This bid is used after an opening bid of 2NT showing 20-22 points where it can contain a 5 card major. It’s used to find a 5-3 or 4-4 fit in the majors and also to get the strong hand to play out the contract.
After reading these notes…take a look at the muppet stayman video to further reinforce your understanding of the subject (19 hands included).
3♣ is muppet Stayman with the following responses.
|3♦||I have at least one 4 card major|
|3♥||I don’t have a 4 or 5 card major|
|3♠||I have a 5 card spade suit|
|3NT||I have a 5 card heart suit|
So this is the interesting thing about Muppet stayman – the 3♥ and 3NT bid are switched around.
Continuation after 3♦
The responses are similar to puppet stayman.
|3♥||Asks how many spades|
|3♠||I have a 4 card heart suit|
|4♣||Both majors with slam interest|
|4♦||Both majors no slam interest|
|4♥||Slam interest in clubs|
|4♠||Slam interest in diamonds|
The 3♥ is an ask just in case partner had started with 5 spades and 3 hearts. Rather than transfer to spades and give up on finding a 5-3 heart you will go through muppet stayman.
|3♠||I have a 3 card spade suit|
|3NT||I have a 2 card spade suit|
|4♣||I have 4 spades and potential slam interest|
|4♠||4 spades no slam interest|
After 4♣, suit bids are cue bids apart from 4♥ which is a relay to 4♠ and 4NT is RKCB…5♥ and 6♥ would be further relays to spades if need be.
Continuation after 3♥ (showing no 4/5 card major)
|3♠||Relay to 3NT|
|3NT||Shows a 5 card spade suit (very easy to forget!)|
|4♣||5-5 Both majors slam interest|
|4♦||5-5 Both majors no slam interest|
|4♥||Slam interest in clubs (6+ card suit)|
|4♠||Slam interest in diamonds (6+ card suit)|
Continuations after 4♣ (5/5 Majors slam interest)
So after 2NT – 3♣ – 3♥ – 4♣ or 2NT – 3♣ – 3♦ – 4♣
|4♦||RKCB in hearts|
|4♥||To play – bottom end of your hand|
|4♠||To play – bottom end of your hand|
|4NT||RKCB in spades|
Continuations after opener bids 3NT (showing 5 hearts)
|4♣||Undisclosed minor (or diamonds?)|
|4♦||Puppet to 4♥ then 4NT is RKCB|
|4♥||? Could be used as a slam try in clubs|
|4NT||Quantitative no hearts|
Because 4♦ is a puppet you cannot bid that to show diamonds.
Continuations after opener bid 3♠ (has a 5 card spade suit)
|4♣||Constructive natural (could show diamonds)|
|4♦||Constructive natural (could show clubs)|
|4♥||Slam try in spades|
After a 3NT relay response
So after 2NT – 3♣ – 3♥ – 3♠ – 3NT – ?
|4♣||Natural Slam try in Diamonds (5 card suit)|
|4♦||Natural Slam try in Clubs (5 card suit)|
By playing it this way opener can play a slam in diamonds which might be more advantageous.
Opener bids 4NT to sign off or bids the next suit up to agree a slam in the agreed minor.
It’s really critical you discuss this as a lot of people play this the wrong way and as soon as they here 4NT they start answering RKCB…you shouldn’t play it this way in the minors…use a suit bid to agree a minor slam interest.
Next suit up can then be RKCB (4130) or you can cue bid. Again make sure you agree.
After 4♥ to show slam interest in clubs
So after 2NT – 3♣ – 3♥ – 4♥
|4♠||RKCB agreeing clubs (4130)|
After 4♠ to show slam interest in diamonds
So after 2NT – 3♣ – 3♥ – 4♠
|5♣||RKCB in diamonds (3041)|
So if you have 5 spades and 4 hearts you can bid 3♣ where you can find a major fit – don’t use transfers with this holding like you normally would.
But! When you hold 5 hearts and 4 spades transfer to hearts first and then bid 3NT to show this hand.
Another thing I do is if opener has 5233 shape for example and partner transfers to hearts I then break the transfer and bid 3♠…partner can bid 4♦ as a further transfer to hearts showing 6+ hearts.
4♣ would be a slam try in any minor as 4♦ is a re-transfer and 4♥ is now a good raise in spades and 4♠ would be natural to play. After 4♣…you can bid 4♦ to agree a slam try in diamonds and 4♠ to agree clubs this time! 4♥ can be used to show a good 2 card suit AQ AJ etc.
If you find muppet stayman too difficult (understandable) for you…or you think you might forget it then take a look at puppet stayman instead.