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Puppet Stayman Why would anyone play this convention

#1 User is offline   easy 

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Posted 2004-April-09, 18:19

By the topic description i'm sure you all can determine how i feel about this convention. But in case you are not sure B)

I thought i would ask some of those people that play this convention why they feel it is important to discover if partner has opened or rebid 2nt with a 5 card major.And secondarily does the form of scoring impact their decision to use this @#$$%% convention. LOL

Let me describe Puppet Stayman as i know it.
After an opening bid of 2nt (and some after a 1nt opening) or an opening bid of 2c followed by a rebid of 2nt

The responder with a 3 card holding in a major bids 3c asking opener about his major suit holdings. Opener responds. 3d with a 4-card major, 3h/s with a 5-card major and 3nt with none of the above.

a.If opener bids 3d(indicating an unknown 4-card major) and responder has one 4-card major responder bids the major that he doesnt have.if responder has both 4-card majors he bids 4D asking opener to set the trump suit.
b. if opener shows a 5 card major and responder fits the suit he bids game or makes some move toward slam.
c. if opener bids 3nt responder passes assuming no slam interest.


Cons to Puppet Stayman

1. Gives opponents yet another chance to make a lead directing double.
2. Gives opponents a better idea of the declarers distribution thus allowing better defense .
3. Tells the opponents about your partners secret weapon (the 5th card in the suit) Perhaps this should be included in 2 above.
4.Makes responder's life next to impossible when dealt 5-4 major suit holding. And partner rebids 3nt
1) (loses the abilty to use smolen)
2) can't bid your 5 card major over 3nt for fear pard may have doubleton
5. Most partnerships have no idea how to describe major minor hands (4M -5m)

Pros.

1. allows your side to play in your 8-card major suit fit.
2. I have no idea what other pros there are.....that is why i started this thread :unsure:
This game never ceases to intrigue me!!
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#2 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-April-09, 19:22

OK I think that the system that you have described is non-optimal so I don't intend to answer the question. A better method would be:

2N-3C = relay asking for major suit length, to which the responses are, starting from the top and working down:

3N = 4-4 in the majors (then 4D/4H = transfers, 4C = slam try of some sort)
3S = 5 Spades
3H = 4 or 5 Hearts, fewer than 4 Spades (3S asks for H length, then 3N = 4)
3D = anything else, which happens to be: Fewer than 5 Spades and fewer than 4 Hearts.

Over 2N-3C-3D:
3N = to play
3S = 4 Spades and 5 Hearts
3H = enquiry as to Spade length, over which 3S = 3 card Spades, 3N = 2 card Spades, 4? = 4 card spades.

Advantages:
You find any 8 card fit that there is to be had
You almost always get to play it by the strong hand
You minimise the extraneous information given to opps
You start with 3C on 5-4 in the majors either way around, without any problem finding the fit, and it means that you can reserve 3D transfer to H followed by 3S on 5-5 hands (or something else more useful).

Disadvantages?
ummmmm
Well I suppose if you always do it every time you have a 3 card major in the hope that partner has 5 card support then I guess you do give more information to opps than a simple 3N raise.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#3 User is offline   keylime 

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  Posted 2004-April-09, 19:23

Puppet Stayman is IMPORTANT for one reason:

"It allows the strong hand to declare, and if they offer a lead directing double we have the chance to take them to the woodshed and avoid a bad slam" - pard's quote

To not have Puppet Stayman is to punish partner for having the goods to open a strong opener. To not have this tool is along the lines of the insane 2H double negative over the 2C opener in 2/1 and SAYC.
"Champions aren't made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. " - M. Ali
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#4 User is offline   Shrike 

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Posted 2004-April-09, 19:30

Not a complete answer, but a couple of thoughts:

- Puppet is, IMO, more valuable over (a) 1NT bids, when they show a strong balanced hand that may have a five-card major (e.g., in strong club sytems , where they are around 17-19 or stronger though some play a bit weaker); here there is plenty of room to find the right contract when responder is 5-4 or 4-5 Ms, regardless opener's shape; and (b) 2NT overcalls of opps' weak twos, because here it may be quite important to find a 5-3 fit, even where the long suit is in the strong hand, so without such a method intervenor may be forced to forgo a notrump bid and therefore incur a substantial risk of getting to the wrong contract when advancer is not strong enough to advance a suit overcall. (Consider, e.g., AJx KQTxx Ax KJx after 2S, weak, by RHO)

- Some of the disdvantages you cite are ameliorated by inclusion in the system of sensible followups. In one partnership I play that after 2NT - 3C - 3D, 4D and 4H are are transfers -- this recaptures Smolen. 4C is usually now used as pick-a-major, which is good, because now opener "superaccepts" with 4D with exceptional slam interst in one or both majors. (Responder's 4H is now pass-or-correct, 4NT is six-ace Blackwood; inetersting question what 4S should be.) 3H and 3S each show interest in the other major, as usual, and 3NT is to play. After opener declines responder's invitaion in a 4-card major, as 2NT - 3C - 3D - 3H - 3NT, responder's 4-level suit bids can be natural or, for the intrepid, transfers, with 4S showing clubs and opener declining with 4NT with no exceptional fit. This way you get your 4-5 major-minor hands back. Note that 4-6 types can be handled with transfers at responder's first bid, either 3S transfering to 4C, or if your memory is good 3S transfering to 3NT and 3NT to 4C (the advantage of the latter being that 2NT - 3S - 3NT - 4C can now be used as Gerber.)

- Lead directing doubles aren't as common after 2NT openings as in some facially similar auctions, because the risk of a redouble is considerable.
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Posted 2004-April-09, 20:24

If 5 card major doesnt interest you, then why is 4 card interest you ? why ask for stayman at all ? just shoot to 3nt and dont help the opponents.
In my expirence and i guess someone did the necessary tests, its good to be able to check for 5 card major.
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Posted 2004-April-10, 04:02

1eyedjack, on Apr 10 2004, 03:22 AM, said:

OK I think that the system that you have described is non-optimal so I don't intend to answer the question. A better method would be:

2N-3C = relay asking for major suit length, to which the responses are, starting from the top and working down:

3N = 4-4 in the majors (then 4D/4H = transfers, 4C = slam try of some sort)
3S = 5 Spades
3H = 4 or 5 Hearts, fewer than 4 Spades (3S asks for H length, then 3N = 4)
3D = anything else, which happens to be: Fewer than 5 Spades and fewer than 4 Hearts.

Over 2N-3C-3D:
3N = to play
3S = 4 Spades and 5 Hearts
3H = enquiry as to Spade length, over which 3S = 3 card Spades, 3N = 2 card Spades, 4? = 4 card spades.

Advantages:
You find any 8 card fit that there is to be had
You almost always get to play it by the strong hand
You minimise the extraneous information given to opps
You start with 3C on 5-4 in the majors either way around, without any problem finding the fit, and it means that you can reserve 3D transfer to H followed by 3S on 5-5 hands (or something else more useful).

Disadvantages?
ummmmm
Well I suppose if you always do it every time you have a 3 card major in the hope that partner has 5 card support then I guess you do give more information to opps than a simple 3N raise.

Ask Frederick (Free in BBO forum, Freee BBO nick) to send you his way of puppet, if he will be so kind to agree B) Really interesting and usefull invention!

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#7 User is offline   mpefritz 

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Posted 2004-April-10, 05:18

1eyedjack, on Apr 10 2004, 03:22 AM, said:

2N-3C = relay asking for major suit length, to which the responses are, starting from the top and working down:

3N = 4-4 in the majors (then 4D/4H = transfers, 4C = slam try of some sort)
3S = 5 Spades
3H = 4 or 5 Hearts, fewer than 4 Spades (3S asks for H length, then 3N = 4)
3D = anything else, which happens to be: Fewer than 5 Spades and fewer than 4 Hearts.

Over 2N-3C-3D:
3N = to play
3S = 4 Spades and 5 Hearts
3H = enquiry as to Spade length, over which 3S = 3 card Spades, 3N = 2 card Spades, 4? = 4 card spades.

The one modification that I play is:

Over 2N-3C-3D:
3N = 5 Spades and 4 Hearts
3S = 4 Spades and 5 Hearts
3H = enquiry as to Spade length, over which 3S = 4 card Spades, 3N = 2 or 3 card Spades.

Note that this extra step to get to 3NT allows both Smolen-type calls, which the original poster was worried about.

It also allows 2NT-3NT to be a transfer. BUT it also then requires no sleepy reflex 2NT-3NT auctions and no sleepy reflex 2NT-3C-3D-3NT auctions.

So in my mind, major disadvantage: precious memory used and chance to screw up. I think the best way to remember such a convention is to go to the training rooms and deal yourself constrained hands and try to figure out the best sequences.

fritz
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#8 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-April-10, 05:20

mpefritz, on Apr 10 2004, 06:18 AM, said:

1eyedjack, on Apr 10 2004, 03:22 AM, said:

2N-3C = relay asking for major suit length, to which the responses are, starting from the top and working down:

3N = 4-4 in the majors (then 4D/4H = transfers, 4C = slam try of some sort)
3S = 5 Spades
3H = 4 or 5 Hearts, fewer than 4 Spades (3S asks for H length, then 3N = 4)
3D = anything else, which happens to be: Fewer than 5 Spades and fewer than 4 Hearts.

Over 2N-3C-3D:
3N = to play
3S = 4 Spades and 5 Hearts
3H = enquiry as to Spade length, over which 3S = 3 card Spades, 3N = 2 card Spades, 4? = 4 card spades.

The one modification that I play is:

Over 2N-3C-3D:
3N = 5 Spades and 4 Hearts
3S = 4 Spades and 5 Hearts
3H = enquiry as to Spade length, over which 3S = 4 card Spades, 3N = 2 or 3 card Spades.

Note that this extra step to get to 3NT allows both Smolen-type calls, which the original poster was worried about.

It also allows 2NT-3NT to be a transfer. BUT it also then requires no sleepy reflex 2NT-3NT auctions and no sleepy reflex 2NT-3C-3D-3NT auctions.

So in my mind, major disadvantage: precious memory used and chance to screw up. I think the best way to remember such a convention is to go to the training rooms and deal yourself constrained hands and try to figure out the best sequences.

fritz

Could you just clarify how this variation gains?
I expect it should be obvious but I cannot see it.
The only difference appears to be that I include the hand with 5S and 4H in the 3H rebid.
This means that if responder has only 4 Spades you unnecessarily disclose to the defenders opener's precise Spade length (2 v 3), when there is no Spade fit. I acknowledge that that is a downside to my method.
But on the other side of the coin, in your method, if responder has 4H and fewer than 4S he just wants to play in 3N as soon as he hears the 3D response. My method permits this but your method requires the disclosure of 4 or less than 4 Spades via 3H enquiry on the way. That is a downside to your method.

Thanks
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#9 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-April-10, 05:45

Since I received some PM's about the way I play this (tnx to Misho :P ), here it is:

I used to play Puppet Stayman (and still do after a 1NT opening with 3, because we use 2 to investigate for slam), but after 2NT openings I'm playing something else these days. I find 3 Puppet stayman very useful after a 1NT opening, because you usually get a 3 response and partner doesn't have to give away too much info (which Major he has) to opponents...

After 2NT, 3 is a relay which asks for more information. This doesn't promisse anything and doesn't require any Major at all! We can use it to ask info, as well as to switch it around and show OUR hand. Answers are:

3 = no Major OR 4-4 M
3 = 4/5 card (no 4 card )
3 = 4 card (no 4 card )
3NT = 5 card

After 3, a 3 bid asks if partner has a 4 card or a 5 card, and opener responds 3NT with a 4 card or cuebids with a 5 card.
After 3NT, 4 is trf.

After 3, we have extra options :) :
3 = Smolen (4 & 5+) OR no 4 card M
3 = Smolen (4 & 5+)
3NT = at least one 4 card Major

after this 3NT response, opener can bid 4 to ask for a transfer of the best Major responder has or pass without any Major.
after 3 all goes like after a normal Smolen
after 3, opener can bid 3 to investigate what responder has by bidding 3 or bid 3NT when he has still no interest in a major. So without a 3 card you should bid 3NT.

2NT - 3
3 - 3
3 - ?

3NT = no 4 card Major
4m = slam try with Smolen and control m
4 = slam try with Smolen and control
4 = no slam try with Smolen

If we bid 4m somehow after any other auction than this right above, it shows a slam try hand with long m.

We use other bids for two-suiter slam try hands:
2NT - ?

3 = puppet to 3NT, either to play or with a 55+ with 5-5 in a Major and a minor
3NT = 55+m without a void
4 = 55+m with a void

To show a 5-5M, we transfer and if partner has a fit we know that immediatly (3 or 3NT show 2 card , all other bids show 3 card) and without a fit we rebid 4. We can also use our 3 smolen for that. After that 4 is RKC :)

Possible disadvantages here are:
- we still show a 5 card holding immediatly
- when opener has no 4 card M we give opponents lots of possibilities for lead directing doubles, BUT turn it around, give partner a smolen hand and we play 3M** for a top.

Advantages:
- some bids have multi purpose, so it's only clear in the end what responder has, and opps can get hit very bad if they Double
- slam auctions are pretty simple, because opener can almost never pass any bid of responder
- right-siding the contract was a big design-goal! With transfer advances after some auctions it's done
- finding 5-3 fits is a must after 2NT openings, so this is done as well
- 54+ hands with Majors can ALL be bid

I hope I didn't forget something... :P
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#10 User is offline   easy 

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Posted 2004-April-10, 07:49

keylime, on Apr 10 2004, 04:23 AM, said:

Puppet Stayman is IMPORTANT for one reason:

"It allows the strong hand to declare, and if they offer a lead directing double we have the chance to take them to the woodshed and avoid a bad slam" - pard's quote

To not have Puppet Stayman is to punish partner for having the goods to open a strong opener. To not have this tool is along the lines of the insane 2H double negative over the 2C opener in 2/1 and SAYC.


Sorry but i dont understand your comments.

1) if the person with the 5-card major opens 2nt aren't they declaring the hand?
2)If they make a lead directing double you can stay out of slam or penalize them with a redouble?? (I'm presuming that was the meaning of taking them to the woodshed:)Is there some reason to believe that after the lead directing double you have enough "wood" to play 3c xx?
3) How is opener being punished by not having puppet stayman available?


I'm glad to see that many of those people that play puppet have the ability to play in their 8 card fits when responder has 5-4 hands but that still doesnt address my question.

What are the advantages of determining if partner has a 5card major. And what are the criteria for employing this convention.

One responder to my query asked "If 5-card major doesnt interest you then why is 4 card interest you. Why ask stayman at all"

Well from my point of view if i have no ruffing value (ie: doubleton) a 4-card major DOES NOT interest me and i dont use Stayman:)
This game never ceases to intrigue me!!
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#11 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-April-10, 08:15

easy, on Apr 10 2004, 08:49 AM, said:

keylime, on Apr 10 2004, 04:23 AM, said:

Puppet Stayman is IMPORTANT for one reason:

"It allows the strong hand to declare, and if they offer a lead directing double we have the chance to take them to the woodshed and avoid a bad slam" - pard's quote

To not have Puppet Stayman is to punish partner for having the goods to open a strong opener. To not have this tool is along the lines of the insane 2H double negative over the 2C opener in 2/1 and SAYC.


Sorry but i dont understand your comments.

1) if the person with the 5-card major opens 2nt aren't they declaring the hand?
2)If they make a lead directing double you can stay out of slam or penalize them with a redouble?? (I'm presuming that was the meaning of taking them to the woodshed:)Is there some reason to believe that after the lead directing double you have enough "wood" to play 3c xx?
3) How is opener being punished by not having puppet stayman available?


I'm glad to see that many of those people that play puppet have the ability to play in their 8 card fits when responder has 5-4 hands but that still doesnt address my question.

What are the advantages of determining if partner has a 5card major. And what are the criteria for employing this convention.

One responder to my query asked "If 5-card major doesnt interest you then why is 4 card interest you. Why ask stayman at all"

Well from my point of view if i have no ruffing value (ie: doubleton) a 4-card major DOES NOT interest me and i dont use Stayman:)

Easy has a point of sorts.

When Torbjorn Lindeloef did his computer simulations published in Cobra some three decades ago he concluded that you should generally shy away from playing in 4M with a 5-3 fit when both hands are balanced, in favour of 3NT. I think that one of Meckwell also commented that if you religiously look for the major fit then you are going to go down in a lot of 3N contracts that are making by 3N punters.

On the other hand, just considering 4-4 fits for the moment, just because you (Responder) have no ruffing values that does not mean that opener has none. I tend to prefer 3N with a 4-4 major fit when (1) the 4-4 fit is based on weak suits and/or (2) when there is duplication of shape in the side suits and/or (3) when we have a combined 28-31 count. Sadly you don't have room to enquire about (1) and (2), and the odds are against those holdings so I tend to go for the fit unless (3) applies, which I CAN calculate.

Returning to investigating the 5-3 fit, it is not hard to construct a pair of hands consistent with a 2NT opener where 4M is better:



On that hand there is not even a ruffing value.

It is also not hard to construct a pair of hands consistent with a 2NT opener where 3NT is better:



Distinguishing what hands may be worth looking for the fit may be a matter of skill. I doubt that it is pure luck although there may be an element of luck.

But it is I think reassuring to have the mechanism.

One last example hand:



With a miracle fit I suppose that game and/or slam in a minor might be the best spot. But as responder I am so generally sparse of resources that I would take my chances in 3NT if there is no major suit fit to be had. But if we have a 5-3 Spade fit I would really rather play in it. Not sure, but might chance it with 4-3 Spade fit, although the Diamonds may be a source of tricks in NT so I don't have strong opinion about that. But a 5-3 fit in that case is a must.

And no, the 2N opener with the 5 card major is not always declaring the hand, unless you engineer your responses carefully. Thus far, having opened 2NT, he is only the declarer in a Notrump contract. The declaration of the major suit contracts is not determined until someone bids the suit.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#12 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-April-10, 08:30

I should add, that Puppet Stayman (or variant thereof) is a useful launching point for responder to investigate slam when responder is balanced. The comment in the initial post that many partnerships have not agreed on later continuations is not a sound argument against its use. It is just a sound argument against not agreeing on later continuations.

If you use Puppet Stayment (or a variant thereof) it is possible to design a system of responses where
2N-3H+ all show some type of distributional slam try
2N-3D = certain distributional slam tries plus any game going hand without slam try that is not dealt with through puppet stayman
2N-3C = puppet stayman (or variant thereof) including any balanced slam try.

I know this is possible, as I have done it, and it makes your slam investigation quite powerful after what has hitherto been dubbed the "slam killer" opener.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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