner in the West hand below opens the bidding with One No-Trump. She has limited her hand. Your opponent passes. You know that your partner has 15 to 17 points. She has no voids, and no singletons unless it is an Ace, a King, or a Queen. She has no more than two doubletons and at least one of them must contain an Ace or a King.

You gaze at your hand in the East. If you have less than eight points, you pass. But, not to worry, you have 11 points so you know you want to be in game. And you do have at least one four-card major. In fact, you have two.  They may not be four high cards in either suit, but if your partner has four in one of the majors, you will have the eight-card “golden” fit.

You make a Stayman bid of Two-Clubs. This is an artificial bid and says nothing about Clubs. It says “partner I have at least eight points and at least one four-card major.”

The opener has Four-Spades, so she bids two Spades. East now knows they have an eight-card fit in Spades.  He also knows that with partner’s opening point-count of 15 to 17 points, they have enough for game. He bids Four-Spades. He also knows that 17 points (if partner was at the top of his range,) plus 11 points, would add up to a total of 28 which wouldn’t be enough to pursue a slam.

If the opener, West showed no four-card major, she makes another artificial bid, Two-Diamonds to show no four-card major. You then set the level of the contract. You bid Two-No-Trump if you have 8 or 9 points.  If you have 10 or more points, you bid Three-No-Trump.

It happens in some hands that a responder who has four Hearts but only three Spades, bids two Clubs asking opener if she has four of a major.  Opener replies Two-Spades.  Responder bids either 2NT or 3 NT.  Opener will know that responder has four Hearts even though he hasn’t bid them, because he bid Two Clubs to ask for a 4-card major.  He must therefore have at least one four-card major.  If he hasn’t supported Spades, his four-card major has to be Hearts.  Opener will know then that she can safely take the contract to Four-Hearts if she had four Hearts.

When you have a choice, a major-suit contract with an eight-card fit is usually preferable to a No-Trump contract.  It is safer.  Those nasty opponents can sometimes break through your defense in No-Trump and steal mucho tricks

However you don’t have ruffing values when you are playing with a 4,3,3,3, hand.  (No voids, singletons or doubletons!) For this reason you usually don’t use Stayman with hands that have no distributional values. Stayman is a valuable Convention to use when your partnership opens with a One No-trump bid. However, it is usually advisable to stick to No-Trump contracts when you have flat hands.

If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.


Games are at the CANADA SUMMIT CENTRE, Thursdays, 7pm.

PLEASE NOTE that our NEW VENUE for Bridge DURING THE SUMMER is the Summit Centre “Don Lough Warming Area”.  This room is located on the second level of the Summit Centre accessible by taking the right-hand stairs (elevator) after passing through the main entrance.  The room does not have a kitchen; hence, please bring your own beverage (we will still provide snacks).

Just come – with or without a partner.  Please arrive 10 minutes before game time.

For information, please contact Donna or Peter Tikuisis at 647 471 1774 or [email protected].

For now, this game will be played following Chicago Rules (allowing both fast and slow games).  You will keep your same partner for the entire evening.  Cost is $1.50 per person.


Games for the Port Carling Social Bridge Club are Monday evening 7pm at the Port Carling Community Centre, 3 Bailey Street.  Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time.

For information, contact Andree or Scott 705-764-3827 [email protected]

Results for Monday, July 8th  1. Ann & Nick Kristoffy 4,440 points; 2. Els Vandenburg & Peter Rhead; 3,020 points; 3. Marg Huckle & Enid Powell; 2,900 points


Games are Tuesday 7pm Trinity United Church 33 Main Street.  Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time.  For partners and information call Jan Roberts 705 635-2522 or email [email protected]

The following winners are for Tuesday, July 9, 2019 with 18 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Gerry VanLierop and Ron Groulx; 2. Barb Golding and Doug Golding; 3. Donna Jensen and Wayne Ruttan; 4. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; East-West 1. Liz Barnes and Bev Howard; 2. Josee Hammill and Joan Stock; 3. Donna Tikuisis and Peter Tikuisis; 4. Yvonne Cox and Helen Pearson


Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road.  Please arrive with your partner 10 minutes before game time.

The following winners are from Monday, Jul 8, 2019 with 23 pairs playing a Mitchell movement.  North-South 1. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 2. Gerry VanLierop and Ron Groulx; 3. Yvonne Cox and Helen Pearson; 4. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 5. Jennifer Thompson and Martha Stigler; 6. Joanne Garvey and Jim Smith; East-West  1. Lyn Walisser and Bev Howard; 2. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 3. Joan Joel and Peter Joel; 4. Mary Mitchell and Gwen Jocelyn; 5. Jinty Stewart and Gail Lederer; 6. Art Insley and Don Evans

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