Probably the first convention anyone learns and certainly the most used. Unfortunately among many players its function is often misunderstood.

The Stayman convention is used over partners opening bid of 1 no trump, and can be used over partners opening of 2NT. It can also be used whenever a re-bid of 2NT from a conventional opening shows a high value no trump opening. It can be used anytime you can control the bidding and needs no major suit.

The Stayman convention is a response of 2§ over partners 1NT . Provided the responses are standard you announce the bid as Stayman. If you play a different convention (e.g Ritter, or the responses are non-standard), it must be alerted not announced. A response of 3§ over 2NT must be alerted. You do not alert responses to standard Stayman

How can Stayman be used?

(i) To ask opener for a four card major suit. With a hand that is not very distributional, you need around 11+ pts over a weak NT opening (so that you could play at 2NT)

(ii) With a 4-4-4-1 hand, with a singleton in the club suit. Any number of pts. If partner responds in any of the three suits, pass with a weak hand, but raise or bid 2NT/3NT with a stronger hand

(iii) With a weak hand holding 5-4 in the major suits. If opener responds 2 ¨ then re-bid in your 5 card major (as a weakness take-out). If you are strong you can use transfers instead, showing the 4 card suit later.

(iv) To show a 6 card minor. After opener has responded, re-bid the minor at the 3 level. By partnership agreement! Effectively a a minor suit weakness take-out.

Responses to a Stayman 2§ bid

(i) With no four card major bid 2¨

(ii) With a © suit bid 2© , with a ª suit bid 2ª

(iii) With both majors bid 2© , if necessary bid the ª suit later

After opener has responded, you either support the major or bid NT or the long minor

Similar bids over 2NT, but there is no weakness take-out in a minor

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