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Tag: stayman

Muppet Stayman

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.

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

BidMeaning
3Asks how many spades
3♠I have a 4 card heart suit
3NTTo play
4♣Both majors with slam interest
4Both majors no slam interest
4Slam 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.

BidMeaning
3♠I have a 3 card spade suit
3NTI 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)

BidMeaning
3♠Relay to 3NT
3NTShows a 5 card spade suit (very easy to forget!)
4♣5-5 Both majors slam interest
45-5 Both majors no slam interest
4Slam 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♣

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 bids 3NT (showing 5 hearts)

BidMeaning
PassTo Play
4♣Undisclosed minor (or diamonds?)
4Puppet to 4 then 4NT is RKCB
4? Could be used as a slam try in clubs
4♠Cue Bid
4NTQuantitative 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)

BidMeaning
3NTTo play
4♣Constructive natural (could show diamonds)
4Constructive natural (could show clubs)
4Slam try in spades
4♠To Play
4NTQuantitative

After a 3NT relay response

So after 2NT – 3♣ – 3 – 3♠ – 3NT – ?

BidMeaning
4♣Natural Slam try in Diamonds (5 card suit)
4Natural 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

BidMeaning
4♠RKCB agreeing clubs (4130)
4NTTo play

After 4♠ to show slam interest in diamonds

So after 2NT – 3♣ – 3 – 4♠

BidMeaning
4NTTo play
5♣RKCB in diamonds (3041)

Muppet Transfers

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.

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
4♣Natural Slam try in Clubs
4Natural Slam try in diamonds
4NTRKCB for hearts or quantitative in hearts (make sure you agree)

Continuations after opener has a 5 card spade suit

BidMeaning
4♣Natural Slam try in Clubs
4Natural Slam try in diamonds
4Slam try in spades
4NTRKCB for hearts or quantitative in hearts (make sure you agree)

After a 3NT response

BidMeaning
4♣Natural Slam try in Clubs
4Natural Slam try in diamonds

Opener bids 4NT to sign off or bids 4 over 4♣ to look for slam in diamonds. 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 here 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.

Lavings

The Lavings convention is a simple way of asking for 5 card majors after partner has opened a strong or weak NT.

After an opening 1NT Bid and 2♣ Response

So it’s important to known you can only bid 2♣ with invitational hands.

BidMeaning
2Minimum no 5 card Major
2Minimum 5 card hearts
2♠Minimum 5 card spades
2NTMaximum no 5 card suit
3♣Maximum 5 card club suit
3Maximum 5 card diamond suit
3Maximum 5 card heart suit
3♠Maximum 5 card spade suit

Continuations after 2

So after 1NT – 2♣ – 2 uninterrupted

BidMeaning
25 card suit non-forcing
2♠5 card suit non-forcing
2NTTo Play
3♣Promissory Stayman

Continuations after 2NT

So after 1NT – 2♣ – 2NT uninterrupted. 3♣ would be promissory Stayman.

Some Examples

Let’s look at some examples of strong and Weak NT openers.

a)b)c)d)
♠ AQ1083
K8
KJ7
♣ A97
♠ AJ53
J54
QJ72
♣ K7
♠ KJ4
K108
AQ762
♣ A7
♠ KJ862
42
KQ7
♣ AJ10
♠ 954
A74
Q8543
♣ K3
♠ Q73
KQ973
A65
♣ 43
♠ Q72
AQ962
93
♣ 953
♠ Q73
KQ973
A65
♣ 43
e)f)g)h)
♠ AQ862
42
KQ7
♣ KJ10
♠ KJ82
42
KQ7
♣ AJ107
♠ KJ8
42
KQJ7
♣ A1092
♠ KJ62
42
KQ7
♣ AJ107
♠ J73
K10973
43
♣ A65
♠ Q763
KQ93
A65
♣ 43
♠ Q763
KQJ3
1073
♣ K5
♠ Q1073
KQ73
A65
♣ 43

The Bidding

a) 1NT (15-17) – 2♣ – 3♠ – 4♠

So the 3♠ shows a maximum and you simply raise it to 4♠

b) 1NT (12-14) – 2♣ – 2 – 2

Partner has invitational 5 card heart suit but after just bidding 2 you can pass this even with 3 card support.

c) 1NT (15 – 17) – 2♣ – 3 – 3 – 4

The original NT bidder is maximum with a 5 card diamond suit. You now bid your 5 card heart suit (game forcing) which gets supported to 4.

d) 1NT (12 – 14) – 2♣ – 3♠ – 4♠

The original NT bidder is maximum with a 5 card spade suit. You now bid 4♠.

e) 1NT (15-17) – 2♣ – 2♠

So the 2♠ shows a minimum with 5 spades which you can just pass.

f) 1NT (12-14) – 2♣ – 2NT – 3♣ – 3♠ – 4♠

2NT shows a maximum without any 5 card suit. 3♣ is promissory Stayman (it guarantees a 4 card major) and partner bids 3♠ which then gets raised to 4♠.

g) 1NT (12 – 14) – 2♣ – 2NT – 3♣ – 3 – 3NT

The 2NT shows a maximum without any 5 card suit. 3♣ is promissory Stayman (it guarantees a 4 card major) and partner bids 3 which denies a 4 card major. 3NT is then bid.

h) 1NT (12 – 14) – 2♣ – 2NT – 3♣ – 3 – 3NT – 4♠

The 2NT shows a maximum without any 5 card suit. 3♣ is promissory Stayman (it guarantees a 4 card major) and partner bids 3. 3NT is bid as you don’t like hearts and partner converts to the known 4-4 spade fit and bids 4♠.

So that’s how to play the Lavings bidding convention….a five card major ask after an opening 1NT.

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 – invational 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.

Stayman

A video on how to play stayman with examples….

Muppet Stayman

Yes this is a thing!

So Muppet Stayman is an upgrade on Puppet Stayman. The idea is to find your 4-4 and 5-3 fits after partner opens or rebids 2NT AND get the strong hand to play out the contract.

The thing to remember is if you are the weak hand is never bid a suit you might want to play in….so bidding a major denies that major!

There are 19 hands here with continuations on to slam in some cases with some added complexity…

Puppet Stayman

In this video I’ll show how you play puppet stayman over a 2NT opener or rebid. Puppet stayman is a way to find 5-3 or 4-4 fits in a major.

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