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Puppet Stayman Is it worth it?

#141 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-April-29, 23:27

View PostVampyr, on 2012-April-29, 18:30, said:

I don't understand what you mean by "controlling bodies". No one in an American, or any other, competition is forced to play Puppet Stayman. Not as far as I know, anyway.



View PostVampyr, on 2012-April-29, 21:16, said:

I know. But I don't see how these people have any influence on players' decisions to play Puppet Stayman.


After witnessing what unfolded last night, I have made a complete U-Turn on my feelings towards Puppet Stayman. If I were a first class player in the USA I would take a different approach towards the conventions included in my bidding agreements. Identify those which the controlling bodies are fond of. As all the hands get pre-dealt, start keeping your own personal records of the conventions which appear more frequently. Then make damn sure you have an excellent version for the particular convention. Two you already know about; Puppet Stayman and Flannery. It matters not how much you hate Flannery. The fact that your controlling bodies love it, you know it will inevitably appear in big tournaments.

The hand records for the Cavendish, Springold, Vanderbilt and US Teams are all available in The Vugraph Project.
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#142 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-April-30, 02:23

Nice sig, 32519.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
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#143 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-May-01, 02:59

The encouraging thing with this hand is this:
The USA controlling bodies mix in enough hands that aren’t easily handled in a Puppet sequence. This one needed a sequence for N/S to signoff in either minor suit. If your Puppet agreement doesn’t have room for this, the only option South has is to pass. 1NT can be defeated on a lead. A or and N/S take 7 tricks off the top.

Here the one team found the fit making 10 tricks. In the other room 3 went down.

In post 137 to this tread, a Puppet sequence went one level too high but still made on a lucky lead.
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#144 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2012-May-01, 05:46

View Post32519, on 2012-May-01, 02:59, said:

The encouraging thing with this hand is this:
The USA controlling bodies mix in enough hands that aren’t easily handled in a Puppet sequence. This one needed a sequence for N/S to signoff in either minor suit.

I heard they also mix in fluorides. It's all designed to sap our precious bodily fluids conventions.
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#145 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-May-02, 08:53

Question:
Can (or does) Gazzilli solve the dilemma of including 5332 hands in either your 1NT or 2NT ranges?

If I read this properly, you always get the 5-card major into the picture. You can safely end the auction on the 2-level when opener and responder are minimum.

Any thoughts?
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#146 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-May-02, 17:58

If you remove the 5332 hands from your 1NT or 2NT bids and move them into Gazzilli, you start taking the pressure off your NT bids. The USBC has already demonstrated that there certainly are times when the hand calls for signing off in a minor part score. The bidding space previously consumed by Puppet Stayman has now been freed for other purposes.

Surely this has got to be beneficial for your overall agreements? (See post above).
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#147 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2012-May-02, 19:49

View Post32519, on 2012-May-02, 08:53, said:

Question: Can (or does) Gazzilli solve the dilemma of including 5332 hands in either your 1NT or 2NT ranges? If I read this properly, you always get the 5-card major into the picture. You can safely end the auction on the 2-level when opener and responder are minimum. Any thoughts?
There are many flavours of Gazzilli but most seem to require about 16HCP for a (strong) 2 rebid.) Those versions of Gazzilli may strain to cope with 14-15 HCP -- the usual range for a "strong" no-trump opening with a five-card suit in the USBC trial :(. .
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#148 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-May-02, 23:25

View Postnige1, on 2012-May-02, 19:49, said:

There are many flavours of Gazzilli but most seem to require about 16HCP for a 2 rebid. Those versions of Gazzilli may strain to cope with 14-15 HCP -- the usual range for a "strong" no-trump opening with a five-card suit in the USBC trial :(. .


Who are we favouring here? The Precision players or the Naturalists? Many of the pairs in the USBC are playing a 14-16 HCP NT range. They will probably continue with Puppet. But what about the Naturalists?

There are just as many (if not more) versions of PS as there are of Gazzilli. Every partnership that plays PS has bent and buckled there own version out of it to fit in with their system and bidding style. I’ll bet a Coke that one of our regular posters (e.g. Zelandakh, KenRexford, Blackshoe, etc), within 5 minutes, will come up with a version of Gazzilli that will convince the Naturalists to start migrating en masse away from PS towards Gazzilli. Include the benefits of how the bidding space can be used that has been freed up from your NT bids, who knows, maybe all the Naturalists will dump PS forever.

The one area I often hear the Naturalists complain about is the 18-19 HCP balanced or semi-balanced hand. It fits neither into the 1NT nor the 2NT range. Semi-balanced with a 5-card major, bingo, Gazzilli comes to your rescue.
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#149 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-May-04, 01:22

Shevek posted this thread on Puppet Stayman many moons ago: Complete this sentence: I don’t play Puppet over 1NT because …

Seems like some of the posters who replied to this thread have since changed their opinions.
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#150 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2012-May-04, 12:30

View Post32519, on 2012-May-04, 01:22, said:

Shevek posted this thread on Puppet Stayman many moons ago: Complete this sentence: I don't play Puppet over 1NT because … Seems like some of the posters who replied to this thread have since changed their opinions.
Refusal to change your opinion in the light of contradictory evidence and sensible argument shows stupidity not integrity. Many enlightened players now play 3 as Puppet Stayman over 1N, as advocated by Justin on his web-site.Heeman is another cunning method worth considering.
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#151 User is offline   mikl_plkcc 

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Posted 2012-May-05, 06:45

I never open NT with 5 card major, so this is irrelevant to me.

I open all 5-3-3-2 majors and most 5-3-3-2 minors a suit. The only case that I open NT with 5-3-3-2 shape is 1NT with garbage 5-card minors, with the 5 s, I will even be more cautious in opening 1NT because there is the possibility that responder bids 2 and run into a 4-2 s (4=4=4=1 over 3=3=2=5) (This may be solved by crawling Stayman, but the usage of 1NT-2-2-2 as invitational to find a 5-3 fit in s with 5 s and 4 s will be lost).

I think that the following responses to 1NT may be used to find all major suit fits with at least invitational values when 1NT does not include 5-card majors:
4 s only: bid 2, raise but correct back to 2NT with other responses.
4 s only: bid 2, raise . Correct back to 2NT over 2, bid 2 over 2. Opener will raise it holding 4-4 in the majors but correct to 2NT if no 4 s.
5 cards in one major only: transfer to it directly then bid 2NT as a choice bid.
4 cards in both majors: bid 2, raise any majors, correct back to 2NT over 2.
5 cards in both majors: transfer to 2 and bid 3. A fit is guaranteed in this case so the loss of 2NT is not a problem.
4 s and 5 s: bid 2, raise any majors, bid 2 over 2.
5 s and 4 s: transfer to 2 and bid 2.

Then there are still takeouts possible with busts in both majors:
bid 2, pass any majors and bid 2 over 2. Opener corrects to his 3-card major.
I play 4-suit transfers so the contract can be escaped to 3 of a minor with a minor bust.

To summarise, the whole set of major suit responses is as follows:
1NT (15-17 balanced, no 5-card major)
- 2 - Stayman - promises a 4-card major, any rebid except 2 promises invitational values and force to either 2NT or 3 of a major.
-- 2 - no 4-card major
--- 2 - weak takeout, opener correct to his 3-card major
--- 2 - exactly 5 s and 4 s, F1, raise or correct
--- 2/3NT - no major fit
-- 2 - 4 s, may have 4 s
--- 2 - no 4 s, exactly 4 s, F1, raise or correct
--- 2/3NT - no major fit
-- 2 - 4 s, no 4 s
--- 2/3NT - no major fit
- 2 - transfer to 2, 5+ s
-- 2
--- 2 - exactly 5 s and 4 s, F1
--- 2/3NT - pass or raise with exactly 2 s, otherwise, correct it
--- 3/4 - 6+ s
- 2 - transfer to 2, 5+ s
-- 2
--- 2/3NT - pass or raise with exactly 2 s, otherwise, correct it
--- 3 - exactly 5 s and 5 s: pass, raise or correct.
--- 3/4 - 6+ s

The above system works over 2NT also, but the responder is now game-forcing rather than invitational of course. Weak takeouts are still possible. With puppet Stayman, all weak takeouts are gone.

The above is all messed up once you include 5-card majors in your 1NT opening. When opening 5-3-3-2 majors with 1 of a suit, any 5-3 fit is guaranteed to be found since it is a simple raise only. 6-2 fit can also be found by bidding the major twice.

At IMPs, you shouldn't be thinking when both 3NT and 4M is making. Just choose one at your convenience. The case when 3NT makes but 4M not is rare when a fit exists, but 4M makes when 3NT not due to a lack of stoppers is common. Therefore, always play in a major when a fit can be found, 3NT should be used only as a last resort.

Having the opportunity of weak takeouts is essential. You don't want the opponents running your 2-card suit in a 1NT contract and get -3 when actually a 2-level suit contract can be made (with a 8-card fit) or -1 only (with a 7-card fit).

P.S.

View Post32519, on 2012-April-22, 00:40, said:

In this thread, Rainer Herrmann asked, Minors over 2NT: Do you have good agreements?

If you still haven’t been convinced to dump Puppet Stayman, the post below has been copied in from the above thread.

Minors Over 2NT: Do you have good agreements?

Rainer Herrmann:
This thread of yours appears to have stumped the panel of posters. I have no idea if this has happened before. A handful of people have offered a bidding sequence for the actual hand posted. Thus far, no one has offered a TOTAL GOOD AGREEMENT as suggested in the thread title.

My own bidding agreements over 2NT have a much greater focus on the majors. I’m guessing that other regular posters are guilty of the same error as myself. You have opened up a hole in my bidding structures which I am diligently working on to plug.

What are my objectives over 2NT? I still want to be able to retain as many as possible of the following:
1. Stayman / Garbage Stayman / Crawling Stayman
2. Jacoby Transfer Bids
3. Smolen (both 5/4 and 6/4 holdings)
4. Minor Suit Stayman / 4-Way transfer bids. As I cannot have both, once I have managed to plug the hole in my bidding agreements, it will become evident which one gets dumped.
5. The ability to show 5/5 in the minors with no slam interest
6. The ability to show 5/5 in the minors with slam interest
7. The ability to sign off in 4 of a minor with a minor suit bust
8. The ability to transfer into a minor suit single suiter and then continue with slam exploration with the appropriate hand
9. Texas / SA Texas in my current agreements will need to go to make room for 5-8 above. This will be accommodated via Jacoby Transfer Bids followed by a raise to game. I still need to decide exactly what I will use the 4♣ and 4♦ bids for now.
10. Gerber has long ago been dumped in favour of a quantitative 4NT

I am already facing some creative thinking to restructure my current agreements to accommodate all of the above. I am now asking this for the third time; how do you also include Puppet Stayman in amongst a very scarce resource i.e. available bidding space? To complicate this jigsaw puzzle even further; I need to be able to cope with opposition interference.




1. OK
2. OK
3. Just exchange meaning of the above 2NT-3-3-3 and 2NT-3-3-4 (since 3 is taken as crawling Stayman) to use Smolen transfer and its OK. With a 6-card suit, always Jacoby transfer to it directly since a fit is guaranteed.
4. 2NT-3 can be used as MSS
5. Just copy the above Stayman system
6. Just copy the above Stayman system
7. bid it directly
8. use 4 and 4 as transfers to the minors respectively

The complete 2NT system above:

2NT (20-21 balanced, no 5-card major)
- 3 - Stayman - promises a 4-card major, any rebid except 3 forces to major/NT game. (There is no need to use Smolen on 6/4 holdings since a fit is guaranteed.)
-- 3 - no 4-card major
--- 3 - weak takeout, opener correct to his 3-card major
--- 3 - exactly 4 s and 5 s, Smolen transfer, accept or reject.
--- 3NT - no major fit
--- 4 - exactly 5 s and 4 s, Smolen transfer (however, 3NT is lost in this case. This is a caveat brought by crawling Stayman)
-- 3 - 4 s, may have 4 s
--- 3 - no 4 s, exactly 4 s, GF
--- 3NT - no major fit
-- 3 - 4 s, no 4 s
--- 3NT - no major fit
- 3 - transfer to 3, 5+ s
-- 3
--- 3 - exactly 5 s and 4 s, GF
--- 3NT - pass with exactly 2 s, otherwise, correct it
--- 4 - 6+ s
- 3 - transfer to 3, 5+ s
-- 3
--- 3NT - pass with exactly 2 s, otherwise, correct it
--- 4 - exactly 5 s and 5 s: pass or correct.
--- 4 - 6+ s
- 3 - GF minor suit Stayman, at least 4-4 in the minors (with a 6-card minor, transfer to it directly)
-- 3NT - no 4-card minor
--- 4 - exactly 4 s and 5 s. slam interest (otherwise stop at 3NT)
--- 4 - exactly 5 s and 4 s. slam interest (otherwise stop at 3NT)
--- 4/ - 5-5 minor slam interest with shortness in the named major
--- 4NT - quantitative slam interest - no minor fit
--- 5 - 5-5 in the minors, pick one, no slam interest
-- 4/4 - confirms a fit, bid game or use 4/ as some sort of slam try (e.g. Kickback)
- 3NT - STOP
- 4/ - minor bust sign-off
- 4/ - 6+ card transfers into or respectively. Opener must bid game. Responder may then bid slam.
- 4NT - quantitative

Enough?!
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#152 User is offline   glen 

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Posted 2012-May-05, 07:50

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2012-May-05, 06:45, said:

... Enough?

No, I would like more on Replying to Puppet Stayman
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#153 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-May-05, 09:33

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2012-May-05, 06:45, said:

I never open NT with 5 card major, so this is irrelevant to me.

I open all 5-3-3-2 majors and most 5-3-3-2 minors a suit. The only case that I open NT with 5-3-3-2 shape is 1NT with garbage 5-card minors, with the 5 s, I will even be more cautious in opening 1NT because there is the possibility that responder bids 2 and run into a 4-2 s (4=4=4=1 over 3=3=2=5) (This may be solved by crawling Stayman, but the usage of 1NT-2-2-2 as invitational to find a 5-3 fit in s with 5 s and 4 s will be lost).

..........................................
Enough?!

Quite more than enough in a Puppet thread.
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#154 User is offline   Statto 

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Posted 2012-May-05, 19:35

My strings are tied.
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem – Albert Einstein
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#155 User is offline   mikl_plkcc 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 03:05

Perhaps not including any 5-card majors in NT may pose rebid problems like:

With 15-17 1NT, bidding 1NT here means 12-14 balanced, 2NT means 18-19 balanced, 2 would means 6+ s, and all other suits would mean 4+ of that suit.

Can you suggest a bid here?
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Posted 2012-May-06, 08:25

You have to bid 2C.
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#157 User is offline   glen 

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Posted 2012-May-06, 08:38

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-May-06, 08:25, said:

You have to bid 2C.

I would have bid "due fiori"
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#158 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-July-08, 09:56

Due to the popularity of Puppet Stayman, I have been meditating on a simpler PS continuation bidding structure over 1NT. How about this?

1NT = 15-17 HCP, may include a 5-card major
2 = Stayman/Puppet Stayman

Opener continues as follows –
2 = No 4-card major / no 5-card major
2/2 = 4-card major
2NT = Two 4-card majors
3/3 = 5-card major (you would have bid this anyway over 3)

The continuation bidding by responder now falls into 9 different categories –
1. After 2, responder with 5/4 in the majors continues with Smolen
2. After 2, how does responder show a 5-card major of his own (no 4-card major)?
...a. You can bid the suit directly and become declarer
...b. You can transfer into the suit keeping the stronger hand as declarer. Choosing this option 2 becomes a transfer into a 5-card suit and 3 becomes a transfer into a 5-card suit. Depending on whether or not opener has 3-card support for the suit, signoff takes place in the appropriate game (3NT or 4M)
3. After 2/2, responder with a 4-card fit continues with standard Stayman sequences
4. After 2/2, responder without a 4-card fit but with a 5-card suit in the other major, continues as follows –
... 3 = No fit with your major partner but I have 5-cards in the other major. Opener signs off in the appropriate game.
5. After 2NT promising both majors, the ability to differentiate between an 8-card trump fit and a 9-card trump fit could possibly mean the difference between game and slam. So how do we show this?
...a. With 4-card support for either major, you can bid the suit directly on level 3 and become declarer or you can transfer into the major you have allowing the stronger hand to become declarer. The choice is yours.
...b. With 5-card support for either major, you can bid the suit directly on level 4 and become declarer or you can transfer into the major you have allowing the stronger hand to become declarer. The choice is yours.
6. After 3/3, raise to 4 with 3-card support or bid 3NT with less than 3-card support.
7. After 3, no support but a 5-card suit of your own, continue with 3. Opener will sign off in the appropriate game.
8. After 3, no support but a 5-card suit of your own, the continuation bidding becomes a bit more risky. If your hand can stand playing in a final contract of 4NT (partner with no fit for the suit), then bid 4. With 3-card support, opener will pass. With only 2-card support, opener will signoff in 4NT.
If your hand cannot stand playing in a final contract of 4NT, then signoff in 3NT, even with a 5-card suit of your own.
9. And finally, what about a possible double fit in the majors? How do we explore for a double fit?
...a. After 3/3, bid 4 guaranteeing 3-card support for the suit bid and 5-cards in the other major.
...b. Without a double fit, opener signs off in his suit.
...c. With a double fit, opener must bid the other major confirming the double fit.
...d. The double fit confirmation now becomes 6-card Blackwood. The advantages with this approach is that your Blackwood sequence can start on a lower level allowing more room for signoff on the 5-level or an additional asking bid.

“No! No! No!” I hear your protesting. “You have made no allowance for minor suit orientated hands with responder.”
For minor suit orientated hands you can –
a. Try some of the suggestions in this post
b. Use whatever you currently use with any adjustments required

[I've coined the name Stuppet for this bidding sequence, being a combination of Stayman and Puppet].
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#159 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-July-08, 10:25

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2012-May-06, 03:05, said:

Perhaps not including any 5-card majors in NT may pose rebid problems like:

With 15-17 1NT, bidding 1NT here means 12-14 balanced, 2NT means 18-19 balanced, 2 would means 6+ s, and all other suits would mean 4+ of that suit.

Can you suggest a bid here?

Of course if we play that this hand has no rebid, then it means that on this hand we have no rebid. But:

Some people play 1NT=12-15, 2NT=16-18(19), with most 19 counts opening 2NT. I believe this is sometimes played in Germany and France.

FrancesHinden sometimes plays 1NT=12-17, responder will enquire most of the time and then you can stop in 2M in most hands.

Some versions of Gazzilli include quite weakish balanced hands. Hence 1H-1S; 2C would be:
*10-15, 5H4C
*15+ balanced
*17+ any
or something along these lines.

So there are solutions. I am not saying they're perfect, though. I prefer opening 1NT, even if we don't play any form of puppet.
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#160 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-July-08, 10:47

View Postgwnn, on 2012-July-08, 10:25, said:

Of course if we play that this hand has no rebid, then it means that on this hand we have no rebid. But:
.................
I prefer opening 1NT, even if we don't play any form of puppet.

This really covers it. The whole idea of opening 1NT with (semi) balanced hands which are in range is to avoid the need for convoluted gadgets to make up for the fact that there is no good rebid and narrowly define rebids in NT. For weak Notrumpers, a 1NT rebid with 15 up to maybe 18 isn't horrible; but, for strong Notrumpers to rebid 2NT with hands in the 15-17 range is a joke. All avoidable by planning ahead to one's second bid before knee-jerking the first bid.
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