Why you don't really play Stayman

     Addresses the misconceptions preventing players from benefitting from essential bridge conventions, as well as innovative suggestions for practised pairs.

In every good bidding system the fundamental principle is to make the stronger hand the declarer wherever possible. One area where this has been achieved with great success is after a No Trump opening bid.

Stayman is a good example of a convention which embodies this principle; however, a surprising number of players fail to understand that responder is never allowed to bid a four card major; one good reason for which is the very real danger that the weaker hand will become the declarer. If this applies to you then see Basic Stayman.

If Stayman is the proven method to handle 4 card majors, then transfers are the way to go to handle longer suits. If you are not convinced, possibly because of obtuse explanations, or you feel that it is one step too far even to attempt, then see Easy 3 suit transfers.

 Once you become comfortable with transfers, and there are optional 4 suit transfers too, then you may realize that it is better to use Stayman with 5-4 in the majors. If so, you should investigate Smolen.

Finally, understanding the value of Smolen and also a devotee of bidding 2nt with a 5 card major, look through  Smolen plus for one solution to both these problems.

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