Sam Stayman

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Samuel M. (Sam) Stayman (May 28, 1909 – December 11, 1993) was an American bridge player, writer, and administrator. He is best known for the Stayman convention in bidding.

Stayman was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College[1] and was a successful textile executive and portfolio manager.[2]

The Stayman convention was invented independently by Jack Marx and by Stayman's regular partner George Rapée. It became associated with his name because it was first published in an article written by Stayman, in The Bridge World magazine, June 1945.[2] He also gave his name, spelled backward, to the Namyats convention, which was invented by another regular partner, Victor Mitchell.

Stayman and Rapée, Charles Goren, Howard Schenken, John R. Crawford and Sidney Silodor won the inaugural Bermuda Bowl in 1950 and repeated in 1951 and 1953; he also won numerous North American titles.[3] As a bridge administrator, he was president of the Cavendish Club of New York,[2] treasurer of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) from 1966 to 1969, and also served on the ACBL Charity Foundation. He was recognized as an honorary member of the ACBL in 1969 and of the American Bridge Teachers Association (ABTA) in 1979, having written at least a few books on bridge. He was elected to the ACBL Hall of Fame in 1996.

Stayman died in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1993 at age 84.

Bridge accomplishments[edit]


  • ACBL Hall of Fame 1996
  • ACBL Honorary Member of the Year 1969
  • American Bridge Teachers' Association (ABTA) Honorary Member 1979




Stayman was a contributing editor of The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, which appeared in several editions beginning 1964.[clarification needed] He wrote three books.

  • Expert Bidding at Contract Bridge. New York: Wellington Associates, Inc. 1951. LCCN 51002419.  144 pp. – UK edition, Faber & Faber, 1952
  • The Complete Stayman System of Contract Bidding. New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc. 1956. LCCN 56007005.  223 pp. – UK edition, London: Rockliff, 1956
  • Do You Play Stayman?. New York: Odyssey Press. 1965. LCCN 65019848.  207 pp. – UK edition, Faber, 1969, edited and introduced by Victor Mollo OCLC 828468118

A second US edition of the latter was published as Highroad to Winning Bridge: do you play Stayman? (NY: Cornerstone Library, 1970), with a foreword by Omar Sharif. OCLC 2555487 A Chinese translation was published in 1972. OCLC 436266374

The Complete Stayman System was published at least in French (1956) and Italian (1965) translations, introduced by Pierre Albarran and Mario Franco. OCLC 68685407 OCLC 68685620


  1. ^ Do you Play Stayman? (Odyssey, 1965), back flap of dust jacket.
  2. ^ a b c Francis, Henry G., Editor-in-Chief; Truscott, Alan F., Executive Editor; Francis, Dorthy A., Editor, Sixth Edition (2001). The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (6th ed.). Memphis, TN: American Contract Bridge League. p. 742. ISBN 0-943855-44-6. OCLC 49606900. 
  3. ^ Truscott, Alan (December 13, 1993). "Samuel M. Stayman, 84, Inventor Of Bidding Conventions in Bridge". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]