The concept behind the conventional method designated as the Stayman convention has been universally adopted by the bridge community and is practically included in every partnership agreement. This concept, this idea has been adopted, revised, altered, expanded, and modified to meet certain requirements of the individual partnerships. The attempt has been made to list these variations below.

The first conventional method on the list is, of course, the Stayman convention, which was employed in the early days of the game of bridge by Mr. Ewart Kempson, 1895-1966, of England and was further developed by Mr. Seca Jascha Skidelsky, or Mr. S. J. Simon, or better known just as Skid, born 1904, in Harbin, Manchuria, and died in the year 1948, to exchange additional information about the holding of partner following an opening of 1 No Trump.

In the following years the principle elements of the concept were further developed independently by Mr. John C.H. Marx, aka Jack, 1907-1991, of England and Mr. George Rapee, 1915-1999, of New York, United States, around 1945, who was the regular bridge partner and friend of Mr. Samuel M. Stayman, 1909-1993. This final version was then first published by Mr. Samuel M. Stayman, who also promoted this concept to and within the bridge community, and was henceforth known as the Stayman convention.


Stayman Convention
This is a conventional method of allowing the responder to a No Trump opening by partner to inquire about a 4-card Major. The advantage to this almost universally accepted method is the resulting score. The concept is named for Mr. Samuel M. Stayman, who was instrumental in promulgating the principles of this method. Included are the technical differences between Forcing and Non-Forcing Stayman.

Variations of the Stayman Concept

All following conventional methods are deemed to be variations upon the original concept. The concept has been varied to communicate the holding of the responder and also of the No Trump bidder more exactly regarding length, strength, and general distribution. Since the possible distribution of the responder can range in shape from 13-0-0-0 to 3-3-3-4, the number of variations upon this theme can be numerous. The distributional pattern of the No Trump bidder can also range from 6-2-2-3 to also 3-3-3-4. The range of the No Trump bidder can be between 10 high card points to generally a maximum number of 18 high card points and depending on the range the No Trump bidder can convey certain ranges to the responder via steps, controls, or super-acceptance bids, etc.

The bridge student should be prudent and review many of the various response methods, which can be employed, so as to become acquainted with these methods in order to recognize them when employed by the opponents. In this manner the bridge student can be better armed and prepared with information, which could result in a higher frequency of possibly entering the competitive auction.

Absy Convention
This conventional method is a variation of the Stayman convention and was devised and developed by Mr. Rafael Absy of Argentina. The concept includes the capability to show a 4-card Major suit, deny any 4-card Major suit, or show both 4-card Major suits, and to communicate minimum or maximum values of the No Trump range.

August Two Diamonds - August 2 Diamonds
This conventional method was devised by Mr. William J. August, who was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, United States. After a No Trump opening by partner, the August 2 Diamonds convention is designed to show a weak holding of a 4-card Major suit and a 5-card Minor suit. It is considered to be a variation of Two Way Stayman.

Australian Stayman
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. As the designation contains the name of a country even questions directed to the Australian Bridge Federation provides no plausible origin. However, since the country of Australia consists of seven different bridge associations and federations it is quite apparent that the knowledge about the origin of this conventional method shall remain unknown until a bridge player steps forward and claims ownership.

Back Door Stayman
This concept allows the partnership not only to find a 4-4 fit in a Major suit, but also a possible 4-3 fit in a Major suit.

Checkback Stayman by the Responder
This .pdf file has been written and contributed by Mr. Marvin French of San Diego, California, United States. It represents a thorough explanation of this conventional method and employs illustrative examples demonstrating auctions and situations, in which the conventional method is used. We are very grateful to Mr. Marvin French for his contribution. The .pdf file will be automatically be opened by your browser in a new window.

Checkback Stayman by the Responder Following a 2 No Trump Rebid
A conventional method has been devised by Mr. Peter (Pete) Matthews and been posted online as of October 31, 2012. This expansion provides continuations for checking back with partner if a Major suit has been jumped in order to show strength first. This is a .pdf file and will open automatically.

Crawling Stayman
The designation of this conventional method is sometimes also referred to as Creeping Stayman. The concept behind this conventional method is the employment of two other conventional methods in the partnership agreement of Non-Forcing Stayman and the Jacoby Transfer method. It is mainly employed when the responder has a weak holding and decides that the partnership has a better chance in a suit contract rather than in a No Trump contract.

Double Barreled Stayman
Double Barreled Stayman allows the partnership a two-way communication method of describing the responder's holding. The foundation of the concept is that both Minor suits are employed as a response to a 1 No Trump opening by partner to communicate different information.

Efos Extended Stayman
Efos is an acronym for Economical Forcing System, which is used in international championships. This conventional method allows a partnership to find 4-4 and 5-3 Major fits, as well as Minor suit fits. Efos Extended Stayman may be used to search for Major and Minor suit fits after a strong No Trump opening. The concept is reported to have originated with Mr. Eric Jannersten.

Extended Stayman Convention
The concept is based on the idea of showing the strength of the opener on the second round of the auction. Once the asking bid of 2 Clubs, or Extended Stayman, is bid by the responder, then the opener will communicate minimum or maximum values, and also shape to the partner. The Extended Stayman version / variation is only applicable for game contracts as opposed to partscore contracts.

Variation of Extended Stayman by Ron Klinger
According to Mr. Ronald (Ron) Denny Klinger, a bridge expert, prolific author of bridge publications, and theoretician of the highest caliber, the concept behind the Extended Stayman conventional method has some drawbacks in that it becomes limited to an opening of No Trump. Mr. Ron Klinger adapted the concept to include similar responses if the opener begins the auction with a suit bid and then rebids No Trump.

Extension of Extended Stayman
The origin of this variation of the Stayman convention is unknown. It is designated as an extension of the Extended Stayman conventional method. The partnership agreement is to first employ the Stayman conventional method after partner opens 1 No Trump. If, and only if, the first rebid by the No Trump bidder is 2 Diamonds, the denial bid showing no 4-card Major suit, does the Extension of Extended Stayman take effect.

Five Card Stayman
This designation must not be confused with the identical and older designation of / for Puppet Stayman or with the concept of Puppet Stayman. The variation has been devised to be employed when the partnership does not include any kind of transfers in the partnership agreement. This conventional method is also not employed after an immediate overcall by an opponent, regardless of the level. The concept is used to find a 5-card Major suit after one partner has opened the auction with 1 No Trump.

Garbage Stayman
A variation of the Stayman conventional method, which allows the responder to initiate the Stayman convention with 0-7 points and a unique distributional shape. Also known as Drop Dead Stayman.

Jacoby Transfers and Stayman Combined
The origin is unknown. The concept of this conventional method is to provide a method to show the No Trump bidder a 5-4 or 4-5 distribution in both Major suits.

Keri Stayman
This concept for responding to a 1 No Trump opening bid by partner was developed by Mr. Ron Klinger. The designation is an abbreviation for Klinger Extension and Range Inquiries.

Note: This presentation was compiled by Mr. Daniel Neill and Mr. Josh Sher. It is presented in a .pdf file format and will be opened automatically in a new window by your browser.

Maltais Convention
This conventional method was devised and developed by Mr. Raoul Maltais of Kenogami, Quebec, Canada. The concept is also known as and designated as Stayman After Overcall.

Minor Suit Stayman
This convention, a variation of the Jacoby Transfer originally devised by Mr. Oswald Jacoby, is used by the responder whose partner has opened the bidding with 1 No Trump. The Minor Suit Stayman conventional method was devised for specifically three types of holdings held by the responder, and which will be determined during the ensuing auction.

Muppet Stayman
Also known as Puppet In Puppet, this is a concept devised by Mr. Bill Jacobs and published in the Victorian Bridge Association Bulletin in April 2009 with additional continuations in the Victorian Bridge Association Bulletin in March 2010. The heading is: System Corner: Puppet In Puppet. This conventional treatment serves to find a particular distribution in both Major suits following a 2 No Trump opening bid by partner. This presentation is taken directly from the two VBA Bulletins and is presented in .pdf file format for the convenience of the reader.

Note: Several variations have been conceived and it would be prudent for the bridge student to search online for other modifications or versions. One modification, which is an individual partnership agreement, is that the concept can also be employed following a 1 No Trump opening, which would show fewer than game values if necessary.

Murray Two Diamonds - Murray 2 Diamonds
The Murray Two Diamonds convention was devised by Mr. Eric Rutherford Murray and is similar to the Two Way Stayman concept. After one partner opens the auction with 1 No Trump, the partner, with a holding such as the following, must bid 2 Diamonds.

The New Improved Stayman Convention
The concept of the Stayman conventional method was revised and/or improved by Mr. Easley Blackwood in his publication Blackwood On Bidding, in association with Mr. Stanley Mc Comas, published 1956 by The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, and New York, New York, Chapter 17, pages 123 - 127, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 56-13044.

New South Wales System 1970
This conventional method was devised and developed by Mr. Richard John Cummings, (aka Dick Cummings), and Mr. Thomas Peter Seres, (aka Tim Seres), both of Sydney, Australia. The conventional method is employed by the responder following a No Trump opening by partner. The range of the No Trump opening bid is regarded as being strong with values between 15 and 18 points, and is a variation on the Stayman concept.

Non-Forcing Stayman - Forcing Stayman - Two Way Stayman
The concepts of the non-forcing Stayman principle and the forcing Stayman principle are presented. The forcing Stayman principle was introduced following the popularity of the Precision bidding systems and all variations thereof. The reason is that such bidding systems allow No Trump ranges between 10 points and 15 points. Disallowed by sponsoring organizations, however, are transfer bids following a No Trump bid with this range.

Puppet Stayman
A Stayman-esque method to discover whether the No Trump bidder has opened with a 5-card Major suit.

Puppet Stayman
This is a variation of Puppet Stayman devised by Mr. Justin Lall and posted on his website on September 7, 2011. The responses vary in the sense that they not only include the normal Stayman response, plus the transfer bids, and the Four Suit Transfer bids to the Minor suits, but also frist responses on the three level to show a certain distribution on the three level.

Puppet Stayman Alternative
This alternate version of the Puppet Stayman conventional method was posted online by Mr. Gerben Dirksen of Tübingen, Germany.

Size-Ask Puppet Stayman
This is a feature of GUS, Granovetter Unified System, developed by Mr. Matthew Granovetter with assistance from Pamela Granovetter. The Granovetter Unified System is based on a strong, artificial 1 Club opening bid. When opening a 1 No Trump bid, however, this opening bid usually promises a range of 14 plus to 16 points, but may also indicate a range between 12-13 points plus a 5-card Major suit and an otherwise balanced holding. The employment by the responder of 2 Clubs (size-ask Puppet Stayman) allows the No Trump bidding partner to reveal whether the range is indeed 12-13 points with a 5-card Major suit and a balanced holding. Any other rebid than a Major suit rebid promises a full No Trump bid with the agreed range of 14 plus to 16 points.

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

Sharples Convention
The Sharples convention is a method of responding to a No Trump opening when the responder holds only one 4-card Major and one or both 4-card Minor suits. This concept was devised by Mr. James (Jim) Watson Sharples, born in May 1908 and died October 3, 1985, and his twin brother Mr. Robert (Bob) Boake Sharples, born in the year 1908 and died in September 1999, both of Caterham, England. The Sharples conventional method is an extension of the Stayman convention and allows the partnership to explore first of all for a fit in a Major suit, and, if no fit is found, then to attempt to find a fit in a Minor suit.

Slam Try Stayman
A variation of the Stayman convention which allows the responder to bid 2 Diamonds to indicate interest in slam.

Spring Stayman
Generally played in France this concept allows the partnership to determine more accurately the distributional holding of the No Trump bidder, even the distribution of the Minor suits since the concept can also allow the discovery of a 4-4 or 5-4 Minor suit fit.

Stayman and The Minor Suits
This variation of the Stayman convention deals with long Minor suits and how to bid them.

Stayman On The Second Round
This method is employed on the second round once a partner has made a certain No Trump rebid. This concept can only be applied to bidding sequences, in which No Trump is a rebid. Unofficial designations can also be Puppet Stayman On The Second Round or Checkback Puppet Stayman.

Stayman Showing Stoppers
In certain partnership agreements the idle bid of 2 Diamonds is used as a method of discovering whether the partnership has the Major suits stopped for a final contract in No Trump.

Stayman After a 2 No Trump Opening
This partnership understanding allows the partnership to determine whether only a partscore is possible and also whether only game or slam is possible by the use of the first responses in the Minor suits.

Stayman In Doubt
This variation of the Stayman conventional method is employed when the responder holds game values, has found a Major suit fit with partner, but remains uncertain as to whether a game contract in No Trump or the Major suit is preferable.

Strength Showing Stayman
This variation of the Stayman conventional method is generally used when the partnership has agreed to open a strong No Trump with a point range between 16-18 points and balanced distribution. The No Trump bidder can show either minimum or maximum strength first before bidding a possible 4-card Major suit.

Texas Convention
This conventional method was devised by Mr. David C. Carter of St. Louis, Missouri, United States, born in the year 1906, (Source: OEofB, 1976, page 600), and also independently by Mr. Olle Willner, born in the year 1923, of Stockholm, Sweden, which he described in the Swedish bridge magazine Bridge Tidningen. He published a series of articles beginning at the end of the year 1953 and ending early in the year 1954. In order to understand the origins it must be stated that the two mentioned bridge experts devised the concept to easily accommodate certain bidding sequences with certain bidding guidelines.

Trash Stayman
The origin of this variation of the Stayman convention is unknown. Judging by the evidence it appears that the bridge community itself devised bidding sequences to show certain distributional patterns to overcome certain bidding problems. Trash Stayman is a treatment employed by holdings, which do not contain game values, and which have a certain distribution. These distributional patterns are defined as: 4-4-4-1, 3-4-5-1, 4-3-5-1, 4-4-5-0, 3-3-6-1, 3-4-6-0, and 4-3-6-0.

Three-Level Response Scheme
The origin of this variation of the response scheme is unknown. In many response methods to a 1 No Trump opening bid by partner any suit bid on the three-level has no definite interpretation. This situation was altered with the introduction of concept that the responder could show both weak and strong values and also a two-suited holding.

Two Way Checkback Stayman
The following web presentation on this site is a copy of the original as described on the website of Mr. Jeff Goldsmith. This information has only been archived and preserved on this site for future reference. The web article is dated April 15, 1996.

Weissberger Convention
The Weissberger method is a conventional variation of the Stayman conventional method. The concept behind this variation evolved within the Acol bidding system and was devised by Mr. Alan Truscott, Mr. John Pressburger and Mr. Maurice Weissberger, after whom the conventional variation was named.



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.