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Stayman without transfers Responder 5-4 in majors

#1 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2014-September-24, 23:48

I have a new partner who is OK-ish with Stayman but doesn't want to learn Jacoby Transfers just yet. We play Acol - Weak No Trump.
With this hand, what is my bid? With my other partner I would not have used Stayman but transferred to hearts and then bid 2 invitational. Here I think I have to sign off in 2 even though game may be on if partner is max.
What if I changed the Q for K?

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#2 User is offline   mattias 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 00:13

View PostLiversidge, on 2014-September-24, 23:48, said:

I have a new partner who is OK-ish with Stayman but doesn't want to learn Jacoby Transfers just yet. We play Acol - Weak No Trump.
With this hand, what is my bid? With my other partner I would not have used Stayman but transferred to hearts and then bid 2 invitational. Here I think I have to sign off in 2 even though game may be on if partner is max.
What if I changed the Q for K?


Play double barreled stayman. 2 followed by a new suit is invitational. 2 is also staymanish but GF, asks for a 4-card major or a five card minor. 2 followed by a new sut shows a five card suit.

If you only play stayman, then 2 followed by 2 should probably be invitaional anyway, not a signoff.
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#3 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 01:09

OK, so define all your responses and then look for the response that best fits the hand. Occasionally you may come up with two reasonable fits and then you have to make a choice.

Your partner is going for simplicity. This is simple: A direct response in a new suit is natural and forcing, at least 5 cards. 3-suit via Stayman is natural, non-forcing but invitational. Again at least 5 cards, but bear in mind that it may be just a 5-2 fit. In contrast to Mattias response, this method allows for "garbage" Stayman where 2M rebid by responder over 2D is weak. Having it as invitational is certainly playable, and if you want that then your problems on this hand are over. Proceeding on the assumption that you want to retain garbage, so that a bidding problem remains:

On this hand you first have to decide whether you are worth a game try. The first response is easy, because on the above method it is 2C however you decide that issue, and if partner rebids 2M your problems are over.

Focus, then, on 2D.

I have a lot of sympathy here for your decision to value the hand as a sign out and bid 2H. That is a unilateral decision that could work out well or badly, but leaves partner out of the consultation.

If you decide that the hand is worth a game try, then your choices are between 2N and 3H.

If you choose 3H then it works badly if partner has a minimum and doubleton support, and passes where 2N (or 2H) would have been better. If partner has maximum then he would normally choose 3N with only doubleton support so you are relatively safe.

If you choose 2N then it works badly if partner has a minimum and 3 card support for H. It could also work badly if partner has a max and 3 card support and goes straight to 3N without looking further for the possibility of a 5-3 fit, for which you have room.

Playing a method this simple, it may well behove opener to bid a 3 card major over 2N with a maximum, offering a choice of games. The 2N rebid may be on 5M332. On the other hand, you might reasonably take the view that the likelihood of a 5-3 fit after this start is sufficiently low that the information leakage does not warrant the investigation, particularly bearing in mind that playing NT a level lower having missed a 5-3 major fit is not always a bad thing. They may even lead the suit if going for passivity and trying to hit partner's length.

With this balanced shape, rather poor Heart suit, and soft values in the minors I prefer 2N over 3H, and changing the CQ to CK does not alter that preference for me, although a few other changes to the hand might do so.

Change the CQ to CK and then 2H is completely out of the picture, so 2N would be my vote.

As the hand is stated, I hover between 2H and 2N. I think I favour 2N, but if my partner bid 2H on me with that and it worked out bad I would not be demanding a beer.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#4 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 01:49

Agree with mattias. A suit directly is weak at the twolevel and forcing at the three level. Stayman then suit without jump is invitational.
Once you have this straight you may want to discuss if you can do something with weak hands with clubs. Playing weak nt they are more important than strong hands with clubs so I would suggest to play a direct 3c as weak and forget about the strong hands. Of course you can also play it as strong but Stayman followed by 3c as weak.

Not playing transfers is very reasonable. You avoid having to remember all the situations in which it is not obvious if transfers apply or not.

Btw a suit response to a 2nt opening is forcing but in response to a 2nt overcall it is not
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#5 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 01:52

View Postmattias, on 2014-September-25, 00:13, said:


If you only play stayman, then 2 followed by 2 should probably be invitaional anyway, not a signoff.


Not with a weak NT, you need 2 to be weak.

This is more a question of valuation, in normal british practice where unlike in the US, we don't play Smolen, 1N-2-2-3 is 4-5 in the majors invitational, it's just a question of whether you're good enough with this mouldy heart suit and 11 count.

I would probably sign off in 2 as we will upgrade good 14s and not open 1N. I would definitely do so at pairs. Change Q to K, I'd feel I had to invite, so would have to choose between 2N and 3 after partner denies a 4 card major.
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#6 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 01:56

I approached my response from the viewpoint that the player's objection to transfers was not because they were intrinsically non-optimal in a weak NT context but rather because they were too complicated to grasp.

That being the case (and my assumption may be flawed) then much as I might appreciate Mattias approach in theory for a more experienced partnership, introducing things like double-barrelled Stayman is not likely to be helpful here.

Again, in this context, I would be happy to forego weak take-outs into 3-minor in the system, and rather wait until doubled (and then maybe escape at the 2 level). Perhaps lacks some pre-emptive effect but we are not aiming for perfection here.

If playing 2C as unconditionally invitational+, you have the added option of allowing opener to make rebids over 2C higher than 2S. As well as improving your slam bidding, it would allow you to stop in 2M when opener is min opposite invite when others are getting to 3M. But I throw that in as an aside, not a recommendation here.



Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#7 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 04:25

We play that 1NT-2-2-2 shows around 8-10 points with 5 hearts and 4 spades and is a sign off. If partner had bid hearts or spades instead of 2 then I would have passed. It's a way of checking out if there is a 4-4 fit in spades.
My concern about 1NT-2- 2-3 invitational is that if partner has 2 hearts and 3 spades we end up in 3 with a 7 card fit and a possible 21 points.
The reason partner does not want to play Transfers yet is because his previous partner (at a different club) was a pretty good player at club level but unwilling to try any conventions other than Stayman and Gerber asking, which partner only had a loose grip on. Partner is now working on Weak 2's, at his request, as everyone at our club plays it and he is keen to progress, so doesn't want to learn anything else until he is comfortable with Weak 2's and Stayman. He has asked me about this marginal area with 11-12 points and 5-4 and I didn't know the answer as I would use transfers. Double barrelled Stayman would freak him out right now!
Maybe to keep it simple, with an 11 point 5-4 hand we should have to make up our mind whether it is a good or bad 11 pointer and either upgrade and bid 3/3 or downgrade and bid 2/2? I would downgrade this hand because the 5 card suit is poor and the honours are scattered.
I can hold out the carrot that the problem will be largely resolved once we get round to transfers.
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#8 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 05:27

View PostLiversidge, on 2014-September-25, 04:25, said:

We play that 1NT-2-2-2 shows around 8-10 points with 5 hearts and 4 spades and is a sign off.


If it is a sign-off, why require a minimum of 8 points? With 0 points he would still be better off in 2M than 1N

It may be helpful to be able to rely on partner having 8-10 if the auction becomes contested, but I think it quite an unusual treatment.

View PostLiversidge, on 2014-September-25, 04:25, said:

My concern about 1NT-2- 2-3 invitational is that if partner has 2 hearts and 3 spades we end up in 3 with a 7 card fit and a possible 21 points.


The concern about the possible 7 card fit is valid, and influential in my preference for 2N rather than 3H.

However the combined point count should be at least 23 (Opener's 12 + responder's 11)
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#9 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 07:53

View PostLiversidge, on 2014-September-25, 04:25, said:

We play that 1NT-2-2-2 shows around 8-10 points with 5 hearts and 4 spades and is a sign off. If partner had bid hearts or spades instead of 2 then I would have passed. It's a way of checking out if there is a 4-4 fit in spades.
My concern about 1NT-2- 2-3 invitational is that if partner has 2 hearts and 3 spades we end up in 3 with a 7 card fit and a possible 21 points.


That is a very good analysis. This is the reason why 1NT-2; 2-2 is invitational with 5 hearts (says nothing about spades). (This hand type is similar to the one shown by 1NT-2; 2-2NT when playing transfers. The difference is that it can -but doesn't need to- have four spades.)

The difficulty is in the meaning of 1NT-3 and 1NT-2; 2-3. One of them is game forcing with 5+ hearts, the other invitational with 6+ hearts. In Europe, with a history of immediate limit bids, 1NT-3 would typically be invitational with 6+, whereas in the USA this would typically be the GF hand.

So, if you hold a weak hand with a five card suit (other than clubs), you have to bid it immediately at the two level. Once you bid Stayman, you promise invitational values, unless you pass the response to Stayman.

Rik
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#10 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 08:07

View Post1eyedjack, on 2014-September-25, 05:27, said:

If it is a sign-off, why require a minimum of 8 points? With 0 points he would still be better off in 2M than 1N

It may be helpful to be able to rely on partner having 8-10 if the auction becomes contested, but I think it quite an unusual treatment.



This is my thinking (comments appreciated): If I have 0-7 points and am 5-4 I will not use Stayman but I will make a weak takeout into my 5 card major.
If I have 8-10 points I will bid Stayman in case partner has four of my other major, which I pass - the reasoning being that a 4-4 suit plays better than a 5-3 suit.
If partner bids 2 I can settle for 2/, without being any worse off than if I had just made the weak takeout. Partner knows I am 5-4 in the majors and he has a good fix on my point count so has the choice of passing or bidding 2NT (e.g. if he is 3-2 in the majors).


Having thought about the last line of my earlier posting, I am now wondering if the safer option with a good 11 points should be to bid 2NT rather than 3/, and leave partner to decide whether to pass or bid 3NT.
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#11 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 08:14

View PostTrinidad, on 2014-September-25, 07:53, said:

The difficulty is in the meaning of 1NT-3 and 1NT-2; 2-3. One of them is game forcing with 5+ hearts, the other invitational with 6+ hearts. In Europe, with a history of immediate limit bids, 1NT-3 would typically be invitational with 6+, whereas in the USA this would typically be the GF hand.


The EBU Standard English Acol System file states that in response to a 1NT opening:

1.1.7 Responses of 3/3/3/3
All three level responses show strong suits in hands with slam interest.

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#12 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 08:24

I don't think it can show strong suits and slam interest if you are not playing transfers. You have three ways of showing hearts:
- Immediate 2: weak
- Immediate 3: forcing or invitational, according to agreement
- Stayman, prepared to bid 3 over 2: forcing or invitational, according to agreement

So one of the two latter has to be forcing with 5 hearts, while the other will be invitational.

With spades the situation is better and with diamonds you might say that without slam interest you just blast 3NT. But with clubs it is even worse as you have only two ways of showing the suit.

I suspect the system notes were written by someone who plays transfers in his/her own partnership and hasn't thought it entirely through how you can bid without playing transfers.
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#13 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 10:05

View Posthelene_t, on 2014-September-25, 08:24, said:

I don't think it can show strong suits and slam interest if you are not playing transfers.

......

I suspect the system notes were written by someone who plays transfers in his/her own partnership and hasn't thought it entirely through how you can bid without playing transfers.


On the other hand, you are a lot less likely to play natural forcing 3-level bids if you play transfers.

Probably the note is just poorly worded, and should have said GF, potentially with slam interest.
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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 10:05

Please delete
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#15 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 12:03

View PostLiversidge, on 2014-September-25, 08:14, said:

The EBU Standard English Acol System file states that in response to a 1NT opening:

1.1.7 Responses of 3/3/3/3
All three level responses show strong suits in hands with slam interest.


That may be true, but if you don't play transfers, you don't play the EBU Standard English Acol System. A bidding system is not a random selection of treatments, conventions amd other agreements. It is a structure where agreements about one sequence have consequences for other sequences. If you move one piece of the structure, the whole structure weakens.

Many beginning pairs, when they find holes in the system that they are playing, try to find ways to plug these holes. When they don't understand the structure of the system, they manage to make a good system completely unplayable by fixing 3 or 4 holes.

You cannot simply take a bidding system and say: "this part we won't play", because "this part" is a bearing wall in the building of the bidding system.

Rik
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!), but “That’s funny…” – Isaac Asimov
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#16 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 12:58

Responses to 1N are pretty much modular and self-contained. Even allowing for variations in definition of opener.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#17 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 13:15

View PostTrinidad, on 2014-September-25, 12:03, said:

That may be true, but if you don't play transfers, you don't play the EBU Standard English Acol System.

The foundation CC, which is probably what OP refers to, does not have transfers, and still the 3-level responses are described as showing slam interest:

http://www.ebu.co.uk...ation-level.pdf
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#18 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 13:29

If you are not playing a "complete" method, but gradually adding things in as you can cope with them, then you must accept there is no sensible way to show a number of hands. This is one. If you have a particular agreement on what 2 is after a stayman denial, then surely you ignore the 5th heart and bid 2 followed by 2NT. As you said in post #10.
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#19 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 16:34

View Posthelene_t, on 2014-September-25, 13:15, said:

The foundation CC, which is probably what OP refers to, does not have transfers, and still the 3-level responses are described as showing slam interest:

http://www.ebu.co.uk...ation-level.pdf

Thanks for clarifying that.

Please disregard all the nonsense I wrote... egg... face... you get the picture

Rik
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!), but “That’s funny…” – Isaac Asimov
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#20 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2014-September-26, 05:34

Hi,

if you are willing to invite playing Stayman / Transfer, than why dont you make the Stayman Bid,
if he has no 4 card major, invite via 2NT.
You will miss the 53 spade fit, live is hard, but so what, at least you will find the 44 fit.

If you are able to show 54 hands with inv. strength on the 2-level, this will lower your req.
for the inv., if you discover a fit, your hand becomes stronger.
Given that you have Qx in both of your short suits, makes NT more attractive, although the
honors in the short suit are worth less, and Queens are also over valued.
But playing simple methods means, you have to take a guess, and it is usually better to overbid,
at least playing IMPs.

With kind regards
Marlowe

PS: As stated by Mattias, and the way I played it in the days I played Acol, 2M after 2C showes an
inv. hand. The issue are not the 54 hands, but the hands with only a 5+ card major suit and inv.
strength.
Playing this way, you only loose the option to look for your best 43 fit, if responder is weak
with 44 in the majors.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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