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"Stayman Alternative" Anyone playing this?

#1 User is offline   Stefan_O 

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Posted 2016-September-04, 02:47

I recently found an interesting article here:

http://bridgewinners...an-alternative/

The subject is to find a remedy for a drawback of Stayman --- i.e. that you often inform defenders about declarer's length in a major that responder is not interested in.

If you're interested, I just added a question at the end of the comments section.
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#2 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2016-September-04, 08:14

The hand which Noble posted would be even worse using Puppet Stayman:

1NT-3
3-3
3NT

Not only has opener now also shown a 4-card hearts: opener's RHO also had the opportunity to double two artificial bids instead of one.

But yes, it certainly has something going for it to ask only for the four card major you are interested in. And if you play a style in which you superaccept with every hand that has fourcard support, it may be workable to put most (all?) of the stayman hands into the transfers and then use 2 to fill the gaps.

To answer your question: no, I have not heard about anyone playing this.
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#3 User is offline   Stefan_O 

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Posted 2016-September-04, 12:54

View Posthelene_t, on 2016-September-04, 08:14, said:

The hand which Noble posted would be even worse using Puppet Stayman:

1NT-3
3-3
3NT

Not only has opener now also shown a 4-card hearts...

Well -- actually not.

The method mr Noble refers to is not "standard Puppet", but so called "Low Information Puppet Stayman" (LIPS), which was specifially designed for this situation.

The difference is that, in LIPS --without 5-card major-- opener will ALWAYS bid 3D over 3C -- regardless of whether he holds zero, one, or two 4-card majors.
When landing in 3NT, only responder (aka. dummy) has revealed his 4-card major suit.

Therefore, in the sequence above, it is not known whether declarer has heart suit or not.

ps. I could only find one link that gives a good rundown of 1NT-3C=LIPS.
Unfortunately, is seems the site just expired -- it worked up til yesterday.
You can still retrieve it from the google cache, though.

Google this:
 justinlall lips puppet stayman 
and find the link "Puppet Stayman after a 1N Opener | Justin Lall"

Do not click the link (it does not currently work),
but find the small green triangle next to it with a "Cached" link, to read the article.


View Posthelene_t, on 2016-September-04, 08:14, said:

... opener's RHO also had the opportunity to double two artificial bids instead of one.

Yes, that is true.
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#4 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2016-September-04, 13:23

Eh, I don't know about any fancy conventions like "LIPS" but I thought it was absolutely standard that 1NT-3-3 just denies a 5-card major.
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#5 User is offline   Stefan_O 

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Posted 2016-September-04, 14:46

View Postmgoetze, on 2016-September-04, 13:23, said:

Eh, I don't know about any fancy conventions like "LIPS" but I thought it was absolutely standard that 1NT-3-3 just denies a 5-card major.

OK, so sound like you're playing LIPS then! :D

But from helene_t's comment, I guess,
if you play puppet the same way as after 2NT-3, opener's 3 would promise at least one 4-card major,
while he bids 2NT-3-3NT to deny 4-card major.

Justin Lall's article I tried refer to above, weighs the advantages/disadvantages of the two approaches.

Never played 1NT-3 Puppet, myself, so cannot say what is "standard" or not ---- but I guess you just did! :)
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#6 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2016-September-04, 15:37

I hadn't read the article before, but our NT system has many similarities. Our transfer to hearts can be INV with 4 hearts, and Stayman usually shows spades. Our Stayman include some other hands as well though: GF 5-5 minors, GF 6+ minor or a hand wishing to use relays.
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#7 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2016-September-04, 17:25

View Postmgoetze, on 2016-September-04, 13:23, said:

Eh, I don't know about any fancy conventions like "LIPS" but I thought it was absolutely standard that 1NT-3-3 just denies a 5-card major.


Yeah, me too.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#8 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 02:10

View PostVampyr, on 2016-September-04, 17:25, said:

Yeah, me too.


In standard Puppet 3 shows at least 1 4 card major. Otherwise bid 3N. This allows the 3 bidder to show both majors by bidding 4 with slam interest or 4 game only. If 3 does not show a 4 card major you cannot use this extension, and it is possible to miss a 4-4 fit. e.g.
2N 3
3 3 (spade suit)
3N

3N bidder may or may not have a 4 card heart suit
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#9 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 03:58

You might also consider the ETM Weak NT structure, which has similar properties of asking for a specific major. Interestingly, traditional Puppet Stayman (2 over 1NT) also has this property with the hand in question being bid 1NT - 2; 2 - 2; 2NT - 3NT. Of course, to counter the benefits of Opener not showing hearts, 4th seat has had the opportunity to double artificial calls in both rounded suits. As always, there are some hands where you win and others where you lose. Focusing on the one without reference to the other is typical of many bridge authors but not particular helpful.
(-: Zel :-)
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#10 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 04:16

View Postnekthen, on 2016-September-05, 02:10, said:

In standard Puppet 3 shows at least 1 4 card major. Otherwise bid 3N. This allows the 3 bidder to show both majors by bidding 4 with slam interest or 4 game only. If 3 does not show a 4 card major you cannot use this extension, and it is possible to miss a 4-4 fit. e.g.
2N 3
3 3 (spade suit)
3N

3N bidder may or may not have a 4 card heart suit

You could play 3 as just denying hearts. Opener's 3 then shows four spades but we can still bid 3NT. You leak information about the spade suit when responder has no 4-card major but then again you don't leak information about spades when responder has hearts. And you can use PS with a weak hand with long diamonds (at least if you have tolerance for both majors).
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 05:24

View Posthelene_t, on 2016-September-05, 04:16, said:

You could play 3 as just denying hearts.

Exactly. That is what I do and was implied in the 1NT puppet auction above. This is another example of winning on some hands and losing on others.
(-: Zel :-)
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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 05:59

I know that strong NT is more popular worldwide than weak with weak NT, there is no point to playing Puppet Stayman over a 1NT opening, as there are no right-siding issues.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#13 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 06:03

View PostZelandakh, on 2016-September-05, 05:24, said:

Exactly. That is what I do and was implied in the 1NT puppet auction above. This is another example of winning on some hands and losing on others.


So what do you do if responder has both majors?
2N 3
3 ??? and 3 may or may not have a 4 card major?
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#14 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 06:05

View Postnekthen, on 2016-September-05, 06:03, said:

So what do you do if responder has both majors?
2N 3
3 ??? and 3 may or may not have a 4 card major?

3NT. This shows 4-4. With no 4-card major, responder bids 3 which denies hearts but says nothing about spades.
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#15 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 06:09

View Postnekthen, on 2016-September-05, 02:10, said:

In standard Puppet 3 shows at least 1 4 card major. Otherwise bid 3N. This allows the 3 bidder to show both majors by bidding 4 with slam interest or 4 game only. If 3 does not show a 4 card major you cannot use this extension,


This extension is not great, as it uses up two bids that are more sensible if natural. On the other hand, playing differently may cause right-siding issues. I don't worry about that personally, as I play Kokish so with 20-22 both majors have already been bid.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#16 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 06:47

View Postnekthen, on 2016-September-05, 06:03, said:

So what do you do if responder has both majors?

In my 1NT structure:-
1NT - 2; 2 - 2NT is invitational with 4-4 majors
1NT - 2; 2 - 3 is GF with 4+-4 majors
1NT - 2; 2 - 2NT is invitational with 5-4
1NT - 2NT is invitational with 5-4
1NT - 2; 2 - 3 is invitational with 5-5 majors
1NT - 2; 2 - 3 is GF with 5-5 majors

...but there are plenty of other schemes about.

Over 2NT, I play the version where the 3 rebid show 3+ spades and/or 4+ hearts. Then (inter alia):-
2NT - 3; 3 - 3NT is 4-4 majors without SI
2NT - 3; 3 - 4 is 4+-4+ majors and SI (NB: Smolen at the 4 level over this in the no-fit [4] case)
2NT - 3; 3 - 4 is 5-4
2NT - 3; 3 - 3NT is 5-4 without SI
2NT - 3; 3 - 4 is 5-5 majors

The complete structure represents an alternative to Muppet for dealing with 5-4 hand types and is generally both more efficient and better for right-siding than the more popular form of Puppet with 3 promising a 4 card major.
(-: Zel :-)
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#17 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2016-September-05, 09:53

View Postnekthen, on 2016-September-05, 06:03, said:

So what do you do if responder has both majors?

I bid 2 instead of 3.
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#18 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2016-September-06, 01:01

View PostZelandakh, on 2016-September-05, 06:47, said:

In my 1NT structure:-
1NT - 2; 2 - 2NT is invitational with 4-4 majors
1NT - 2; 2 - 3 is GF with 4+-4 majors
1NT - 2; 2 - 2NT is invitational with 5-4
1NT - 2NT is invitational with 5-4
1NT - 2; 2 - 3 is invitational with 5-5 majors

1NT - 2; 2 - 3 is GF with 5-5 majors

...but there are plenty of other schemes about.

Over 2NT, I play the version where the 3 rebid show 3+ spades and/or 4+ hearts. Then (inter alia):-
2NT - 3; 3 - 3NT is 4-4 majors without SI
2NT - 3; 3 - 4 is 4+-4+ majors and SI (NB: Smolen at the 4 level over this in the no-fit [4] case)
2NT - 3; 3 - 4 is 5-4
2NT - 3; 3 - 3NT is 5-4 without SI
2NT - 3; 3 - 4 is 5-5 majors

The complete structure represents an alternative to Muppet for dealing with 5-4 hand types and is generally both more efficient and better for right-siding than the more popular form of Puppet with 3 promising a 4 card major.

So an invitational flat hand without a major has to bid 2S over partners 1NT isn't it?
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#19 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2016-September-06, 04:19

over 1NT,using a RELAY 2 C is vastly superior to ordinary Stayman.Four suit transfers stay as they are.
Over an opening 2NT,using BARON (3C) suits up the line,3334hand will be shown by a 3NT bid by the opener, and major and minor suit transfers ( 3NT for C and 4C for D) is useful not to miss 4/4 minor suit slams.Using transfers,the scheme is as follows,
A)2NT-3D is transfer to hearts,
3H--3S shows 5/4 in H/S GF
B)2NT-3H is tr to spades
3S-4H shows 5/5 in the majors.
C)2NT-3S shows 5/4 in S/H .This allows opener to play in 3NT if he so desires.
D)To just play in 3NT with no 4 card major and flat hand responder bids 3C as BARON and then bids 3NT.
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#20 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-September-06, 08:39

View Postmsjennifer, on 2016-September-06, 01:01, said:

So an invitational flat hand without a major has to bid 2S over partners 1NT isn't it?

Exactly. The 2 response shows either a (semi-)balanced invite, a weak hand with long clubs, or a GF hand with clubs and a second suit.


View Postmsjennifer, on 2016-September-06, 04:19, said:

over 1NT,using a RELAY 2 C is vastly superior to ordinary Stayman.Four suit transfers stay as they are.



View Postmsjennifer, on 2016-September-06, 04:19, said:

Over an opening 2NT,using BARON (3C) suits up the line,3334hand will be shown by a 3NT bid by the opener

I played Baron a long time ago but over time have moved away from it. The better form of the convention IMO is Skip-Baron, in which Opener bids suits held and Responder bids suits not held. If not playing 3 as baron you can get some of it back using either 4 or 4NT for it. Obviously that does not help on hands where Responder is unwilling to go past 3NT without a known minor suit fit though.


View Postmsjennifer, on 2016-September-06, 04:19, said:

major and minor suit transfers ( 3NT for C and 4C for D)

You have to be careful with using 3NT that way. Not only is there the potential for the infamous Beer but more seriously the jury is out on whether the cost of always having to allow a possible double of a conventional call (see D) is greater than the advantage gained. This is why my preferred structure uses 3 for clubs and 4 for diamonds. This is a subject that has been discussed on BBF many times though, so best refer to those rather than focusing on it here.


View Postmsjennifer, on 2016-September-06, 04:19, said:

C)2NT-3S shows 5/4 in S/H .This allows opener to play in 3NT if he so desires.

This convention is pretty bad and shows part of the cost you vare paying for playing Baron. You would actually be better off using 3NT for this and 3 for clubs. That helps with both the right-siding and beer issues attached to the methods.
(-: Zel :-)
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