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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 a weak hand containing a 5-card major (e.g. 5-4-4-0 shape) should simply use a Jacoby Transfer instead.

Some examples of hands suitable for a Garbage Stayman response:

ST987
HA984
D87532
C--
SQ653
HQ432
DT975
CJ
SJ872
HJT4
D86543
C9


With each of these hands, responder bids 2C like 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 denies a 4-card major.


Opener's Rebids

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

Opener's Rebid Meaning
2DDenies 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

Examples

WestEast
T3S8652
HAQ82KT93
DKJ78654
CKQT52

West    
1NT
2

North    
Pass
Pass

East    
2
All Pass

South    
Pass


This is the textbook hand that Garbage Stayman attempts to solve. You can cheaply find your 4-4 major suit fit rather than languish in 1NT.


WestEast
KT95SJ87
HAK3Q642
DA5K9873
CQJT92

West    
1NT
2

North    
Pass
Pass

East    
2
All Pass

South    
Pass


On the other hand, you may also create some sticky situations with imperfect shape. Here 1NT was an acceptable contract but 2S will require some maneuvering.

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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