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Puppet Stayman Is it worth it?

#21 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 15:16

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-March-15, 09:38, said:

I hope you are all feeling good about yourselves helping a famous bridge author get to the bottom of such difficult questions as "should I pass a forcing bid?"


For those who don’t know what mgoetze is referring to, you will need the read the thread Defence to a 1NT Opening Bid (post 83 on page 5 of this thread and post 97 also on page 5).

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-March-15, 09:54, said:

I thought Andrew was joking, and people were going to bite/ answer seriously. I was half right; Michael cleared up the first part for us.


Aguahombre is partially correct. I often post on topics I already have SOME of the answers. Posts in other threads sometimes flick the switch for possible alternative ways for using “mainstream” bids differently. Case in point here is the current Multi and Defence to a 1NT Opening Bid. The thread on Jacoby 2NT hopefully got those interested to reconsider whether their current use of Jacoby 2NT is optimal.

This thread on Puppet Stayman is no different. Posts in other threads got me thinking about the effectiveness of the current conventional agreements. But before I can decide whether any “tweak” will work better or not, I try to get some feedback on things I may not have thought of previously.

So thanks to those who chose to answer honestly and sensibly. The day we meet, I am sure that mgoetze and I will become good friends. Until then, I would like to request mgoetze to do a review of my book and do a write up in the Bridge Material Review Forum. When you do, please bear in mind what I said in the “Defence to a 1NT Opening Bid” thread. The book won’t become popular as a “stand alone” convention. Build it into a Multi purpose bid as suggested and suddenly it becomes very attractive indeed.

What is Muppet Stayman? How does it differ from Stayman and Puppet Stayman?

Thanks again all.
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#22 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 15:28

Puppet stayman eats up precious and, especially after 2NT opening, deficient resource which is bidding space. If you use it with run of the mill 3-2 in majors hand you will be worse of than people who bid direct 3NT because first you usually don't have 5-3 fit anyway, second it may not play better than 3nt and third and most important you give them free information and chance to double 3C. 3-1-(5-4) hands are too rare to bother about them and again usually you don't have 5-3 major fit anyway but are leaking info as always.
Imo the convention sucks and is probably the worst convention used by elite partnerships.
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#23 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 15:31

Are we talking about Puppet Stayman after 1NT openings or after 2NT openings? :unsure:
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#24 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 15:32

Haha, good point. I automatically assumed it's after 2N, because nobody plays it after 1N here... oh Americans...
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#25 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 15:48

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-March-15, 15:28, said:

Imo the convention sucks and is probably the worst convention used by elite partnerships.

I assume you mean after 2NT; and also assume you mean if they use continuations other that those which Mikeh recommended in a previous thread which I can't find at the moment.

I am an avid student of what "elite" partnerships do to tweak their structure, but not a critic of them, since they have given a lot of thought into the plusses, minuses, and inferences involved.

Aside from that, those critical of Americans in general are mostly those who haven't gotten over the results in 1776 or 1812. Most Americans, gauche as we are, have gotten past it.
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#26 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 15:53

Yes I mean after 2N and I mean puppet in general as a convention designed to detect 5 card majors in opener hand at the cost of bidding space better used for other things.


Quote

I am an avid student of what "elite" partnerships do to tweak their structure, but not a critic of them, since they have given a lot of thought into the plusses, minuses, and inferences involved.


My attitude is to give a lot of respect to opinions of elite players and my default is to strongly believe that what they are doing is in fact best. Here though I spent enough time to analyse it to have my own opinion and be almost sure they get it wrong.
This is small error though and doesn't cost them that much in the long run so that's probably they either missed it or didn't bother to fix it. Or I could be wrong of course :)
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#27 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 15:55

View Post32519, on 2012-March-15, 15:16, said:

For those who don’t know what mgoetze is referring to, you will need the read the thread Defence to a 1NT Opening Bid (post 83 on page 5 of this thread and post 97 also on page 5).

I feel cheated rereading the last paragraph of your post 97.

Quote

So thanks to those who chose to answer honestly and sensibly. The day we meet, I am sure that mgoetze and I will become good friends. Until then, I would like to request mgoetze to do a review of my book and do a write up in the Bridge Material Review Forum. When you do, please bear in mind what I said in the “Defence to a 1NT Opening Bid” thread.

Sure, no problem. You can find the mailing address for the review copy by querying the PSI-USA whois database for mgoetze.net.


View Postbluecalm, on 2012-March-15, 15:28, said:

Puppet stayman eats up precious and, especially after 2NT opening, deficient resource which is bidding space. If you use it with run of the mill 3-2 in majors hand you will be worse of than people who bid direct 3NT because first you usually don't have 5-3 fit anyway, second it may not play better than 3nt and third and most important you give them free information and chance to double 3C. 3-1-(5-4) hands are too rare to bother about them and again usually you don't have 5-3 major fit anyway but are leaking info as always.
Imo the convention sucks and is probably the worst convention used by elite partnerships.


"Convention X is bad because people use it when they shouldn't" is surely a classical model for a strawman argument. So, (31)(54) hands are too rare for you. What about 33(52) or 33(61) hands? Etc.

Of course since you never have a 5-3 major fit anyway you should surely not play Puppet Stayman or anything of the sort. I sometimes do have a 5-3 major fit, however, so I will continue to play it.
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#28 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 16:32

Quote

"Convention X is bad because people use it when they shouldn't" is surely a classical model for a strawman argument. So, (31)(54) hands are too rare for you. What about 33(52) or 33(61) hands? Etc.


I said that with those rare hand when you could want to use puppet you are probably not better off anyway because of free info given but even if you are better off with those very rare hands you lose on run of the mill hands when you need space for different things than checking for 5 card major.
My argument wasn't: "people use it when they shouldn't" but "it covers very rare situations when it's not clear you are better off anyway but it costs you with hands which are both frequent and more important to cover.
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#29 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 16:58

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-March-15, 16:32, said:

I said that with those rare hand when you could want to use puppet you are probably not better off anyway because of free info given but even if you are better off with those very rare hands you lose on run of the mill hands when you need space for different things than checking for 5 card major.
My argument wasn't: "people use it when they shouldn't" but "it covers very rare situations when it's not clear you are better off anyway but it costs you with hands which are both frequent and more important to cover.


Maybe your argument would be more convincing if you could point out some of those extremely common hands which you can't bid with puppet stayman?

Oh by the way since you are so very very worried about leaking information, compare 2NT-3-3-3-3-4 (puppet) with 2NT-3-3-3NT-4 (standard).
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#30 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 18:54

Over 2nt, I'd be concerned about:

1. Being able to bid "Smolen" hands
2. Right siding
3. Being able to put some minor slam tries thru 3c
4. Avoiding lead directing X where possible

Puppet variants typically have trouble with some of these (which depends on the version).

Over 1nt its more complex because there are so many structures but I think typically you can help yourself more by using 3c to show some shapely hand than by having two stayman bids.
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#31 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 19:53

I always wondered about the great love for puppet stayman

The great horror seems to be you might, only might, play in 3nt rather than 5-3 fit.
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#32 User is online   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 20:59

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-March-15, 15:48, said:

I assume you mean after 2NT; and also assume you mean if they use continuations other that those which Mikeh recommended in a previous thread which I can't find at the moment.

I am an avid student of what "elite" partnerships do to tweak their structure, but not a critic of them, since they have given a lot of thought into the plusses, minuses, and inferences involved.

Aside from that, those critical of Americans in general are mostly those who haven't gotten over the results in 1776 or 1812. Most Americans, gauche as we are, have gotten past it.


But not 1865. The world turns.

Anyway, I thought playing 1NT - 3C; as puppet and 1NT - 2C; as regular stayman was fairly standard? Best of both worlds and all that.
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#33 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 21:03

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-March-15, 20:59, said:

But not 1865. The world turns.

Anyway, I thought playing 1NT - 3C; as puppet and 1NT - 2C; as regular stayman was fairly standard? Best of both worlds and all that.



t5rust me that is not standard in acbl world......not even close.


I read alot of around the world magazines I just heard of it the last year or so.......often at very top levels.
In other words even in print it is still pretty rare let alone non wc levels.
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#34 User is online   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 21:13

View Postmike777, on 2012-March-15, 21:03, said:

t5rust me that is not standard in acbl world......not even close.


I read alot of around the world magazines I just heard of it the last year or so.......often at very top levels.
In other words even in print it is still pretty rare let alone non wc levels.


Hah, I'm from a large country town in Australia a.k.a the capital, so I see a tiny part of a tiny puddle of the bridge world, and a given club night is a mixed of brown, red and blue stickers and coughs up precision, ACOL, 2/1 GF, Australian Standard (which isn't very 'standard' including as it does people playing variable NT, brown sticker pre-empts agogo and one pair that plays benji 2s?!?) and MOSCITO so I have no perspective on 'standard'

What do people use the 3C bid for? Both minors weak I'm guessing, but you can use Minor suit stayman for that unless you are playing four suited transfers. So the cost is you cannot right side contracts of 3 of a minor when responder is weak and opener doesn't have Hxx or better in diamonds and you play 4 suited transfers. Eh who cares.

After 2NT I suspect it's somewhat less clear.

@: VVVVVVVV Makes sense, though couldn't 4 suited transfers then bidding again show the same thing?
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#35 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 21:19

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-March-15, 21:13, said:

Hah, I'm from a large country town in Australia a.k.a the capital, so I see a tiny part of a tiny puddle of the bridge world. What do people use the 3C bid for?


i use it as a natural slam try or i flip the minors and use it as a diamond slam try depending on who I'm playing with.
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#36 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 21:50

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-March-15, 20:59, said:

But not 1865. The world turns.


America lost that one. You are right. But only because we were fighting each other. Then, later the politicians lost a couple.
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#37 User is online   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 21:56

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-March-15, 21:50, said:

America lost that one. You are right. But only because we were fighting each other. Then, later the politicians lost a couple.


Edit: This is so off-topic I'm going to PMs.
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#38 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 22:11

View PostCthulhu D, on 2012-March-15, 21:13, said:

Hah, I'm from a large country town in Australia a.k.a the capital, so I see a tiny part of a tiny puddle of the bridge world, and a given club night is a mixed of brown, red and blue stickers and coughs up precision, ACOL, 2/1 GF, Australian Standard (which isn't very 'standard' including as it does people playing variable NT, brown sticker pre-empts agogo and one pair that plays benji 2s?!?) and MOSCITO so I have no perspective on 'standard'

What do people use the 3C bid for? Both minors weak I'm guessing, but you can use Minor suit stayman for that unless you are playing four suited transfers. So the cost is you cannot right side contracts of 3 of a minor when responder is weak and opener doesn't have Hxx or better in diamonds and you play 4 suited transfers. Eh who cares.

After 2NT I suspect it's somewhat less clear.

@: VVVVVVVV Makes sense, though couldn't 4 suited transfers then bidding again show the same thing?


I have read Ausi bridge for decades and decades.....perhaps I missed this but this does seem to be a "modern" usage


even granted ausi bridge is very often on the cutting edge...esp compared to acbl.


fwiw I play 1nt=3c is invite....long clubs..I grant this is old

but then I dont even play puppet
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#39 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-March-15, 23:18

View Postmike777, on 2012-March-15, 21:03, said:

t5rust me that is not standard in acbl world......not even close.

My guess is 10-20% of advanced+ players, and hardly any intermediates or lower.

1NT 3 is used for a wide variety of things, I don't think there's any concensus, and most players don't have any strong preference. When making a card with a pickup partner, the quickest agreement is to use all the 3-level responses to show 5-5 hands; 3/3 show weak/strong minors, 3/3 show weak/strong majors. In my experience, whatever you decide to use them for never comes up in the few sessions you play with them.

#40 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-March-16, 07:49

So let’s try and analyse what we win and what we lose playing Puppet Stayman.

Over a 1NT Opening Bid
Advantages:
1. You can include 5-card majors within your 1NT range
2. You can have the best of both worlds by playing 2 as Standard Stayman and 3 as Puppet Stayman. The downside with this approach is that you need 10-12 HCP to initiate Puppet Stayman.

Disadvantages:
1. You lose Garbage Stayman
2. Brain drain in the follow up bidding
3. The auction is now forced to 2NT, so you need at least invitational values (8-9 HCP)
4. Opponents can double artificial bids during the bidding for lead direction or even sacrifice
5. When playing 1NT-3 as Puppet Stayman, you lose an alternate meaning for the 3 bid

Over a 2NT Opening Bid:
Advantages:
1. You can include 5-card majors within your 2NT range
2. Play in a 5-3 major fit instead of 3NT
3. It is easier to bid a slam in the majors
4. Over the sequence over 2N-3-3-4 use RKC with double agreement
5. Forbids opening 2NT with 5-4 in the majors

Disadvantages:
1. You lose Garbage Stayman
2. Brain drain in the follow up bidding
3. Forgetting that you are playing Puppet Stayman and not Standard Stayman
4. More information disclosed to the opponents
5. Opponents can double artificial bids during the bidding for lead direction or even sacrifice
6. Responder with 5+3, the partnership may have a 5-3 or fit. If you play Puppet the 5-3 fit is lost. If you transfer to then the 5-3 fit is lost. You cannot butter your bread on both sides. The odds say that it is better to transfer into the suit.
7. You cannot show a 5+4 holding effectively (with 4+5 it is easy to transfer into the suit and then bid the suit). Niemeijer can fix this problem but you run the risk of forgetting what the bids mean (2NT-3NT = Niemeijer, 5+4). To play in 3NT you must first bid 3. Others use 3 to play in 3NT but this also comes at a cost. 3 either MSS or a transfer to is lost. Others play 3 = 5+4 but again at a cost. The strong hand is exposed on the table when in .
8. The purpose of Puppet Stayman is to find 5-3 major fits when opener has opened 2NT with a 5-card major. Thus, responder will use puppet Stayman more often than he would use regular Stayman, since responder will use it on some hands with just a 3-card major as well as on hands with a 4-card major. This means that information about opener's hand will be revealed to the opponents more often. (If responder never uses puppet Stayman without a 4-card major, then I don't see the point of playing Puppet).
9. How often do you and your partner open 2NT with a 5-card major? If the answer is only if the 5-card major is so good that no 3-card support will help it or only if the 5-card major is so bad that you need 3 honors to make it worthwhile to play as a trump suit, then you don't need puppet Stayman at all.
10. How often do you open 2NT when you are precisely 4-4 in the majors? If the answer is as often as possible, then the more common variation of Stayman is far more useful.
11. The loss of Smolen
12. How do you show minor suit hands after: 2NT-3-3-?
13. The 5-3 major fit is not that important at IMPS. The major suit fit most often produces 10 tricks versus 9 in NT. 1 IMP is lost. 4M plus 3NT both making 10 tricks is a push. 3NT making versus 4M down 1 is a huge gain.

Chris Ryall’s website on the plusses and minuses of playing Puppet Stayman should be read by all. Click here

I have seen and read enough on Puppet Stayman.

Topic closed.

Thank you.
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