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Puppet Stayman

This bid is used after an opening bid of 2NT showing 20-22 points where it can have a 5 card major. It’s used to find a 5-3 or 4-4 fit in the majors.

3♣ is puppet Stayman with the following responses.

BidMeaning
3I have at least one 4 card Major
3I have a 5 card heart suit
3♠I have a 5 card spade suit
3NTI don’t have a 4 or 5 card major.

Continuation after 3

BidMeaning
3I have a 4 card spade suit (this is not a mis-print)
3♠I have a 4 card heart suit
3NTTo play
4♣Both majors with slam interest
4Both majors no slam interest

For most people that’s enough information for you to use the system to find the right game contract. If you want to know more then read on…

Let’s look at the continuations to possible slam…

Continuations after 4♣

BidMeaning
4RKCB in hearts
4To play – bottom end of your hand
4♠To play – bottom end of your hand
4NTRKCB in spades

Continuations after opener has a 5 card heart suit

BidMeaning
3♠Slam try in hearts (Could play this as RKCB in hearts)
4♣Natural Slam try in Clubs
4Natural Slam try in diamonds
4To play
4NTRKCB for hearts or quantitative in hearts (make sure you agree)

Continuations after opener has a 5 card spade suit

BidMeaning
3NTTo Play
4♣Natural Slam try in Clubs
4Natural Slam try in diamonds
4Slam try in spades (Could play this as RKCB in spades)
4♠To play
4NTRKCB for spades or quantitative in spades (make sure you agree)

After a 3NT response

BidMeaning
4♣Natural Slam try in Clubs
4Natural Slam try in diamonds
45/5 in the majors no slam try
4♠5/5 in the majors slam try?

Opener bids 4NT to sign off or bids 4 over 4♣ to look for slam in clubs. Responder bids a major to show interest in slam in diamonds or bids 4NT to sign off.

It’s really critical you discuss this as a lot of people play this the wrong way and as soon as they hear 4NT they start answering RKCB. You shouldn’t play it this way in the minors…use the majors to agree a minor slam interest.

Take a look at this puppet stayman video to see it in action.

Also when you’ve mastered puppet stayman….take a look at muppet stayman which is a more advanced system.

Frivolous 3NT

If we start with an auction with no intervening bidding such as:-

  • 1♠ – 2♣
  • 2♠ – 3♠
  • ?

If we have agreed an 8 card fit in the majors then most of the time it’s going to play better in 4♠, therefore if we give up the 3NT bid as a natural bid, we can use it for something more constructive….The Frivolous 3NT.

Based on the principal of fast arrival 3♠ here can show a better hand. We can now use 3NT as the more useful Frivolous 3NT conventional bid.

So what are the kinds of hand that would bid 3NT, cue bid, or just bid 4♠?

Hands that would bid the Frivolous 3NT

a)b)c)d) We open 1♣
♠ AQ10863
A62
K84
♣ 7
♠ KQ10754
KQ8
3
♣ K65
♠ AKJ1072
108
K2
♣ QJ10
♠ KJ876
K2
K106
♣ KJ
All these Hands bid the Frivolous 3NT

Hands that would Cue Bid

a)b)c)d) We open 1♣
♠ AQ10863
AKQ
Q72
♣ 7
♠ KQ10754
Q8
A72
♣ A5
♠ QJ10972
AK
AQ
♣ Q72
♠ KQJ86
AJ2
K106
♣ A7
All these Hands would cue bid at the lowest available level

Hands that would bid straight to game

a)b)We open 1♣c)We open 1♣d)
♠ KJ10863
KJ
KJ
♣ 732
♠ KQ754
KQ8
Q2
♣ J72
♠ K10972
AK7
Q7
♣ 972
♠ K987432
KQ
QJ
♣ 94
All these Hands would bid straight to game

Which auctions are Frivolous 3NT?

So in all the following Frivolous 3NT applies….

Auction 1

  • 1♠ – 2♣
  • 2♠ – 3♠
  • 3NT

Okay if you cannot spot this as frivolous 3NT you’re in trouble!

Auction 2

  • 1♠ – 2
  • 3 – 3NT

The Frivolous 3NT convention may be used by either partner as this is a 2/1 game forcing auction.

Auction 3

  • 1♠ – 2
  • 3 – 3♠
  • 3NT

Frivolous 3NT may be used after an intervening cue bid.

Auction 4

  • 1♠ – 2♣
  • 3♣ – 3♠
  • 3NT

Frivolous 3NT may be used after an intervening raise of responder.

Auction 5

  • 1♠ – 2
  • 2NT – 3♠
  • 3NT

Frivolous 3NT applies even if opener rebid a natural 2NT as long as the major is raised.

Auction 6

  • 1♠ – 2NT
  • 3♣ – 3
  • 3♠ – 3NT

Frivolous 3NT applies after any game forcing raise of a major, even without a 2/1. Here the responses are to Swedish Jacoby.

What Auctions aren’t frivolous 3NT?

Auction 1

  • 1♠ – 2♣
  • 2♠ – 2NT
  • 3♣ – 3♠
  • 3NT?

Here the 3♠ bid only shows 2 card support so the 3NT can be natural.

Auction 2

  • 1♠ – 2♣
  • 2 – 2♠
  • 3NT?

Jumps to 3NT aren’t frivolous…you can simply cue-bid over 2♠ or bid 3♠

Auction 3

  • 1♠ – 2♣
  • 2 – 3♠
  • 3NT?

3♠ is a strong picture jump raise therefore the Frivolous 3NT is not needed when the partnership is already known to be in the slam zone. This could be a case of wanting partner to cue bid 4♣ before you bid 4

Auction 4

  • 1♠ – 2
  • 3♠ – 3NT

The 3♠ bid is similar to the last auction is a strong picture jump suit rebid setting the suit.
Frivolous 3NT is not needed since the partnership is already known to be in the slam zone.

Auction 5

  • 1♠ – 1NT
  • 2♣ – 3♠
  • 3NT

Since the 3♠ is a 3-card limit raise. Here the Frivolous 3NT is off since responder’s 3♠ raise did not create a game force.

Well I hope that wets your appetite!

Kokish Game Tries

Kokish game tries are similar to trial bids. They come after partner has raised 1 of a Major to 2 of a Major, so:

  • 1 – 2 and 1♠ – 2♠

So 2♠ would be a kokish game try when the hearts have been raised and 2NT would be a kokish game try when the spades have been raised.

Responder now bids there lowest suit they are happy to accept a game try in…by either having help in that suit because they have a shortage or they have good values in that suit. So Qxx would not be considered that good in the suit where KJxx would be a good holding.

If responder cannot help in any suit they simply bid the major at the 3 level.

If opener doesn’t like the response e.g. 3♣ they can then bid 3 or 3 and ask for help in the bid suit.

You can also play a direct raise asks for help in the trump suit…but most people play that as a pre-emptive raise.

  • 1 – 2 – 3 and 1♠ – 2♠ – 3♠

The advantage of this system over normal long suit trial bids is if your partner shows no help you haven’t divulged where your weakness is.

2 Way Checkback

2 Way checkback or shortened form 2WCB has to be one of my favourite systems…I’ve already done a 2WCB Video…so i’d advise you to take a look at that after looking through these detailed notes.

This system works well playing 5 card majors and a strong NT.
After the sequence for example of 1X, Pass, 1Y, Pass, 1NT.

Playing a strong NT the 1NT response shows less than 15 points.

If you play a weak NT then the response shows 15-16 or 15-17 usually.

There are 3 basic hand types:-

  • Sign off
  • invitational (usually going through 2♣)
  • game forcing 2

Let’s look at the sign offs

  • 1♣ – 1♠
  • 1NT – ?
  • 2 – shows 5 spades and 4 hearts
  • 2♠ – shows 5+ spades wanting partner to pass
  • 2NT asking partner to bid 3♣

Let’s look at invitational hands

The responses are:-

  • 1♣ – 1♠
  • 1NT – 2♣ (forces 2)
  • 2 – ?
  • Pass – To play
  • 2 – invitational values showing 5+spades and 4+hearts
  • 2♠ – invitational in spades 5+ spades
  • 2NT – invitational in NT’s
  • 3♣ – invitational in clubs
  • 3 – invitational in diamonds
  • 3– invitational with 5+ spades and 5+ hearts
  • 3♠ – invitational with 6+ spades

If the bidding goes 1m (any minor), 1, 1NT, 2♠ without intervening bids then this shows a 44 major hand with game interest…where going through 2♣ would show 54 distribution and game interest…as remember the 1NT rebid does not deny a 4 card spade suit.

Let’s look at game forcing bids

2 is a game Force bid asking opener to describe their hand further.

  • 1♣ – 1♠
  • 1NT – 2
  • ?
  • 2 shows a 4 card heart suit doesn’t deny 3 spades
  • 2♠ denies a 4 card heart suit and shows 3 spades
  • 2NT denies 4 hearts and 3 spades and shows a maximum
  • 3♣ – 5 card club suit
  • 3 – 4 card diamond suit (possibly 2245 or 1345 shape)
  • 3NT denies 4 hearts and 3 spades and shows a minimum

Alternatively you can make jump bids after:-

  • 1♣ – 1♠
  • 1NT – ?
  • 3♣ – forcing showing 5+ spades and 5 clubs
  • 3 – forcing showing 5+ spades and 5 diamonds
  • 3 – forcing showing 5+ spades and 5 hearts
  • 3♠ – forcing showing 6+spades

2 Way CheckBack can also be played over 2NT responses in a similar way as for 1NT.

The advantage of using 2 Way Checkback is that it can avoid going to the three level and avoid guesswork as whether or not something is forcing, semi-forcing or non-forcing.

The disadvantage of using 2WCB is you can no longer stop in 2♣.

Lets look at some hands:-

We are playing 5 card majors and a strong NT, so the 1NT rebid shows less than 15 points…so let’s look at some hands and the bidding to go with them:-

a)b)c)d)
♠ Q3
AKJ72
972
♣ A7
♠ 73
AKJ72
A73
♣ J52
♠ K104
K72
AJ109
♣ K54
♠ K742
A5
K84
♣ Q976
♠ K872
5
K108543
♣ 32
♠ KQJ842
64
985
♣ 43
♠ A7
AQ985
73
♣ J1098
♠ AJ63
QJ97
1053
♣ K3
e)f)g)h)
♠ Q7
K93
A10875
♣ A107
♠ J73
AJ72
A73
♣ Q52
♠ A109
KJ72
A73
♣ J52
♠ Q109
AJ72
A73
♣ J52
♠ A853
Q6
5
♣ 9765432
♠ KQ842
64
K85
♣ K3
♠ KJ842
AQ86
K6
♣ Q9
♠ AJ842
K6
985
♣ AQ9

a) 1 – 1♠ – 1NT – 2♣ – 2.

The 2C bid forces partner to bid 2D and after partner didn’t raise in spades we simply try to play in the best contract which is likely to be 2D when you hold a 6 card diamond suit and partner is relatively balanced.

b)1 – 1♠ – 1NT – 2♠.

Because you didn’t go through 2♣, this makes the 2♠ a non-invitational bid. In other words it is FORCING your partner to shut up shop…you don’t want him to bid again.

c)1♣/ – 1– 1NT – 2♣ – 2 – 2 – 4

Depending on your methods you are going to open 1 of a minor. You now go through 2♣ before bidding your suit again with 2. Partner has a maximum and 3 card heart support so simply raises straight to game.

d)1♣ – 1 – 1NT – 2♠

This sequence shows 4-4 in the majors and is invitational. As North is a minimum they can now just pass 2♠.

e)1 – 1♠ – 1NT – 2NT – 3♣

2NT is simply forcing partner to bid 3♣

f)1♣ – 1♠ – 1NT – 2♣ – 2 – 2♠

This sequence an invitational raise in spades. As north is weak but he does have three card spade support they can simply pass.

g)1♣ – 1♠ – 1NT – 2 – 2 – 2NT – 3♠ – 4♠

This is a game forcing sequence. Opener shows the 4 card heart suit and responder now bids 2NT. Opener now bids 3♠ to show a 3 card spade suit and responder now bids 4♠.

You can also play this system over a 2NT rebid…3♣ bids being the weak hands where you might have responded with a 4 count. 3 are staymanic and other bids are forcing to game and possible intrest in slam.

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