Contract Bridge » Bidding Help » Stayman Convention

Help With Bidding The Stayman Convention

  When to use Stayman Why use Stayman How to bid Stayman
  •   After partner bids notrump
  •   A hand that is unbalanced
  •   To locate a 4-4 major suit
  •   Flexible bidding
  •   Bid 2C over 1NT
  •   Have a rebid in mind

The Stayman Convention

Stayman is used after partner opens 1NT. You bid 2C asking if they have a 4 card major suit. If they do they bid it and hopefully it matches yours. If they don't have a 4 card major they bid 2D, and then you get to decide where you want to play instead.

Stayman can also be used after 2NT and 3NT. There are several nuances to the system and it is something you really should play. Our Notrump bidding cards have much more information, 50 cards of notrump and Stayman bidding sequences.

The meaning of some other bids change as well when using Stayman. See our set of bidding cards covering Notrump openings, responses, Stayman, and Jacoby Transfers. See them at Jacoby Transfer Bids

Why use Stayman? One reason is so that the stronger Notrump hand becomes the declarer. Thus their hand is not put down as dummy for everyone to see and make leads through that can hurt your side. When the stronger hand is hidden, their honor cards are less vulnerable to attack so declarer is more likely to win tricks with them.

The Stayman Convention also gives the weaker hand more chances to bid. Without Stayman the bidding might go:

North     South
  1N           2H          I have Hearts but a weak hand

With Stayman you respond 2 Clubs and opener responds in a 4 major if they have it:

North     South
  1N           2C            (2C is Stayman looking for a 4 card major suit)
  2H                           (2H says that North has a 4 card Heart suit)

If South also has 4 Hearts they can now pass or have the option of bidding 2S, 2N, 3H etc to show some extra values. More communication is the key.

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Help with Bidding Stayman. How to Bid the Stayman Convention in Contract Bridge Games.