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Pre-Escape - Especially when playing Weak Notrump or Mini Trump opening bids, Responder is well advised to make a semi-psyche 2C Stayman bid when holding a worthless hand.  This action complicates the auction for the opponents, making them both wonder if their partnership has the balance of power and whether to seek game or initiate a penalty double.  Of course, responder Passes any opener bid.

Bid

Meaning

1N - (P) - P

Responder Passes with adequate values yet insufficient for game.

1N - (P) - 2C

While responder's 2C bid is indeed Stayman, when the combined partnership assets are less than 15 points, bidding 2C is prudent. The opener is unaware of responder's strength, naturally bidding either a 4 card major suit or Diamonds without major support.  Responder intends to Pass any bid and hoping the auction will avoid a penalty double by opponents. 

1N - (P) - 2C - (X);
P   -  ?

1N - (P) - 2C - (P);
2H - (P) - P   - (X);
P   -  ?

Should advancer Double, the partner in the overcaller seat may be uncertain whether to bid or Pass for penalty.

Should advancer belatedly Double, the overcaller may also be uncertain of the best action.

1N - (X) - any

If overcaller Doubles, by definition responder's calls are no longer Pre-Escape sequences.  Any suit bid is either natural or a transfer, depending on opponent and partnership agreements.  Assuming overcaller's Double is natural showing values, a common treatment is to play Jacoby transfers "on" when 1 Notrump opener's range is 11+ points, and play natural (transfers "off") when opening 10-12 or fewer points.  As an aside, ACBL regulations prohibit conventional responses when opening 1 Notrump below 10 points (assuming opponent Passes).   Also see Moscow Escapes and Exodus
 

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