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Conventions: NAMYATS

Source: BridgeHands

The benefit of NAMYATS is to differentiate between a strong distributional hand, which may provide a slam opportunity with less opponent interference, and a preemptive bid which has no slam opportunity.

An artificial opening bid of 4 or 4 used to signify a good hand with 7+ card length in Hearts or Spades, respectively. Opener’s hand should hold 8 or 8 1/2 playing tricks with good honors in the major suit, usually accompanied by an outside Ace or King. Conversely, an opening bid of 4 or 4 shows a weak preemptive hand not meeting that criteria.

NAMYATS was created by Sam Stayman who, after creating the Stayman 2 response to partner’s Notrump opener, coined the NAMYATS convention using his name in reverse order (Sam originally suggested the opposite meaning to friends who told him it was backwards; he agreed to their suggestion, saying he would give it his name, albeit with backward spelling of his name!

Bid Meaning

4 – 4;

4 – 4;

Opener shows a good 8 card major with some defensive values, responder signs off in game

4 – P;

4 – P;

Opener shows a weak 8 card major with no defensive values, responder signs off in game

4 – 4NT;

Responder’s 4NT initiates a straight-forward Blackwood slam convention.

Method 1: Slam Asking NAMYATS Sequence

Opener’s 4/4 bid promises only 1 side suit has 3+ losers.
Responder bids the first step to identify this suit.

4 – 4;

4 – 4;

Opener’s rebid notifies responder of weak 3+ card side suit. A rebid of Opener’s major suggests no side suit with 3 losers.

Method 2: Key Card NAMYATS Sequence

Responder’s step bids shows (not asks) responder’s Key Cards.

4 – 4x;

4 – 4x;

1st step = 1 or 3 key cards
2-5th step = 2 key cards, with 2 quick losers in suit bid
5 trump = 2 key cards, no suit with 2 quick losers


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