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Stayman or Transfers with both majors Which structure should be taught?

#1 User is offline   Wainfleet 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 01:58

We have a teaching group of 'improvers'(Acol) and want to extend their use of Stayman and Transfers to include 5-4 and 5-5 major holdings. There are different schemes and differences of opinion as to which one should be recommended /taught. (We don't want to introduce any new devices such as Smolen at this stage)
One scheme that Andrew Robson and others advocate for all responder hands is: Stayman with all 5-4 hands - Transfers with all 5-5 hands (except Stayman with 5-5 weak). It has a weakness in that you can't invite game with 5-4. Other schemes I have looked at have weaknesses in other areas. If you use transfers with 5-4 I don't think you can differentiate between 5-4 and 5-5 holdings.
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#2 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 02:39

Stayman continuations are a mess and people even play custom followups over Jacoby transfers. I feel like almost regardless of what you pick, the students are going to want to change it up later. So pick something that's simple and doesn't end up forming a lot of baggage. If someone claims to have a very good solution to your problem my first reaction is to be very wary - there's so many custom Stayman versions out there, don't buy into one just because someone else likes it.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 03:05

What we do:

5-4s no game ambitions opposite no 4M go through stayman. We have the agreement that 1N-2-2-2 we bid 2 with 3-2 in the majors as we occasionally do this when 4-4 and very weak

5-4 inv+ we transfer, it is viable to stayman and bid 3 of your 5M over 2 with the inv hand or the Forcing one

5-5 we bid 4 directly if to play in game or definitely continuing, 2 then 3 then 4 is a mildish slam invite, with the weak hand we usually stayman then bid 2 (knowing partner will correct as above)

This structure is slightly unusual because we use 1N-2-2-3M as something unrelated to holding both majors.
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#4 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 05:46

I find that beginners, and intermediates, respond best when a method is advocated by Andrew Robson. It may not be perfect but it will always be reasonable for their level.
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I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
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#5 User is offline   ali quarg 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 08:51

As an improver I was always interested in the options, but am surprised that just because something has a name like 'Smolen' you don't want to teach it.
At the end of the day it should be your judgement as a teacher as to what to promote (probably something you would play yourself), while comparing and contrasting various approaches, their strengths/weaknesses can be beneficial as a teaching tool.

I open all balanced 15-17 hands with 1NT as I like to limit strength as this makes other sequences more precise. A decent Puppet Stayman can then be used to find the 8 card fits.
This approach may be more of an issue for a Weak NT, but the principles are the same and the 5-card suit can be a bonus.
For me I would want Puppet Stayman over 2NT openings so why not over 1NT. This approach maintains an overall philosophy and was easy to grasp for improvers like myself

For me 5 & 4/5 is conceptually the easiest to teach as it can have a simple sequence which starts with a transfer i.e.
1NT-2 5+
2-2 GI+ 4+
2/3NT (GI/GF shows 2) responder can pass with 4 or bid with 5.
You can add a wrinkle in that say SI hands can bid 3 directly showing exactly 4.

With 4 & 5 I use a Puppet Stayman such that
1NT-2
2/3NT shows 3 & 2 exactly.
while
1NT-2
2 (no 5cm)-3/4 shows the 45 hand with the 8-card Major fit now being guaranteed.
There is a similar wrinkle for SI hands in that you can transfer to first and then bid 3

This is the stage I have reached at the moment, but over time it may well change.
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#6 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 09:05

View Postali quarg, on 2022-May-07, 08:51, said:

As an improver I was always interested in the options, but am surprised that just because something has a name like 'Smolen' you don't want to teach it.
At the end of the day it should be your judgement as a teacher as to what to promote (probably something you would play yourself), while comparing and contrasting various approaches, their strengths/weaknesses can be beneficial as a teaching tool.

I open all balanced 15-17 hands with 1NT as I like to limit strength as this makes other sequences more precise. A decent Puppet Stayman can then be used to find the 8 card fits.
This approach may be more of an issue for a Weak NT, but the principles are the same and the 5-card suit can be a bonus.
For me I would want Puppet Stayman over 2NT openings so why not over 1NT. This approach maintains an overall philosophy and was easy to grasp for improvers like myself

For me 5 & 4/5 is conceptually the easiest to teach as it can have a simple sequence which starts with a transfer i.e.
1NT-2 5+
2-2 GI+ 4+
2/3NT (GI/GF shows 2) responder can pass with 4 or bid with 5.
You can add a wrinkle in that say SI hands can bid 3 directly showing exactly 4.

With 4 & 5 I use a Puppet Stayman such that
1NT-2
2/3NT shows 3 & 2 exactly.
while
1NT-2
2 (no 5cm)-3/4 shows the 45 hand with the 8-card Major fit now being guaranteed.
There is a similar wrinkle for SI hands in that you can transfer to first and then bid 3

This is the stage I have reached at the moment, but over time it may well change.


Over the weak no trump that most Acol players play, this is terrible, you need garbage stayman, more reasonable over a strong NT
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#7 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 10:32

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-07, 09:05, said:

Over the weak no trump that most Acol players play, this is terrible, you need garbage stayman, more reasonable over a strong NT

Do you know how often garbage Stayman is useful and isn't a Weak 1NT meant to be pre-emptive anyway?

I guess you still have a Garbage Stayman of sorts for and transfers sort out the Weak 5+M?
1NT-X and you should have an escape sequence?
When your 1NT is 3325 you will still struggle compared to just playing in 1NT
So this leaves the really Weak hands with 1NT-x-? when perhaps 4th seat should be balancing anyway.

I'm the oddity in a club where most play Acol and I occasionally see the 2 response being passed, but can't recall a happy ending in the Major for the opponents

As an alternative over a Weak NT I can suggest transfer and then 4M for GF hands and Stayman followed by a Quest transfer for GI hands. This leaves garbage Stayman in place? and is straightforward to teach. https://bridge.fando.../Quest_transfer
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#8 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 12:56

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-May-07, 10:32, said:

Do you know how often garbage Stayman is useful and isn't a Weak 1NT meant to be pre-emptive anyway?

I guess you still have a Garbage Stayman of sorts for and transfers sort out the Weak 5+M?
1NT-X and you should have an escape sequence?
When your 1NT is 3325 you will still struggle compared to just playing in 1NT
So this leaves the really Weak hands with 1NT-x-? when perhaps 4th seat should be balancing anyway.

I'm the oddity in a club where most play Acol and I occasionally see the 2 response being passed, but can't recall a happy ending in the Major for the opponents

As an alternative over a Weak NT I can suggest transfer and then 4M for GF hands and Stayman followed by a Quest transfer for GI hands. This leaves garbage Stayman in place? and is straightforward to teach. https://bridge.fando.../Quest_transfer


It's most useful when you are say 5-4 in the majors and partner is 2-4 or even 2533, if you have to transfer you bury the heart fit.

1N-X we play comnpletely different methods.

When 1N is 3325 there is no problem, we only move when 44 if very weak and 2 often plays as well as 1N, often better.
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#9 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 19:04

My preference would be that all major weak two suiters (5-4 either way or 5-5) go through Stayman. GF 5-4 majors go through Stayman and Smolen (if you don't want Smolen, I won't fight too hard). Invitational 5-4s transfer and then bid the other suit. Invitational or stronger 5-5s respond 3. As for Andrew Robson, who's he? B-)
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#10 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 17:15

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-07, 09:05, said:

Over the weak no trump that most Acol players play, this is terrible, you need garbage stayman, more reasonable over a strong NT

Playing standard, you can bid Exit Stayman with 4+, 3+ and 3+. Playing Puppet you can bid Exit Stayman with 5+, 2+ and 2+. It is more or less a wash but if anything the edge is with Puppet here. A Puppet scheme is surely not the solution to the OP though, who specifically mentions not wanting to introduce any new devices.
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#11 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 12:13

"Exit Stayman"? Never heard of it.
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#12 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 12:19

View PostWainfleet, on 2022-May-07, 01:58, said:

If you use transfers with 5-4 I don't think you can differentiate between 5-4 and 5-5 holdings.

Yes you can. Well, except weak holdings, maybe.

Weak (54) or 55 starts with Stayman. Over 2, bid 2 (2 would be invitational with five spades).
Invitational (54) transfers to the five card major and bids the four card major.
Game forcing with (54) starts with Stayman and bids the four card at the three level over 2.
Invitational or better with 55 bids 3 over 1NT.
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#13 User is offline   ali quarg 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 13:49

View Postblackshoe, on 2022-May-11, 12:19, said:

Yes you can. Well, except weak holdings, maybe.

Weak (54) or 55 starts with Stayman. Over 2, bid 2 (2 would be invitational with five spades).
Invitational (54) transfers to the five card major and bids the four card major.
Game forcing with (54) starts with Stayman and bids the four card at the three level over 2.
Invitational or better with 55 bids 3 over 1NT.

Never quite understood why 3 needs to be used with 55 when 2-2-2 does the trick for both 54 & 55 GI+. A NT bid denies 3 so must have 3 when balanced. A raise to 3/4 or a cue bid to show slam interest in seems to do the job. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 14:51

"Needs" is not an appropriate word. As Kipling told us "there are nine and sixty ways, of constructing tribal lays, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS RIGHT!" B-)
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#15 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 16:27

View Postali quarg, on 2022-May-11, 13:49, said:

A NT bid denies 3 so must have 3 when balanced.
You must be new here.
But sure, transfer to hearts then bid spades with somewhat ambiguous spade length works. Just like any of the other alternatives also works.
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#16 User is offline   ali quarg 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 18:13

View Postblackshoe, on 2022-May-11, 14:51, said:

"Needs" is not an appropriate word. As Kipling told us "there are nine and sixty ways, of constructing tribal lays, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS RIGHT!" B-)

OK
So in the non-Neolithic Age what use 3 says the sage?😬
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#17 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 02:03

View Postali quarg, on 2022-May-11, 18:13, said:

OK
So in the non-Neolithic Age what use 3 says the sage?��


If you don't use 4 suit transfers as we don't, 1N-3 is natural and forcing this is pretty common in the UK among club players and some better onbes.
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#18 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 03:13

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-12, 02:03, said:

If you don't use 4 suit transfers as we don't, 1N-3 is natural and forcing this is pretty common in the UK among club players and some better onbes.

I use 4-way transfers as I like the super-accepts
1NT-3 being 4441 short or
1NT-3 being 4441 short or
1NT-3 3154
1NT-3 1354
all GF
Any other proposals worth considering?
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#19 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 05:38

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-May-12, 03:13, said:

Any other proposals worth considering?
Why yes, there are.

1) 2 range ask or clubs, 2NT Puppet Stayman, 3 diamonds weak or GF, 3 NF invitational.
2) 2 transfer to clubs, 2NT transfer to diamonds, 3 Puppet Stayman, 3 exactly invitational with 6(+)M
3) 2 range ask or clubs, 2NT asks small doubleton (usually invitational with a long minor, superior to transfer with superaccepts), 3 weak diamonds or (4441) with the singleton outside clubs, 3 multi-invite as above (part of HEEMAN)
4) 2 transfer to clubs, 2NT transfer to diamonds, 3 minor suit Stayman (responses are 3 = 'I have a 5cm', 3 = 4 clubs, may have 4 diamonds, 3 = 4 diamonds, at most 3 clubs, 3NT = no 4cm. 3 shows a slam try in a minor), 3 5-5 majors.

You can mix and match as well if you like. I'm sure there's more I've missed. For what it's worth, I don't like any of them ;)
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#20 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-May-13, 02:40

View Postblackshoe, on 2022-May-11, 12:13, said:

"Exit Stayman"? Never heard of it.

It just means bidding 2 and passing the response. The problem is that Garbage Stayman is used interchangeably both for this and for Crawling Stayman - bidding 2 and following with a natural non-forcing call (most often 2) showing 2 places to play.
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