When Stayman gets doubled
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When Stayman gets doubled.


When you open 1NT, and partner bids 2 , then you have just three bids at your disposal (playing Standard Garbage Stayman) - 2, 2, and 2. The two extra bids (pass and redouble) when 2 is doubled really need to be defined. They could have been put to good use on this deal from news-sheet 217.

Dealer: A1095     Table A    
South AJ109     West North East South
Both vul J3     - - - pass
    AJ2     pass 1NT (1) pass 2♣ (2)
Q4 K62 dbl (3) 2 . (4) all pass  
K109 AQ52 'Expert' Table    
K10854 Q93 West North East South
    J873     - - - pass
    Q73     pass 1NT (1) pass 2♣ (2)
    8764     pass pass (4) pass 2 (5)
    76     pass 2. .(6) all pass  
Table A: (1) I totally agree with this North's choice of 1NT those 109 combinations in 4-card suits are easily worth a point.

Pass may work out better, but this is a fairly standard Garbage Stayman situation bid 2 and pass whatever partner responds.


A double of Stayman shows 's and asks for a lead.


With no agreement here I guess that North has to bid 2?

'Expert' Table (1) But our experts do have an agreement of course, it is defined below and this pass shows 4-4 in the majors.

And our experts have another trick up their sleeved here - 2 is a transfer to get the 1NT opener as declarer.


North completes the transfer.


2 plays fairly well (better than 1NT) but 2 is easily the best spot for N-S.


When Stayman 2 is doubled that gives opener two extra bids (pass and redouble) and these really should be put to good use by experienced partnerships. One scheme is: -

pass = 4-4 in the majors.
redbl =

good 's and denying a 4-card major, offering 2 redoubled as a final contract if responder has good clubs, and showing good stops in the more likely scenario that he does not.

2 = no 4-card major.
2/ = a 4 (or 5 card suit) but not 4-4 in the majors.
After 1NT pass 2 dbl pass pass then responder knows that opener is 4-4 in the majors. He should bid 2/ to transfer into the best fit and then pass, invite or bid on as appropriate.

This is one treatment; another is to play pass as equal length (so normally 3-3 or 4-4) in the majors. This would work better when opener is 3-3 in the majors and responder has just one 4-card major and wishes to play in a possible Moysian fit. But if responder has game ambitions he really needs to know if partner has a 4-card major, so I think that the method given is probably superior.

  Yet another treatment is to play that 2 promises 4+ 's and denies a 4 card major. This would well if partner has bid Garbage Stayman on a weak 4441 type hand (quite likely on the bidding). Redouble should still show 's and pass would deny 4 's, 4 's or 4 's and thus presumably show 4+ weak 's (no redouble). I guess this works but it's unlikely for opener to have a hand with 3 or less 's, 's and 's where he cannot redouble. This topic came up in News-Sheet 265 and opener actually has a clear redouble. I suppose that this would be the 'standard' treatment if you had not agreed either of the above?  
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