The origin of this conventional method is unknown, but the concept has become popular in certain bidding circumstances. The concept is applied in the fourth seat following two passes, which means that the Range Stayman becomes a balancing feature.

No Trump Ranges

In general all partnership agreements have a pre-determined No Trump range, which may or may not change according to certain circumstances such as the state of vulnerability or whether the opening bid by the opposing side is a Minor suit or a Major suit.

The employment of Range Stayman requires that the partnership employ multiple No Trump ranges depending on whether the bid is made following a Minor suit opening bid by the opposing side or a Major suit opening bid. However, the range of the balancing No Trump can have a larger range, which is to be determined by continuations by the advancer.


Note: In balancing in fourth seat it is also strongly expected, but not mandatory, that the No Trump bidder hold at least one stopper in the suit bid by the opposing side.

Note: The balancing Range Stayman principle is considered one-round forcing. The advancer must bid if the responder passes. However, if the responder competes following a first round pass, then the advancer may pass and permit the No Trump bidder to either compete by defending or continue to clarify the holding.


In general, using the Range Stayman concept over a Minor suit opening promises a range between 11-14 high card points. However, the advancer must allow the balancing No Trump bidder to clarify this range with a rebid.

Example 1
North   East   South   West
1 /   Pass   Pass   1 NT

In general, using the Range Stayman concept over a Major suit opening promises a range between 11-16 high card points. However, the advancer must allow the balancing No Trump bidder to clarify this range with a rebid.

Example 2
North   East   South   West
1 /   Pass   Pass   1 NT

In order to show a standard No Trump range of 15-17/18 high card points, the balancing fourth seat doubles first and then rebids No Trump at the lowest level.

Example 3
North   East   South   West
1 ///   Pass   Pass   Double
Pass   1 or 2 (x)   Pass   (x) NT

Continuations by the Advancer

The following outline clarifies the possible promised ranges after a Major suit opening. Since the 1 No Trump balancing No Trump bid is forcing, the partner must respond as cheaply as possible in order to discover the range held.

North   East   South   West   Meaning
1   Pass   Pass   1 NT   Range undetermined; one round forcing.
Pass   2           Asks partner to announce range.
        Pass   2 /   Any possible suit response promises 11-13 high card points.
            2 NT   This response promises a maximum of 14-16 high card points.
    Continuations by Advancer following a strong No Trump Response
Pass   3           This is the normal Stayman convention.
        Pass   3   Promises a 4-card Heart suit.
        Pass   3   Promises a 4-card Spade suit.

In the example above, East must have sufficient values to bid on the three level if East wishes a continuation of the auction. Otherwise, East should sign off at the earliest opportunity, but may not pass any range-showing responses since they are completely artificial.

The following example may illustrate as to how a game contract can be reached despite an opening bid by the opposing side.

North   East   South   West
1   Pass   Pass   1 NT
Pass   2 (1)   Pass   2 NT (2)
Pass   3 (3)   Pass   3
Pass   4   Pass   Pass

The 1 No Trump bid by West in the balancing seat is the Range Stayman concept and promise a range of 11 to 16 high card points, a Spade stopper, and a balanced to semi-balanced holding. East, the partner must make the cheapest bid of 2 (1), in order to discover whether the range shows either minimum values or maximum values.

The rebid of 2 NT (2), informs East that the range is maximum between 14 to 16 high card points. In order not to miss the possible fit in Hearts, East then rebids 3 (3), which is normal Stayman. West responds that a 4-card Heart suit is held, and East then bids game in Hearts.

Play: The play by West is made easier as declarer since all the outstanding values are known to be held by North, who opened the auction.



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.