Theory and Conventions

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M J Bridge

Bidding

Hands

Partner bid Stayman


Using just improvers’ methods partner’s Stayman request will be of the four-card promissory variety.


For alternative versions see intermediate and beyond.


Partner’s bid may be made on a hand which is any one of:-


invitational or better with one or more four-card majors;

invitational - 5-card major in an unbalanced hand;

weak - 5-4 in the majors;

weak with short clubs.


It matters not at this stage of the auction.


At its simplest:-


if you have a four-card major you bid it - suit quality is not a consideration;

otherwise you bid 2.


After that partner will show the nature of his hand with either a pass or a further bid.

Post-beginner and above

This page last updated 4th Jun 2020

Context  -  You opened 1NT - LHO passed - improvers’ methods.

Q 3

K J T

K 9 5 4

A 8 5 2

Bid 2.

You don’t have a four-card major so there is no other choice.

You

LHO

Pard

RHO

1NT

-

2

-

?








Q 3

K 9 5 4

K J T

A 8 5 2

Bid 2.

You have one four-card major so you bid it.

You

LHO

Pard

RHO

1NT

-

2

-

?








A K 5 2

K 9 5 4

T 8 2

A 3

Bid 2, if playing promissory Stayman.

If partner bids 2NT then bid 4.

2 would be a perfectly reasonable, and quite possibly more popular, choice.

You

LHO

Pard

RHO

1NT

-

2

-

?









And, if you happen to hold both majors -


Four-four in the majors


The traditional advice is that you should always bid hearts first when holding both majors.

This approach certainly makes for a straightforward method and may well be your choice.


I have a slight preference for the alternative which is to bid your better major.  It might for example suggest a lead in defence, or it might indicate the possibility of a solid suit.


Half the time you will find yourself bidding hearts as before.


The rest of the time you will prefer to bid spades.

In this case, if partner has a weak take-out with both majors then he will pass and no harm has been done.

Alternatively partner will hold invitational or better values and will either raise your suit or bid 2NT or 3NT, after which you can bid the other major at the three- or four-level based on his ‘promise’.

Responder’s first bid

Responder’s rebid