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Namyats is a convention for distinguishing weak and strong 4/ opening bids. It uses 4 and 4D opening bids to show strong hands with hearts and spades, respectively. This can help responder gauge his hand when considering whether to bid. The philosophy is that improving your slam-sniffing toolset is more important than 4-level minor suit preempts (the latter often inviting the opponents to bid 4-of-a-major anyway).


Opener's Bids

Opening Meaning
47+ strong hearts and 8-9 tricks. Example: AJ KQJT9432 KQ 3
47+ strong spades and 8-9 tricks. Example: AKQT876 K5 A2 63
47+ hearts and 7-8 tricks. Weaker than 4. Example: 98 AQT87532 A J3
47+ spades and 7-8 tricks. Weaker than 4. Example: AKJ65432 Q32 J T


Note that other opening bids are also possible with similar one-suited hands:

Opening Meaning
1/Natural. Used when the hand is too weak to open at the 4-level (e.g. only a 5-card major suit).
2Playing Standard American methods, this is strong and artificial. Used when the hand is too strong to use Namyats.
2/Playing Standard American methods, these bids are weak two-bids - preemptive.
3/Playing Standard American methods, these bids are also preemptive.


Responder's Bids

In response to 4:

Response Meaning
4 Artificial relay, showing slam interest in hearts. Opener is expected to clarify his hand.
4Signoff, showing no interest in slam. Opener is expected to pass.
4 Natural, showing a big one-suited hand in spades. Very rare. Not forcing.


In response to 4:


In response to any 4-level opening bid:

Responder may make a conventional reply like 4NT Blackwood, 5NT Grand Slam Force, etc. These responses are based on partnership agreement.


Opener's Rebids

There are many flavors of Namyats used after a 4/ relay. The simplest approach is:

  • After a 4/ relay from responder, a 4/ bid by opener is a natural signoff.
  • All other bids are natural or follow partnership agreements (e.g. cue bids, 4NT Blackwood, etc.).


In Competition

Typically, a double by the opponents of 4/ either shows, respectively:

  • clubs or diamonds, OR
  • a takeout double of opener's suit (hearts or spades)

For the latter, a redouble indicates general high-card values with interest in penalizing the opponents. It implies lack of support for partner's suit.

Conventional Namyats responses over a double are still on.

Responder's bids are natural over any overcall.


Examples

Bid Meaning
4Artificial relay, showing slam interest in spades. Opener is expected to clarify his hand.
4 Signoff, showing no interest in slam. Opener is expected to pass.
OpenerResponder
AKJT9872S3
HA9KQJ873
DJT98
CK5643

Opener
4 (1)
Pass

Responder
4 (2)

  1. 4 shows 7+ strong spades and 8-9 tricks.
  2. 4 is a signoff.


OpenerResponder
62SKT5
HAKJT9875Q63
DJKQT3
CK5AJT

Opener
4 (1)
4 (3)

Responder
4 (2)
Pass

  1. 4 shows 7+ strong hearts and 8-9 tricks.
  2. 4 is a relay. With 15 HCP and heart support, responder is interested in slam.
  3. 4 indicates a minimum. Opener only has 8 winners (7.5 hearts, 0.5 clubs).


OpenerResponder
A9SKQ5
HAKJ98742Q63
DJKQT3
CK5AJT

Opener
4 (1)
4 (3)
5 (5)
Pass

Responder
4 (2)
4NT(4)
6 (6)

  1. 4 shows 7+ strong hearts and 8-9 tricks.
  2. 4 is a relay. With 17 HCP and heart support, responder is clearly interested in slam.
  3. 4 is a cuebid. With approximately 9 winners (1 spade, 7.5 hearts, 0.5 clubs), opener is willing to go beyond 4 to probe for slam.
  4. 4NT is Blackwood, asking for aces.
  5. 5 shows two aces.
  6. 6 is a signoff.


Origins

Namyats is "Stayman" spelled backwards. It was invented by Victor Mitchell, who was Sam Stayman's bridge partner in the mid-20th century. Both players dominated the American bridge scene during their era.

See also

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