Garbage Stayman is a rare but fun little variation of the Stayman convention. After a 1NT opening by partner, a 2C response shows a weak 3-suited hand that's short in clubs. Playing a strong 15-17 1NT, Garbage Stayman shows 0-7 points. The ideal distribution is 4-4-4-1 or 4-4-5-0, although 3-4-5-1 or 4-3-5-1 is also okay. Note that with a weak hand containing a 5-card major (e.g. 5-4-4-0 shape), responder should simply use a Jacoby Transfer instead.

Some examples of hands suitable for a Garbage Stayman response:


With each of these hands, responder bids 2C like in regular Stayman. However, responder intends to pass at his next turn. The idea is that the partnership will either locate an 8-card major suit fit, or a probable 8-card diamond fit if opener does not have a 4-card major.

Opener's Rebids

Opener's rebids are the same as in regular Stayman:

  • 2D - Denies a 4-card major
  • 2H - Shows 4 (or rarely 5) hearts, and may have 4 spades
  • 2S - Shows 4 (or rarely 5) spades, and shows fewer than 4 hearts

See also

  • Crawling Stayman
    A convention for showing a weak hand with 4-4 shape in the majors.

  • Double-Barreled Stayman
    A convention for distinguishing non-forcing and forcing Stayman hands.

  • Keri Response to 1NT
    A scientific alternative to Stayman by expert Ron Klinger.

  • Minor Suit Stayman
    A method of showing 4-4 shape or better in the minors.

  • Puppet Stayman
    A variant of Stayman for identifying 5-3 major-suit fits.

  • Smolen
    An extension of Stayman for showing 5-4 shape in the majors.

  • Stayman
    The original convention for responding to 1NT to find a 4-4 major-suit fit.


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