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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
4Slam Try in Clubs
4♠Slam Try in Diamonds

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
4♠Splinter
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.

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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