There are many variations of the Stayman convention. The origin of this variation is unknown, which is also known as Drop Dead Stayman. This concept has been accepted by the bridge community and has received this designation since the employment thereof is not only possible, but also preferable when holding two definite distributions.

Possible Ranges of No Trump

Note: The range of the No Trump agreement becomes irrelevant when the partnership understanding is to employ Garbage Stayman. The logic of the concept remains the same whether the range of the agreed No Trump is 12-14, 14-16, 14-18, or any other limited range between 10 points and 18 points. Whether the No Trump range is considered weak or strong the logic of the principles of Garbage Stayman are applicable.

     
     

The concept of Garbage Stayman can only employed when the responder has seven or fewer points and a unique distribution. The concept is only used with the following requirements:

1. The responder has 0-7 points, but responder should respond 2 Clubs, initiating the Garbage Stayman convention.
2. The distributional pattern must meet the requirements as shown below.
3. On his next turn to bid the responder will simply pass any response of the opener.
4. The 2 Clubs bid may also discourage the opponents from bidding, especially the next player in rotation.
5. If there is an immediate overcall by the opponent of 2 Clubs, the responder can double to initiate Garbage Stayman. Otherwise it would be best to pass and defend if the overcall is in a higher-ranking suit.

There are only two distinct holdings, which meet these requirements, and they are:

Opener   Opponent   Responder
AKQ4
A76
Q43
J54
     
9876
9842
9876
7
1 NT   Pass   2
         
Opener       Responder
AKQ4
A76
Q43
J54
     
9876
98432
9876
1 NT   Pass   2

The distribution of the responder is either 4-4-4-1 or 4-4-5-0, with a definite void or singleton in the Club suit and at least a 4-card suit in all the higher-ranking three suits. Some bridge players would prefer to transfer the No Trump bidder to a 5-card Major suit and then pass.

However, the No Trump bidder could hold a 2-card suit in that particular Major suit and then the partnership would declare holding only seven trump cards, or a Moysian fit. Therefore, the consensus is that the partnership preferably employ the Garbage Stayman conventional method, which does not exclude the possibility of also playing in a trump suit with only seven cards.

The No trump bidder could hold a distribution of 3-3-3-4, the 4-card suit being Clubs. However, the frequency is greatly reduced by employing the Garbage Stayman conventional method as opposed to the transfer bid to a 5-card suit.

The main objective for the partnership is to disturb the opponents to the extent that they do not enter the auction or compete in any manner, believing that the partnership holds at least half of the points. If the auction allows the responder to employ the Garbage Stayman conventional method, then the opponents have to quickly find a fit on the two level or higher, which can prove difficult. Therefore, the conventional method is more obstructive than constructive in nature.

If the immediate opponent interferes with an overcall of 2 Diamonds or higher, which does not allow the employment of this particular Stayman conventional method, then the responder should pass and defend. However, if there is a direct overcall of 2 Clubs, then the responder can simply double, which initiates the Garbage Stayman conventional method. In addition, if the distribution is 5-4-4-0, and if the overcall allows the responder to transfer to a 5-card Major suit, then the responder can perform this action in competition.

In the Precision bidding system, the principle of the Garbage Stayman is different as shown in the following example:

Opener   Opponent   Responder   Meaning
AK5
A76
Q1043
J54
     
9876
9842
9876
7
 
1 NT   Pass   2  
2           Denial bid showing no 4-card Major suit.
        2   Garbage Stayman promising both 4-card Major suits.

The general No Trump range for an opening in the Precision bidding system is between 13-15 points, and may include a 5-card Club suit only.

Variations on the Theme

The logic of the concept of Garbage Stayman has resulted in several variations proposed by bridge players from within the bridge community. One such variation deals with a distributional shape resulting in an almost classic 4-4 or 5-4 pattern, which includes the Club suit. The bridge student can review one such variation on the website of Unit 559. The bridge student, however, must be made aware of the fact that this Precision-like method can result in declaring a partscore on the three level.

In the presentation of the T-Precision Bridge Bidding System on the online blog spot of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, the argument is made (quoted) that the responder no longer promises invitational values ... and opener can no longer cooperate should there be interference.

 

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.

 


     
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