STAYMAN AFTER A
2 NO TRUMP OPENING

The concept of the Stayman convention can also be applied after a 2 No Trump opening as well and as effectively as after a 1 No Trump opening. However, in the game of bridge, communication between partners is the ultimate source of information in deciding the level of a playable contract. For this reason, the partnership agreement can vary according to the level of the No Trump opening. This variation after a 2 No Trump opening is a modification of the Stayman convention and is considered to be a two-way Stayman variation.

The concept is simple and easy to learn. After a 2 No Trump opening, the responder can ask whether the opener has a 4-card Major by bidding 3 Clubs. The variation is that the first bid of 3 Clubs by the responder communicates to the No Trump bidder the information that the responder is interested in game only.

Another partnership agreement is that the meanings of the 3 Clubs and the 3 Diamonds first response are reversed. The first response of 3 Clubs means just the opposite in this partnership agreement, meaning that the responder is interested in game and possibly slam. The first response of 3 Diamonds asks only for a 4-card Major suit. The reason behind this understanding is that there is more bidding space available to the partnership.

The partnership agreement is that if the responder is interested in slam, then the responder will first bid 3 Diamonds to indicate this interest. The 3 Diamonds bid is also asking whether the No Trump bidder has a 4-card Major suit. If the No Trump bidder has no 4-card Major suit, then the No Trump bidder should, by partnership agreement, rebid 3 No Trump, denying any 4-card Major suit.

For example, the following illustration shows one possible bidding auction.

North South Meaning
2 NT 3 Showing slam interest
3 Showing a 4-card Spade suit
5 Invites partner to bid slam

This is the key to the strength of the responder. If the responder only bids game, then there is no slam interest. But if the responder, on his/her second bid, bids above game level, then this bid invites the opener to bid a slam even with minimum values. The trump suit has been established and the responder invites to slam by bidding one level higher than game. Another such auction illustrates this bidding sequence:

North South Meaning
2 NT 3 Showing slam interest
3 NT Showing no 4-card Major suit
4 NT Invites partner to bid slam

The responder, on his/her second bid, bids one level above game, inviting the No Trump bidder to bid slam.

Since the bid of 3 Diamonds by the responder can no longer be used naturally when applying the Stayman After 2 No Trump Opening convention, for example meaning that a 3 Diamonds first response can no longer be used as a Jacoby Transfer to Hearts, the conventional method of bidding either 3 Hearts or 3 Spades after a 2 No Trump opening must be considered non-forcing, as in the following auctions:

North South Meaning
2 NT 3 / 3 Non-forcing and to play

The No Trump bidder, if maximum and holding good Spades (or Hearts) can determine whether to bid game. The disadvantage is that the No Trump bidder does not know the actual value of the hand of the responder.

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.