~Opening 1NT (Stayman Example)

The bid usually shows 15-17 HCP, no 5-card major, no 6-card minor, no singleton or void, and rarely two doubletons.

Responses: modern players prefer that the 1NT bidder play as many of the contracts as possible to keep the strong hand hidden from the defense. In order to cause opener to bid a suit first, experts use the Stayman convention and Jacoby Transfers to cause opener to make the first call in a suit.

Stayman: holding 8-9 HCP and one or two 4-card majors, responder bids 2C over 1NT to ask if opener has a 4-card major. Without such, opener bids 2D. With two 4-card majors, opener bids hearts first. If opener bids the major in which you hold less than 4 cards, bid 2NT (with 10+ HCP, bid 3NT). Opener will know you have 4 cards in the unbid suit.
S AJ76
H KQ54

S KT32
H A65
D Q983
C 65

North opens 1NT and South has enough HCP (8) to invite game. With four spades, South bids 2C to ask if North has a 4-card major. With four cards in both majors, North bids the lower (2H). South has only invitational points, and bids 2NT. North knows that South would not have bid 2C without a 4-card major. If it isn’t hearts, it must be spades. Since North has 17 HCP, partner’s 8-9 should be enough for game most of the time, so North bids 4S. Note that by bidding 2C, South ensures that if  North has a 4-card major, the North hand will be the first to bid the major and will be declarer.


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