Interesting Gadgets

This chapter describes a variety of interesting gadgets you might see, or wish to adopt. Many gadgets outside the standard ones have one or more variants. If something here sparks your interest, you may wish to do further research.

Showing Both Majors in Stayman

Having 4-4 majors and a maximal 1N opener, opener bids 3♣ as a response to Stayman. Responder then transfers to their suit (or best suit).

1N 2♣ 3♣!(max, 4-4 majors) 3♦!(transfer) 3♥

1N 2♣ 3♣!(max, 4-4 majors) 3♥!(transfer) 3♠

After this, responder can pass, bid the game, or explore for slam as appropriate.


Stayman with a poor hand short in clubs is no longer available.

South African Texas

South African Texas is similar to Texas: 4♣ transfers to 4♥, 4♦ transfers to 4♠. This leaves 4♥ and 4♠ as natural and to play. Why have two ways to end up in the same place? Responder can choose to be the declarer if he has the kind of hand that would be better having the lead come into it in the side suits.

Montreal Relays

This was invented by someone who went crazy trying to tell if responder has four or five of his major over a 1♣ opening. Responder does not bid a four-card major; instead , he bids an artificial 1♦. Responses of 1♥ or 1♠ show five card suits. A responder with 5 hearts and 5 spades bids 1♥.

A response of 1♦ shows enough values to respond but is otherwise artificial. Opener’s rebids after 1♣ - 1♦!(artificial, no five-card major):

  • 1♥ promises 4 hearts, does not deny 4 spades
  • 1♠ promises 4 spades, denies 4 hearts
  • 1N denies a four-card major, denies six clubs
  • 2♣ shows six clubs
  • 2N is 17-18 balanced (as usual).
  • 2♦, 2♥, and 2♠ are normal reverses.

Some play this convention with additional 3-level splinter conventions. It is off in competition.


Namyats is Stayman spelled backwards. Apparently this amazing fact is supposed to help you remember what it means. Doesn’t work for me, but maybe it does for you. Samuel Stayman didn’t invent either Stayman or Namyats!

An opening bid of 4♣ is a strong hand with an 8-card heart suit. Likewise, 4♦ is a stronghand in spades. This leaves opening the majors at the 4-level as weak bids with no slam interest. Generally the distinction is that you use Namyats with a hand with no more than five losers.

If the responder wishes the opener to become the declarer, or has slam interest, he can temporize with the intervening suit, e.g.

  • 4♦!(transfer to 4♠) - 4♥!(transfer to 4♠).

To accept the Namyats transfer is a sign-off.

An opening bid of 3N! shows a hand that would have preempted in 4♣ or 4♦; partner usually bids 4♣! pass or correct.

There are more complicated agreements about follow-ups, but that’s the basics.