None vulnerable

None vulnerable

Bidding Stayman convention

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

The bidding: North with 16 points and a balanced hand opens one notrump.

When one’s partner has opened one notrump, the responder places his hand in one of four ranges. With zero to seven high card points, the responder is looking for a safe place to play at the lowest possible level. Eight to nine is the invitational to game range. Ten to 15 is the game range and 16 plus is the slam range.

South has enough points for game and has two four card majors so he uses Stayman. South bids two clubs and West doubles for a club lead. This may seem like a fine double but West has no meat to the suit after the ace and king are gone. You can decide how good a lead direct double this was after seeing the result at the end of this column.

North redoubles telling partner they are playing in two clubs redoubled.

The Lead: West hardly wants to help declarer with his tasking of drawing trump so he does not lead trump. He makes the safe lead of top of touching honours in diamonds. West leads the queen of diamonds.

The play: Declarer wins the ace and plays the queen of trump. West wins and plays the ten of diamonds. He started with the top of the sequence and continued with the bottom of the sequence so partner knows where the jack is. So does declarer. The person who makes a lead directive double should also have outside entries. Declarer will not be surprised that West has most of the outstanding points.

Declarer wins the king and plays another trump. East shows out. West wins the ace of clubs and cashes the jack of diamonds and exits a spade. There is no sense helping declarer with transportation in hearts.  Declarer wins the king of spades and draws the rest of the trump, takes the winning heart finesse and claims.

The Result: South loses no spades, no hearts, one diamond and two clubs making four clubs. He gets 4×40 + 100 (for insult) + 300 (for game) + 200 x 2 (redoubled overtricks) for a grand total of 960.

This is clearly better than what North and South can make undoubled with the same hands. The lead direct double should tell partner of a good lead and should have enough substance to it as well to beat a two club redoubled contract.


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