Stayman in bridge
The Stayman convention is used to find a 4-4 major fit after a 1NT or 2NT opening. Responder asks opener for a 4-card major by bidding 2♣. Opener has 3 options
- 2♦ = no 4-card major
- 2♥ = 4 hearts, maybe 4 spades as well
- 2♠ = 4 spades, not 4 hearts
Finding a 4-4 major fit with Stayman
You have enough for game with this hand, so tell partner. You have also found a spade fit. The best game will be 4♠. If partner had bid 2♦ or 2♥ you would follow have simply bid 3NT
This time the opener has denied a 4 card major. Responder simply bids 3NT now, knowin there is no major fit.
Opener shows a 4 card heart suit but that's not the major suit that responder was looking for. Responder bids 3NT.
Opener shows a 4 card heart suit and responder bids 3NT. Opener knows that responder wouldn't have used Stayman without at least one 4 card major. The 3NT bid shows that responder's suit was not hearts, therefore it must be spade. Opener bids 4♠ now, knowing there will be a spade fit.
Invitational bids after Stayman
Opener denies a 4 card major and this time responder bids 2NT to invite to game.
This time North and South find a spade fit. Responder's 3♠ invites opener to bid game with a maximum hand.
Stayman after Interference - system on or system off
If the opening 1NT bid is doubled do you still play Stayman? It's up to you and your partner to decide. Some partnerships prefer to keep 2♣ as a natural bid after the double. It's up to you, just make sure you have an agreement wit your partner.
When not to bid Stayman
A question to consider: Can you think of a any times you might want to refrain from bidding Stayman? Watch a hand below to see an example:
If my partner opens 1NT what must I have in my hand to do Stayman?