TRAPS FOR THE UNWARY
A new series suggested by Brian Sheridan of Croydon
WHEN people first learn conventional Here the picture is
bids, they find the idea of bidding a suit to Hand 3 not so rosy and you
indicate something else quite unusual. ´ AQJ6 must pass, not bid
Stayman is often the first convention ™ 4 Stayman. You would Eek! You have a
learnt, but once people get the hang of it t J9765 be fine if partner res- Hand 7 terrible hand and are
the danger is not that they don’t use it ® 932 ponded 2´ or 2t, of ´ J65 favourite to go down
enough, but that they use it too much course, but what is he ™ J875 in whatever contract
without thinking through the conse - likely to do? He is t 98763 you bid. However, a
quences. odds-on favourite to bid 2™ and then you ® 3 suit contract will be
Hand 1 would be a typical example: are snookered. better than 1NT
which no doubt will
Partner opens 1NT This time you can bid get doubled. You can bid Stayman, and
Hand 1 (12-14) and the next Hand 4 2® Stayman with a then pass whatever response partner makes.
´ AQ54 hand passes, what do ´ AKJ3 clear conscience. If Let’s finish by reviewing a few Dos and
™ K 10 7 6 you do? ™ 54 partner lets you down Don’ts of Stayman.
t 32 t 2 by bidding 2t or 2™,
® 876 ® 986532 then you can bid 3®
as a weak take-out. Do:
The most sensible Your clubs may not • Use Stayman when you have 5-4 in
course of action is to pass. If you bid be strong, but you are assured of a fit since the majors, whatever the strength
Stayman 2® and partner responds with a partner has promised at least two cards in of your hand (0+!) as in Hand 2.
major suit, then all is well, but what if he clubs by opening 1NT. • Use Stayman when you have a
responds 2t? You can’t now ‘escape’ into weak take-out in clubs, whether
2NT because (as with most bids of 2NT) This hand is also or not you have a major suit, see
this is invitational, asking partner to go to Hand 5 ideal for Stayman, Hand 4.
game if he is maximum. Even if partner ´ AQ97 with the hope of • Use Stayman when you have at
enjoys playing the cards, 3NT with at most ™ 875 locating a 4-4 spade least 11 points and one four-card
23 points between the two hands and no t 54 fit. You don't need to major (not a five-card major,
long suit to play on will not be a thing of ® KQJ3 have both four-card unless it is accompanied by four
beauty. majors to use Stay- cards in the other major). Stay-
The reason you got into trouble with man – one will do – man is for finding 4-4 fits, see
the hand above is because you didn’t provided you have 11+ points. If partner Hand 5.
consider your rebid. doesn’t bid your major, you can rebid 2NT Don’t:
Let’s look at a few hands and think or 3NT depending on your point count. • Use Stayman on weak hands that
about your rebid. have only one four-card major
Stayman will not tell suit, see Hand 3.
This is ideal to bid Hand 6 you what you want to • Use Stayman without thinking
Hand 2 Stayman on, because ´ 32 know on this hand, about your rebid if partner bids
´ J9754 if partner responds ™ AQJ65 which is: ‘Does part- what you don’t want him to (see
™ KJ43 2t, then you can bid t AQJ3 ner have three cards Hand 1).
t 54 2´ showing a weak ® 43 in hearts, giving us an • Be afraid to bid Stayman when
® 32 hand with five spades. eight-card fit?’ The holding one major suit and 11+
If partner responds correct response, if points; you don't need both
2™ or 2´ initially, you you don’t play transfers, is 3™, showing a majors to bid Stayman, provided
will pass, of course, happy to have found a game-going hand with five cards in hearts, you have a re-bid (see Hand 5). r
safe haven. asking for support.
www.ebu.co.uk August 2010 English Bridge 21