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Puppet Stayman Is it worth it?

#67 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-March-27, 05:58

View Post32519, on 2012-March-27, 02:14, said:

So you feel that playing 2NT which includes a 5-card major opposite a bust is better than playing 2 or 2 opposite a bust? Those trumps may just become vital. If 2NT makes versus 2M making, it is a push at IMPs. On the other hand, 2M making versus 2NT down 1, the gain is big.

I can understand players using Puppet Stayman if their 2 meaning is something like yours. Natural systems (2/1, SAYC), wont convince me to include Puppet Stayman.

Remind me again how we are playing 2M after the start 2 - 3, which is the equivalent auction to 2NT - p in your proposed method to which I was referring. You also have a second method with a 2 bust. That is probably better but now you have to jump to 3 just to show a game-forcing hand. Again, play with this a bit before suggesting this is an improvement. Is it really worth crippling your constructive bidding just to avoid playing an extremely simple and easy convention like Puppet?

And just so you know, in my strong club system 1 - 1; 2NT - 3 is indeed a form of Puppet Stayman; similarly for 1 - 1; 1 - 1; 2NT - 3. I also play it after a 1NT opening as well as after 1 - 1; 1NT and 1 - 1; 1 - 1; 1NT. In other words, pretty much whenever I can. This allows all of the other openings to be unbalanced. As I wrote earlier this is actually a major point that you are missing in your analysis. If I could not handle any major hand types using it then I would not. This is the other major aspect of Puppet and I will re-iterate it since I think you missed it the first time around.

View PostZelandakh, on 2012-March-27, 00:53, said:

Can you name me a common hand type that a puppet-based scheme cannot handle which a Staymanic scheme could?


I do understand bluecalm's position that the artificial bids are too vulnerable to easy doubles from the opponents. I may not agree but it is a perfectly valid opinion. I do not understand a position which says Puppet is too complicated while throwing extra hand types into the 2 opening is not. Or that it is possible to move hands out of a 2NT opening without it impacting other areas of the system. Or indeed that the analysis you posted has any bearing or weight whatsoever. Indeed I have not seen you address any of the points I raised in my (longest post ever) message, nor those from the other posters that took the time to respond.

The truth is that I have now written several lengthy responses to bidding queries that you have raised, using time that I could have spent doing some of the work I am being paid for. I am starting to reach the conclusion that this effort is probably not worth it. It would be nice if you could prove me wrong in this regard...
(-: Zel :-)

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#68 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2012-March-27, 06:52

Zel, the good thing is: Otheres do read your posts too and find them always helpful and insightful. So please continue your postings- even if you have to fead the troll to do so.
Kind Regards

Roland


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#69 User is offline   G_R__E_G 

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Posted 2012-March-27, 09:02

View Post32519, on 2012-March-27, 02:14, said:

So you feel that playing 2NT which includes a 5-card major opposite a bust is better than playing 2 or 2 opposite a bust? Those trumps may just become vital. If 2NT makes versus 2M making, it is a push at IMPs. On the other hand, 2M making versus 2NT down 1, the gain is big.


For another example of an excellent use of logic please see this video.....External Video
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#70 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 00:37

View PostZelandakh, on 2012-March-27, 05:58, said:

The truth is that I have now written several lengthy responses to bidding queries that you have raised, using time that I could have spent doing some of the work I am being paid for. I am starting to reach the conclusion that this effort is probably not worth it. It would be nice if you could prove me wrong in this regard...


Zel

For what its worth, I don’t believe that either of us is going to back down on why we use Puppet Stayman or don’t use Puppet Stayman. On this one we will probably have to agree to disagree.

Responder with a Bust Hand
Probably these are the main reasons why I’m not interested in Puppet Stayman:
1. Playing 2NT with 20-21 HCP and a 5332 holding opposite a bust inevitably plays poorly. Unable to stop the opponents running your 2-card suit gets you a bad result. Higher up this thread I suggested something simpler. OK, so suggesting using 2-3 as a double negative was bad. But what about 2-2 as the double negative? Sure you will get plenty of hands with the strong hand on table playing in 2, but more often than not, it will have better chances than a 2NT 5332 hand.
2. With a 4450 or 4441 hand ( shortness), I lose Garbage Stayman with a bust. I hear you say that this is countered by Exit Stayman.
3. With 4405 or 4414 or 4423 ( shortness), I lose Crawling Stayman as well.

In summary, opposite a bust, opportunities to improve the auction are limited. In a different thread, someone else calculated the % of 2NT auctions going down. An interesting stat forming part of this % would be knowing how many Puppet players were forced to pass 2NT which ended up going down.

Responder with a Game Forcing Hand
1. Obviously with a game forcing response you have more options. Even if you don’t always end up in the ideal final contract (3NT versus 4M), the fact that the contract gets made, masks the overall effectiveness of Puppet Stayman.
2. The Puppet Stayman structures that I am more familiar with, concentrate on the majors. Chris Ryall’s website includes a discussion on some of the problems that others have encountered with PS as well as suggestions how others have overcome these problems. As soon as you have to create additional bids to overcome any problem identified, you are adding to the memory load. Some players are better than others when coping with memory load.
3. Some of these additional bids have to do with “right-siding” the contract.
4. When responder has a minor suit orientated hand, inevitably more bids end up being made allowing the opponents more options for lead directing doubles.
5. The 5-3 major fit is not that important at IMPS. 3NT making 9 tricks versus 4M major making 10 tricks costs 1 IMP. 3NT making 10 tricks versus 4M making 10 tricks is a push. 3NT making versus 4M down 1 is a huge gain. I just don’t believe that PS is worth this risk.
6. Responder with 5+3, the partnership may have a 5-3 or a 5-3 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. To overcome this, you are again adding additional bids to the memory load.

In closing I have this to say. In my books you are still rated as one of my favourite posters. Your posts are informative and objective, seldom if ever subjective. I place high value on the things you post. But on Puppet Stayman I think we will need to agree to disagree.

View PostCodo, on 2012-March-27, 06:52, said:

Zel, the good thing is: Otheres do read your posts too and find them always helpful and insightful. So please continue your postings- even if you have to fead the troll to do so.


Ditto ad infinitum. I fully second Codo's statement here. Whatever you do, don't stop posting.

Best wishes

Andrew (32519)
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#71 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 02:31

View PostQuantumcat, on 2012-March-19, 00:31, said:

Exactly the same amount as regular Stayman - in fact less, if the auction goes 2NT 3 3 3NT - they don;t know which 4-card major opener has, whereas 2NT 3 3 3NT tells them explicitly.

But 2NT 3 3 3NT shows that responder has no 4-card major so she would not use regular stayman in the first place.

OTOH, using PS
2NT-3
3-3
3-4
Here opponents won't know if opener has four hearts or not, while after the regular stayman auction
2NT-3
3-3NT
4
they will.

Opps will get the oportunity to double both clubs and hearts, though, if you play PS.
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#72 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2012-March-28, 21:20

<i><b>PINOCCHIO</b></i> is based on an <i><b>Italian</b></i> variant of Muppet Stayman, in which responder consistently <i><b>lies</b></i>.&nbsp;&nbsp;That is, he hardly ever bids a suit that he holds. Main advantages:<br><ul class="bbc"><li>You find <i><b>all</b></i> 4-4, 5-3 and 3-5 major fits.</li><li>You "<i><b>right-side</b></i>" them all.</li></ul><br>Some disadvantages<br><ul class="bbc"><li>Hard to remember</li><li>Costly to forget.</li><li>Leaks information useful to defenders.</li><li>Allows lead-directing doubles.</li><li>Cuts out garbage Stayman (over 1N).</li></ul><br>When partner's notrump bid is the first natural bid by our side, then a 3 reply is a major-suit enquiry and other responses are tranfers. <br><br>Responder adopts the <b><i>client</i> </b>role, asking questions.&nbsp; The notrump opener is cast in the <i><b>server</b></i> role, answering those questions.<br><br>2N - ?? <br><ul class="bbc"><li>3&nbsp;&nbsp;= REL. <i><b>Pinocchio</b></i>. Flattish with game+ interest in Ms or slam-interest in ms. 5 s and 3+ s.</li><li>3 = TFR. 5+ s. Denies 3 s.</li><li>3 = TFR. 5+ s and 0-2 s.</li><li>3 = ART. Range ask. Often 6+ s.</li><li>3N = S/O. To play.</li><li>4/4/4 = TFR. 6+ suit.</li></ul><br><i><b>Pinocchio</b></i> 3 is a variant of <i><b> Eric Crowhurst</b></i>'s <i><b>Five-card Stayman</b></i>. (<i><b>Precision Bidding in Acol</b></i>, 1974).<br><br>2N&nbsp;&nbsp;– 3<br>??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>3 = ART. 4 M.</li><li>3 = ART No 4 M.</li><li>3 = NAT 5 s.</li><li>3N = 5 (then 4 = retransfer).</li></ul>When <br>2N – 3<br>3 – ??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>3 = ART. ART 4+ s&nbsp;&nbsp;(e.g.&nbsp;&nbsp;5 and 3 so you would have been OK if opener had bid 3N).</li><li>3 = PUP. To 3N.</li><li>3N&nbsp;&nbsp;= P/C. 4 s.</li><li>4 = ART. 4s and (4 s and/or 4 s).</li><li>4 = ART. 4 s &amp; 4 s&nbsp;&nbsp;Game-only.</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>3 = NAT. 3 .</li><li>3N = NAT. 2 .</li><li>4 = KEY. 0/3. 4 .</li><li>4 = KEY. 1/4 4 .</li><li>4 = KEY. 2/5. 4 .</li><li>4 = KEY. 2+Q. .</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>3 - ??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>3N = S/O. To play.</li><li>4 = S/T. 4+ s.</li><li>4 = S/T. 4+ s.</li><li>4 = S/T. 5+ s.</li><li>4 = S/O. To play.</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>3 - 4<br>??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>4 = NEG. 2-3 s.</li><li>4 = KEY. 0/3. 4+ s.</li><li>4 = KEY. 1/4. 4+ s.</li><li>4N = KEY. 2/5. 4+ s.</li><li>4 = KEY. 2/5+Q. 4+ s.</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>3 - 4<br>4 - ??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>4 = S/T. 5+ s</li><li>4 = S/T. 4+ s.</li><li>4N = S/O.</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>3 - 4<br>4 - 4<br>??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>4 = NEG. 2 s.</li><li>4N/5/5]5 = KEY. 3 s.</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>3 - 4<br>4 - 4<br>??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>4N = NEG. 2-3 s.</li><li>5/5/5/5 = KEY. 4+ s.</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>3 - 4<br>??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>4 = NEG. 2-3 s.</li><li>4/4N/5/5 = KEY. 4+ s.</li></ul><br>2N – 3<br>3 – ??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>4 = S/T. 4+ s.</li><li>4 = S/T. 4 + s.</li></ul><br><br>2N – 3<br>3 – 3<br>3N - ??<br><br><ul class="bbc"><li>3 = Puppet to 3N.</li><li>3N = P/C. 5 s.</li><li>4 = S/T. 3s.</li><li>4 = S/T. 3[Di}s.</li><li>4 = S/T. 5+ s.</li></ul>Note that transfers also apply with responder's rebid e.g,<br><br>2N - 3<br>3 - ??<br><ul class="bbc"><li>3 = PUPPET to 3N, 52xy.</li><li>3N = P/C. 4 and 5 s.</li><li>4&nbsp;&nbsp;= S/T. 4+ s.</li><li>4 = S/T. 4+ s.</li></ul> <br>With 5 &nbsp;&nbsp;and 4 , you start with a transfer to right side both majors: 2N –&nbsp;&nbsp;3 – 3 – 3N.<br>With 5 but without 4 , you transfer and puppet: 2N - 3 - 3 - 3&nbsp;&nbsp;- 3N.<br>With 5 but only 2 , you simply transfer;&nbsp;&nbsp;2N-3-3-3N.<br>With 5 and 3-4 you can start 2N - 3 - etc..
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#73 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2012-March-29, 04:20

:P This is a nice thread. It has convinced me to play 3 as puppet over a 1NT open, and 3 as puppet over a 2NT open (Smolen must be considered the lesser benefit).

What it has not helped me with is the ever vexing problem of investigating a minor suit slam after a 2NT opener when I, the responder, have a good 6 card minor and our partnership has about 30+ HCP. Any ideas?
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#74 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2012-March-29, 14:47

View Post32519, on 2012-March-17, 01:12, said:

This thread has received a lot of emotional feedback defending Puppet Stayman, probably from people who use it. All the negatives listed on Chris Ryall's website posed the question, Is Puppet Stayman really worth the effort?

Maybe Im wrong, but these forums are here for less experienced players to learn from the more experienced ones. I am now asking these more experienced players to compile a comprehensive convincing list of advantages Why anyone should switch to Puppet Stayman? I will place the first one. Kindly add the rest:

Advantages of playing Puppet Stayman: Over 1NT
1. Can include a 5-card major suit holding within your 1NT range.
2.
3.
4.

Advantages of playing Puppet Stayman: Over 2NT
1. Can include a 5-card major suit holding within your 1NT range
2.
3.
4.

I will be the first to apologise if the list of advantages are enough, therein not requiring a rethink of Puppet Stayman


Really I honestly don't see why I should. You obviously aren't interested in reading what people have to say, because there are four pages of thread explaining many of the advantages and disadvantages in detail. You keep going on, and on, about the fact that the 'only' advantage of playing Puppet stayman is to find a 5-3 fit but it's not. You obviously aren't going to change your mind and, what's more, I honestly don't really care if you do or not. I don't have anything to gain by persuading other people to play methods I like - I don't mind explaining them if people are interested, but I'm not in the business of selling bidding system.

I play a form of puppet in response to a 2NT opening, and I'd continue to play something similar even if I never put a 5-card major into my 2NT opening. The value in playing (effectively) a 3C response as a relay, rather than a 'bid your 4-card major' response, is that you gain a lot of possible sequences in a cramped auction.

Your concern about very weak hands in response to a 2NT opening is misplaced. It's a very rare situation, and sometimes the opponents are cold for game anyway. If you hate the very idea of having to get to 2NT opposite a very weak hand, then play a strong 1C/1D system instead: that's the real solution, not mucking around with 2C auctions that are already difficult to manage.
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#75 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-March-30, 00:42

View PostFrancesHinden, on 2012-March-29, 14:47, said:

Really I honestly don't see why I should. You obviously aren't interested in reading what people have to say, because there are four pages of thread explaining many of the advantages and disadvantages in detail. You keep going on, and on, about the fact that the 'only' advantage of playing Puppet stayman is to find a 5-3 fit but it's not. You obviously aren't going to change your mind and, what's more, I honestly don't really care if you do or not. I don't have anything to gain by persuading other people to play methods I like - I don't mind explaining them if people are interested, but I'm not in the business of selling bidding system.

I play a form of puppet in response to a 2NT opening, and I'd continue to play something similar even if I never put a 5-card major into my 2NT opening. The value in playing (effectively) a 3C response as a relay, rather than a 'bid your 4-card major' response, is that you gain a lot of possible sequences in a cramped auction.

Your concern about very weak hands in response to a 2NT opening is misplaced. It's a very rare situation, and sometimes the opponents are cold for game anyway. If you hate the very idea of having to get to 2NT opposite a very weak hand, then play a strong 1C/1D system instead: that's the real solution, not mucking around with 2C auctions that are already difficult to manage.


Hi Frances

Partner and I were playing a very basic version of Puppet Stayman which concentrated on the majors (little effort was made to include minor suit orientated hands from responder).

This thread was started when we started asking why all this PS fuss? The times when either of us held a 5332 20-21 HCP hand was seldom. More often than not we ended up playing in a 4-4 major suit fit, or a 5-3 major suit fit with responder holding the 5-card suit not the opener. We got there via Jacoby transfer bids.

So I looked up the frequency of occurrence of typical 20-21 HCP NT hands. This is what I found: The probability of being dealt
1. 5332 and 20-21 HCP = 0.08% (5-card major, minor 5-card suits excluded)
2. 4432 and 20-21 HCP = 0.08%
3. 4333 and 20-21 HCP = 0.12%
...Total.........................= 0.28%

The probability of being dealt a bust
1. 4450 and 0-4 HCP = 0.01% Club shortness (losing Garbage Stayman)
2. 4441 and 0-4 HCP = 0.07% Club shortness (losing Garbage Stayman)
3. 4405 and 0-4 HCP = 0.01% Diamond shortness (losing Crawling Stayman)
4. 4414 and 0-4 HCP = 0.07% Diamond shortness (losing Crawling Stayman)
5. 4423 and 0-4 HCP = 0.17% Diamond shortness (losing Crawling Stayman)
...Total.....................= 0.33%
Less benefit of 5332..= (0.08%)
Net benefit/loss.........= 0.25%

Having no mechanism to improve the auction when responder has a bust, we were in a net loss situation.

Seeing the numbers, partner and I decided to dump PS. The majority of the face-to-face bridge we play is match points. The decision to dump PS became even easier when we were getting a top score in 3NT making 10 tricks when the rest of the field were making 10 tricks in a major.

I respect your decision for playing PS. Im just saying why I dumped it.
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#76 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-March-30, 23:43

The value of Crawling Stayman was demonstrated on board 4 during Final 1_3 in the just completed 2012 White House Juniors. OK, so this sequence took place after a 1NT opening bid, but it could just as easily have occurred after a 2NT opening bid.

Both rooms began with Garbage Stayman. In the Open Room, West continued with Crawling Stayman after a 2 response from opener which won his side 3 IMPs.
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#77 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 00:28

View Post32519, on 2012-March-30, 23:43, said:

The value of Crawling Stayman was demonstrated on board 4 during Final 1_3 in the just completed 2012 White House Juniors. OK, so this sequence took place after a 1NT opening bid, but it could just as easily have occurred after a 2NT opening bid.

Both rooms began with Garbage Stayman. In the Open Room, West continued with Crawling Stayman after a 2 response from opener which won his side 3 IMPs.


Are you serious? Just passing out 1NT goes down 4, possibly 3 tricks. Random results of down 3 versus down 4 in different 4-3 fits. Both 4-3 fits could have gone down 4.

As others have noted, puppet Stayman also has it's version of garbage Stayman but based on a different set of distributions which are more likely than regular garbage Stayman. Since you already thoroughly analyzed puppet Stayman, I'm sure you've already done the math.
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#78 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 02:56

View PostFrancesHinden, on 2012-March-29, 14:47, said:

Your concern about very weak hands in response to a 2NT opening is misplaced. It's a very rare situation, and sometimes the opponents are cold for game anyway. If you hate the very idea of having to get to 2NT opposite a very weak hand, then play a strong 1C/1D system instead: that's the real solution, not mucking around with 2C auctions that are already difficult to manage.


What makes this Puppet Stayman discussion even more depressing for me is this. At our local club there are only a handful of players who can be considered competent. None of these players have ever heard of PS, never mind actually playing it. Yet even these players have managed to work out their own methods of dealing with a big 5332 or similar hand. How have they managed to do so?

These players all play Phoney 1 Club in a 5-Card Major System. Not wanting to get too high opposite a bust hand, they all open with a Phoney 1. After a positive response, they make a jump with their second bid. Depending on the size of the actual hand, the jump will either be on level-2 or level-3, the point being that they are showing the 5-card suit which inevitably ends up as trumps. Responder with a bare minimum usually passes the 2-level jump. A 3-level jump always goes to game. With a negative response they simply keep bidding the 5-card suit at the lowest possible level until the opponents pass. When the 5-card suit is , the auction more often than not dies in 2. When the 5-card suit is , the opponents often overbid to 2 which ends up going down. Either way, their side ends up with the positive score.
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#79 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 03:36

View PostCodo, on 2012-March-15, 04:55, said:

I doubt that I can convince you but:
Without PS, I have two possibilities:

1. I am not able to open a 5332 hand with the right NT range in NT. This is particular ugly, if I hold 22+ HCPS and will fear that my 1 bid may be passed out. Another solution would be to open such a hand with your equivalent of an ACOL two. This is possible, but will burden these handtypes into your ACOL two. In the system I play, all these bids are bundled together with all even stronger hands in my 2 opening. So, even now, there are too many hand types for one opening, I am happy about any hand type, I can exclude.

2. You may open 2 NT with the 5332 hand without the possibility to ask for a five card major. This is what GIB is doing. This is entirely possible, but sometimes you pay for just being in the wrong game/slam.


You may argue that this price is low. But what exactly do I miss, if I play PS compared to normal stayman? To me, there are so low, that they do not count a lot in real life.


Or you can play a 5 card stayman without puppet over 2N.

One very common in the UK a few years back and fairly common now:

2N-3-
3 = no 5 card major, but also not 2/2-3
3M = 5 card suit
3N = 2/2-3

Over 3 the standard continuation is to bid 4 card majors held, but I think it's theoretically better for responder's 3 to deny 4 hearts (or show 5/4 if you remove 3N to 4) and opener to bid 3 if he has 4 of them.

The only holding that's awkward here is 5 cards in one major and 3 in the other. We normally transfer as it's more often important to play in the 5-3 fit if it's the weak hand's suit.

Over 1N this is sometimes recoverable, auctions like 1N-2-2-2N-3-4 are not unknown.
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#80 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 03:43

View Post32519, on 2012-March-30, 00:42, said:

I respect your decision for playing PS. Im just saying why I dumped it.


I don't play PS in the way you've described it. I am trying to explain that you seem to missing the point of it and hence your reasons for dumping it are (IMO) wrong, and your posting style is a little irritating at times.

View Post32519, on 2012-March-31, 02:56, said:

What makes this Puppet Stayman discussion even more depressing for me is this. At our local club there are only a handful of players who can be considered competent. None of these players have ever heard of PS, never mind actually playing it. Yet even these players have managed to work out their own methods of dealing with a big 5332 or similar hand. How have they managed to do so?These players all play Phoney 1 Club in a 5-Card Major System. Not wanting to get too high opposite a bust hand, they all open with a Phoney 1. After a positive response, they make a jump with their second bid. Depending on the size of the actual hand, the jump will either be on level-2 or level-3, the point being that they are showing the 5-card suit which inevitably ends up as trumps. Responder with a bare minimum usually passes the 2-level jump. A 3-level jump always goes to game. With a negative response they simply keep bidding the 5-card suit at the lowest possible level until the opponents pass. When the 5-card suit is , the auction more often than not dies in 2. When the 5-card suit is , the opponents often overbid to 2 which ends up going down. Either way, their side ends up with the positive score.


Isn't this just a simplified version of Polish club? When I said if you don't like opening 2NT on a strong balance hand, then play a strong 1C/1D system instead, I should have added ...or a Polish club/carrot club/3-way club system. An artificial 1C opening solves lots of problems. It also creates other problems - if it didn't, the world would be playing it.
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#81 User is offline   Wackojack 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 06:47

View Post32519, on 2012-March-30, 00:42, said:

Hi Frances

Partner and I were playing a very basic version of Puppet Stayman which concentrated on the majors (little effort was made to include minor suit orientated hands from responder).

This thread was started when we started asking why all this PS fuss? The times when either of us held a 5332 20-21 HCP hand was seldom. More often than not we ended up playing in a 4-4 major suit fit, or a 5-3 major suit fit with responder holding the 5-card suit not the opener. We got there via Jacoby transfer bids.

So I looked up the frequency of occurrence of typical 20-21 HCP NT hands. This is what I found: The probability of being dealt
1. 5332 and 20-21 HCP = 0.08% (5-card major, minor 5-card suits excluded)
2. 4432 and 20-21 HCP = 0.08%
3. 4333 and 20-21 HCP = 0.12%
...Total.........................= 0.28%

The probability of being dealt a bust
1. 4450 and 0-4 HCP = 0.01% Club shortness (losing Garbage Stayman)
2. 4441 and 0-4 HCP = 0.07% Club shortness (losing Garbage Stayman)
3. 4405 and 0-4 HCP = 0.01% Diamond shortness (losing Crawling Stayman)
4. 4414 and 0-4 HCP = 0.07% Diamond shortness (losing Crawling Stayman)
5. 4423 and 0-4 HCP = 0.17% Diamond shortness (losing Crawling Stayman)
...Total.....................= 0.33%
Less benefit of 5332..= (0.08%)
Net benefit/loss.........= 0.25%

Having no mechanism to improve the auction when responder has a bust, we were in a net loss situation.

Seeing the numbers, partner and I decided to dump PS. The majority of the face-to-face bridge we play is match points. The decision to dump PS became even easier when we were getting a top score in 3NT making 10 tricks when the rest of the field were making 10 tricks in a major.

I respect your decision for playing PS. Im just saying why I dumped it.


I have some doubts about the efficacy of puppet Stayman. However, like many posters, I find the way you argue the case against is particularly unconvincing. The post on frequencies above is a case in point.

I will leave aside the probabilities you gave on getting 0-4 HCP opposite a balanced 20-21 which I think are wrong. More importantly, they are meaningless. If you want to do figures to compare frequency of opportunity to do garbage or crawling stayman against opening 2NT with a 5 card major 5332, then you should compare proportions.

So the proportion of hands 5 card major 5332's compared with all other balanced hands is about 7.7%.

Now looking at the possible Garbage and Crawling Stayman hands you have given, we have to assume that they will be the same relative frequency opposite a 2NT opening bid as they would be with with unknown other hands. This should be roughly true. Then proportion of:

5440's with club or diamond shortages = 0.24%
4441's with club or diamond shortage = 1.5%
4432's with majors = 3.6%

Thus 5.3% of all distributions are suitable for G or S Stayman.

So with your logic (which of course I don't accept anyway) the benefit of using Puppet is 7.7%- 5.5% = plus 2.2%
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#82 User is offline   manudude03 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 06:58

Does anyone really play garbage/crawling stayman over a 2NT opener? Surely the biggest loss of puppet stayman is losing the smolen-type hands, of which some variations can handle anyway.
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#83 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 10:01

For anyone who might be interested, there are 3393199716 balanced 20-21 counts, of which 534618234, so about 15.8%, have a 5-card major.
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#84 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 11:57

View Post32519, on 2012-March-30, 00:42, said:

...................................
...Total.....................= 0.33%
Less benefit of 5332..= (0.08%)
Net benefit/loss.........= 0.25%


I don't understand your numbers. Besides that, you seem to be assuming that every time you could use crawling Stayman you are improving your expected value. Overall, 2NT is a far better contract than 3 of a major on a 4-3 fit when you don't find a 4-4 fit. Finding a 4-4 major fit when you are 4-4 in the majors is supposed to be about 52%, so you'll end up in 4-3 fit (or less) about 48% of the time.

My simulations on Dealmaster Pro show that the gains you have from finding a good 4-4 fit are approximately offset by the losses you have when you end up in a 4-3 fit. And if opener has a 2=2-4-5 or 2=2-3-6 semi balanced hand with minors, you won't even have a 4-3 fit to play. You also have a loss when you can't use Smolen.
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#85 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2012-March-31, 13:11

View Postcampboy, on 2012-March-31, 10:01, said:

For anyone who might be interested, there are 3393199716 balanced 20-21 counts, of which 534618234, so about 15.8%, have a 5-card major.


I am interested. Of those 15.8%, what proportion find a responder with precisely 3 card support, and fewer than 4 in the other major?
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#86 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-April-01, 00:13

View PostWackojack, on 2012-March-31, 06:47, said:

I have some doubts about the efficacy of puppet Stayman. However, like many posters, I find the way you argue the case against is particularly unconvincing. The post on frequencies above is a case in point.

I will leave aside the probabilities you gave on getting 0-4 HCP opposite a balanced 20-21 which I think are wrong. More importantly, they are meaningless. If you want to do figures to compare frequency of opportunity to do garbage or crawling stayman against opening 2NT with a 5 card major 5332, then you should compare proportions.

So the proportion of hands 5 card major 5332's compared with all other balanced hands is about 7.7%.

Now looking at the possible Garbage and Crawling Stayman hands you have given, we have to assume that they will be the same relative frequency opposite a 2NT opening bid as they would be with with unknown other hands. This should be roughly true. Then proportion of:

5440's with club or diamond shortages = 0.24%
4441's with club or diamond shortage = 1.5%
4432's with majors = 3.6%

Thus 5.3% of all distributions are suitable for G or S Stayman.

So with your logic (which of course I don't accept anyway) the benefit of using Puppet is 7.7%- 5.5% = plus 2.2%


These numbers of yours here are very close to my own numbers for a 0-37 HCP range. Obviously we cannot use this range. The 2NT bid requirement is 20-21 HCP. I used 0-4 HCP as the bust hand requirement.

The numbers you have quoted fall away hopelessly once you start specifying the HCP range.
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