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Minor-suit Stayman is a convention after a NT opening, indicating at least invitational strength and at least 5-4 in the minors.

In most partnerships, to use MSS over 1NT, bidding 2 initiates the convention. Opener's rebid are as follows:

  • 2NT -- no 4-card minor
  • 3 -- 4-card , may have 4-card
  • 3 -- 4-card , denies 4-card

Responder then may pass, correct to the other minor, return to NT or bid game.

Some people use MSS (2) as either weak and to play, or Forcing to Game or higher. MSS can also be initiatied via 1NT-2NT by partnership agreement if they have a different use for 1NT - 2.

A third possibility of bidding hands with the minors starts by 1NT - 2NT, where 2NT is treated as a transfer to Diamonds but can also hold a really weak 5-5 in the minors hand. Opener bids 3 if (s)he likes Diamonds, and 3 if (s)he doesn't. Responder passes either bid with the minors, and corrects to 3 if Opener happens to bid 3. Then, 1NT - 3 is Invitational MSS, and 1NT - 3 is MSS, but Forcing to Game or higher.

It may also be used over natural 2NT or 3NT openings, but come up rarely over 2NT and are non-existant over 3NT due to many people using 3NT for something else, and the minute probability of holding a balanced hand of 25-27 HCP, let alone being able to open it 3NT.


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