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When do Stayman & Jacoby Transfer apply?

#1 User is offline   bravejason 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 10:11

The question is in what bidding sequences involving natural No Trump bids are stayman or jacoby transfer available? I know they apply in the sequence beginning 1N-(p)- . Do they apply in the following example sequences, assuming the bidding system is SAYC or similar?
1D-(p)-1N-(p)-
1H-(p)-1N-(p)-
1D-(p)-2N-(p)-
1S-(p)-2N*-(p)- *Assuming a natural 2NT, not jacoby 2NT.
2N-(p)-
2C-(p)-2D-(p)-2N-(p)-
2C-(p)-2H-(p)-2N-(p)-
1D-(p)-1S-(p)-2N-(p)-

Can you state a principal or guideline that governs when Stayman or Jacoby transfers apply when a natural no trump is bid? The reason for the question is that it isn't clear to me if Stayman and transfers are "always" available or if they are limited to specific situations.

Would there be a situation where you want to play them after a raise of a natural no trump bid? For example after 1N-(p)-2N-(p)- it seems unlikely to want to bid Stayman or transfers, but I am curious if it is done or if those bids are no longer available. The only reason I'd see for it is if you bid 1N with something like AKQxx-AKx-xxx-xx and wanted to show the points with the 1N opening bid but did not want to play in NT for whatever reason (maybe last time partner had the same weak doubleton and so you lost 5 tricks in that suit).
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#2 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 10:39

1D-(p)-1N-(p)- No
1H-(p)-1N-(p)- No
1D-(p)-2N-(p)- No
1S-(p)-2N*-(p)- *Assuming a natural 2NT, not jacoby 2NT. - No
2N-(p)- Yes
2C-(p)-2D-(p)-2N-(p)- Yes
2C-(p)-2H-(p)-2N-(p)- Yes (for me)
1D-(p)-1S-(p)-2N-(p)- No
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#3 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 10:41

Also:

(1D)- 1NT - Yes
(2H) - 2NT - Yes
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#4 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 11:22

We play Benji Acol, and 2-2(negative)-2NT is 'systems on' for us.
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#5 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 11:26

Given your skill level as per your BBO profile, let's keep this as easy as possible.

Stayman and Jacoby transfers are usually only used by a responder, not an opener bidder. There may some bidding sequences by agreement (as listed by Tramticket) that may deviate from the norm but it's best to remember at this stage the simple sequences.

1. After any opening bid of 1NT or 2NT
2. After a 2 opening, a 2 response and a 2NT rebid by opener (though even here some players may play this differently.)

It can also be used when your partner overcalls 1NT over an opponent's opening bid too (by agreement).

Just bear in mind that it's the responder of the no-trump bidder who uses these conventions and I don't think you will go far wrong.
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#6 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 12:31

The basic principle is these are tools to look for 4-4 and 5-3 major fits. So they are useful when the nt bidder can have unbid 4 cd major/undisclosed 3 fit for a major, and when the other hand hasn't shown any suits yet, or might want to distinguish between 5 cds and 4 cds in a new major. First three no, because the response denied a major. Fifth/sixth universally yes. The 4th and 8th, the default assumption is not, but it wouldn't be ridiculous to play a scheme incorporating stayman/transfer -like bids.

Practically universal over:
1nt / 2nt openings.
2C -2x -2nt where 2x showed something artificial. (Assumed stayman/xfer not apply over say 2H if shows hearts (or other suit for that matter), but applies if 2H shows artificial negative or artificial control/points positive).

Extremely common over:
Strong nt overall of opponent's 1 or 2 level opening bid. (but not part of official sayc, which specifies stayman only, though probably most have never read the booklet and don't know that).

Less common over balancing 1nt of 1 of a suit, suboptimal in my view, but some do it for consistency/simplicity.

Other situations it is very rarely played, but not completely unheard of, you can play xfer based checkback methods after 1m-1M-1/2nt rebid fairly effectively, but this is a special agreement only used by a tiny percentage of partnerships.

Your last hand, if for some systemic reason you are boxed into opening 1nt, you can always simply try 3s over a natural 2nt response.
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#7 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 12:48

View PostThe_Badger, on 2017-August-02, 11:26, said:


Stayman and Jacoby transfers are usually only used by a responder, not an opener bidder.


Two weeks ago I got a question wrong on the NoFear weekly quiz. After 2-(P)-2NT-(P)-? I was supposed to bid 3 (Stayman). I challenged this and the reply directed me to their handout on responses to the strong 2 which stated at the end of page 2:

STAYMAN AFTER A 2NT RESPONSE
After the 2NT response to a 2 opening (denying a 5 card suit), opener can use Stayman to investigate a 4-4 major suit fit.

My partner and I play that the 2NT response shows 8+ HCP and denies a GOOD 5 card suit, so might not have a 4 card major. I was rather cheesed off that this unusual (for me anyway) use of Stayman was slipped in without explanation on a section of the site (not the 'advanced' section)that is supposed to be aimed at teaching novices.
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#8 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 13:33

View PostLiversidge, on 2017-August-02, 12:48, said:

Two weeks ago I got a question wrong on the NoFear weekly quiz. After 2-(P)-2NT-(P)-? I was supposed to bid 3 (Stayman). I challenged this and the reply directed me to their handout on responses to the strong 2 which stated at the end of page 2:

STAYMAN AFTER A 2NT RESPONSE
After the 2NT response to a 2 opening (denying a 5 card suit), opener can use Stayman to investigate a 4-4 major suit fit.

My partner and I play that the 2NT response shows 8+ HCP and denies a GOOD 5 card suit, so might not have a 4 card major. I was rather cheesed off that this unusual (for me anyway) use of Stayman was slipped in without explanation on a section of the site (not the 'advanced' section)that is supposed to be aimed at teaching novices.


This use of Stayman is NOT standard. It is rather odd and I suspect a typo by the person setting the quiz.

[Note: many will try to avoid a 2NT response over 2 since it wrong-sides the contract. A simple agreement would be that 2 shows either a negative or no useful suit.].
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#9 User is offline   bravejason 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 13:58

This has been very helpful. Thanks!
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#10 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 14:09

I emailed No Fear to challenge the 'wrong' mark. They emailed back to confirm that it their marking was correct and referring me to the relevant teaching handout on their site. The quote in my post was from the handout.
Here is their response:

This is a specific use of Stayman only after 2C opening and 2NT response. It is mentioned in the handout on Strong Two Club opening and responses. You can find it the via 'Topic Pages' and 'Strong Two Clubs Opening and Responses'.

Regards
Steve
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#11 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 14:21

View PostLiversidge, on 2017-August-02, 12:48, said:

Two weeks ago I got a question wrong on the NoFear weekly quiz. After 2-(P)-2NT-(P)-? I was supposed to bid 3 (Stayman). I challenged this and the reply directed me to their handout on responses to the strong 2 which stated at the end of page 2:

STAYMAN AFTER A 2NT RESPONSE
After the 2NT response to a 2 opening (denying a 5 card suit), opener can use Stayman to investigate a 4-4 major suit fit.

My partner and I play that the 2NT response shows 8+ HCP and denies a GOOD 5 card suit, so might not have a 4 card major. I was rather cheesed off that this unusual (for me anyway) use of Stayman was slipped in without explanation on a section of the site (not the 'advanced' section)that is supposed to be aimed at teaching novices.


The NoFear website/quiz is fairly bizzare - I did one with a beginner a couple of weeks ago and got 15/20 lol, some of their ideas are pretty LOL. I'm sure it's a good tool for people that are totally new to the game, but beyond that its pretty hopeless.
"definitely that's what I like to play when I'm playing standard - I want to be able to bid diamonds because bidding good suits is important in bridge" - Meckstroth's opinion on weak 2 diamond
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#12 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 14:21

A simple rule that covers (I believe) the English standard usage is that stayman/transfers apply if nobody has indicated length in any particular suit prior to the bid. I.e.

2-(p)-2NT-(p)
3*
is stayman, but
(1)-1NT-(p)-2*
is not.

Exception:
1NT-(x)-2*
is not stayman, despite the fact that no suit has been indicated by any player.

There are a few other situations in which one can agree to play stayman and transfers, in particular:
(suit opening)-NT-(p)-*
OBAR = OverBidding At Random? --- Vampyr
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#13 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 14:24

View PostTramticket, on 2017-August-02, 13:33, said:



[Note: many will try to avoid a 2NT response over 2 since it wrong-sides the contract. A simple agreement would be that 2 shows either a negative or no useful suit.].

Thanks for that helpful suggestion.
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#14 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-August-02, 14:49

I don't think stayman after a natural positive 2c-2nt is that odd. I think it's rather essential actually if you play a natural pos 2nt response. The rare part is the 2nt response itself, because so many people play something else for that bid as part of another scheme, or have been taught never to bid 2nt.

Personally I think the 2nt response is underrated. If you end up in 3nt, with 30-31 hcp, not particularly likely there is a vulnerable suit that has to be guarded from one side, wrong siding is exceedingly rare. If partner bids a suit you can cue with fit. One thing showing values as responder does is it avoids bidding initially a negative, then doing something that only promises like one trick, then trying to take over captaincy with Blackwood or whatever because you actually have 2 or 2.5 tricks. It is almost always better for the strong hand to remain captain because they are usually in better position to see where the potential losers are and count tricks accurately for slam.

I usually switch the natural 2H and 2nt as suggested by Marshall Miles, but if not given that option I'd rather utilize 2nt rather than never use it.
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#15 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-August-03, 05:00

 Stephen Tu, on 2017-August-02, 14:49, said:

I don't think stayman after a natural positive 2c-2nt is that odd. I think it's rather essential actually if you play a natural pos 2nt response.


What would you do if holding a big hand with a club suit? Presumably you have to start showing it at the four level? Or bury the club suit completely? Or always open the club suit at the one level and risk partner passing.

This is the first time that I have come across the suggestion that 3C would be Stayman in this auction and yes, I do find it a bit odd.

If 2NT is a natural positive, then it is normal to play the auction as forcing to 4NT. This allows you to make a forcing raise of 2NT to 3NT and bidding can proceed naturally from there. You can locate 4-4 fits in the majors (or the minors) and Stayman is not needed.
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#16 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2017-August-03, 06:09

 Stephen Tu, on 2017-August-02, 14:49, said:

If partner bids a suit you can cue with fit.

Is that because 2NT is either very limited or already forcing to at least 4NT, so that I will never need to bypass 3NT without a fit?
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#17 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-August-03, 10:42

 Tramticket, on 2017-August-03, 05:00, said:

What would you do if holding a big hand with a club suit? Presumably you have to start showing it at the four level? Or bury the club suit completely? Or always open the club suit at the one level and risk partner passing.


With a club one suiter you can jump to 4 to set the suit and demand cues. With a two suiter you can start with 3, maybe find a fit in your second suit (which might generate more tricks!, clubs providing discards in side suits which can then be ruffed in the 4-4 fit), and if not continue with 4. It's really not that different a situation from having a slammish hand with clubs opposite partner's 2nt opener, just you've swapped who has the bulk of the hcp.

Quote

This is the first time that I have come across the suggestion that 3C would be Stayman in this auction and yes, I do find it a bit odd.

I first saw this suggested in Root/Pavlicek's Modern Bridge Conventions published 35+ years ago, which was my first book on conventions (I still think it's the best first book, way more thorough in covering responses than most others) , which is probably why I don't find it odd.
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#18 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-August-03, 10:48

 nullve, on 2017-August-03, 06:09, said:

Is that because 2NT is either very limited or already forcing to at least 4NT, so that I will never need to bypass 3NT without a fit?

You can't have a suit of your own to show so new suit should be cue in support. Whether 3nt is forcing is probably up to partnership agreement, if not I suppose if you are too strong for 3nt with no fit you have to bid some larger # of nt.
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#19 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2017-August-03, 11:08

 Stephen Tu, on 2017-August-03, 10:48, said:

if not I suppose if you are too strong for 3nt with no fit you have to bid some larger # of nt.

Then with e.g.

Opener: 23 hcp, 5341
Responder: 12 hcp, 2344

the bidding would go

2-2N
3-large # of NT,

instead of e.g.

2-2*
2-2N*
3-4

* waiting bids

?
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#20 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-August-03, 11:42

With 12 hcp, enough to just force to slam, perhaps responder should bid 2d and conserve space. I think 2nt works best on hands that want to invite slam not force it.

It's been many years since I held 12 hcp opposite a 2c opener.
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