Puppet variant: is there a name?

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Chuck Arthur

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Feb 22, 2002, 11:06:34 AM2/22/02
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One of my occasional partners brought this scheme from out of town. I
like it, and have a few of my partners playing it now. It addresses
many of the objections to standard Puppet Stayman. It makes such
sense, I have a hard time believing that it original, but I have not
read about it in literature, nor have not found anybody who can attest
authoritatively to its origins. Has anybody else tripped over this
one?

Can anybody suggest a proper attribution for this variant of Puppet
Stayman over 2 NT openings (or rebid after opening strong 2 clubs)?

Here is the essense.

3 clubs by responder asks for 4 and 5 card majors.

Responding 3 of a major directly shows 4 exactly.

Responding 3 diamonds denies a 4 card major, but opener might hold 5
spades.

3 NT shows 5 hearts (original responder may use 4 diamonds to transfer
to hearts)

After a 3 diamond response by opener, the original responder generally
goes through 3 hearts to ask about a 5 card spade suit, even if not
interested.

After a 3 diamond response by opener, a non 3 heart bid at the 3 level
is a Smolen like bid. 3 spades shows 4 spades and 5 or more hearts; 3
NT shows 4 hearts and 5 spades.

I have written this thing up under MS Word. Eric Kokish has added his
wise thoughts, fluffing it out somewhat in the areas of some related
sequences. If anybody is interested, let me know by private email, and
I will share this.

Chuck Arthur
Toronto, Canada

Micha Keijzers

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Feb 22, 2002, 11:54:05 AM2/22/02
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Chuck Arthur wrote:

Hi Chuck,

I've never seen it. I've heard about a few other variants in this
newsgroup and else. What did Kokish think of it? At least, I'm
interested. Always interested in improving my system! :-) (remove nospam
from the e-mail adress)

Kind regards, Micha
Netherlands

>

Chuck Arthur

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Feb 22, 2002, 2:17:56 PM2/22/02
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As a minor follow-up on my own post ... if anyone wishes to read the
more complete document, but cannot easily process a MS word document,
I have versions floating around in both .rtf and .txt format
>
>Chuck Arthur
>Toronto, Canada
>
>

Chuck Arthur

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Feb 22, 2002, 2:49:10 PM2/22/02
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Eric did not overtly express an opinion one way or the other, but I
got the sense that he liked it. When I was first searching for an
attribution, I asked a number of "better players" who I know well
enough that thought I could ask without them seeming like I was
imposing. Eric offered to pass it around the e-bridge discussion
group; he was working with them at the time. In doing so, he kept my
part about the benefits, a statement about why some didn't like the
standard variety, cleaned up my presentation somewhat, and added his
own ideas. I don't think that he would have bothered if he thought it
was junk.

CHA

Chuck Arthur

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Feb 22, 2002, 3:12:51 PM2/22/02
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Micha,
I attempted to do what your comment implied ... remove nospam
from your email address. This resulted in my sending email to
micke...@netscape.com; it bounced, "user unknown". If you wish me
to send you the full document, please send email to me at
chuck-...@rogers.com, and I'll pull your proper address from the
header.
Sorry for the public posting of this private matter, folks.
CHA

Paul Hightower

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Feb 23, 2002, 10:55:54 PM2/23/02
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Chuck Arthur <chuck-...@rogers.com> wrote in message news:<cvpc7usm69nu8fo45...@4ax.com>...

This sounds more like a version of Romex Stayman than Puppet Stayman
-- there's no puppet! The only Rosenkranz book I have handy doesn't
include Romex Stayman, though, and I can't recall the details.
Attention Ed Reppert!

Ed Reppert

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Feb 24, 2002, 12:30:08 AM2/24/02
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In article <6bb14ced.02022...@posting.google.com>,
paul...@infi.net (Paul Hightower) wrote:

> This sounds more like a version of Romex Stayman than Puppet Stayman
> -- there's no puppet! The only Rosenkranz book I have handy doesn't
> include Romex Stayman, though, and I can't recall the details.
> Attention Ed Reppert!

Huh? Wazzat? Somebody want something? Oh. Romex Stayman. Lessee.

3NT: 4-4 majors
3S: 5 spades, fewer than 4 hearts
3H: 4 or 5 hearts, fewer than 4 spades
3D: doesn't qualify for one of the above

After 3D, responder rebids:

3H: 4 spades, looking for a 4-4 fit
3S: 5 spades, 4 hearts
3NT: to play
4C/4D: natural, 5 card suit, slam interest

Doesn't look much like what Chuck posted, I think. :-)

Chuck Arthur

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Feb 24, 2002, 1:30:03 AM2/24/02
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On 23 Feb 2002 19:55:54 -0800, paul...@infi.net (Paul Hightower)
wrote:

>Chuck Arthur <chuck-...@rogers.com> wrote in message news:<cvpc7usm69nu8fo45...@4ax.com>...
>> One of my occasional partners brought this scheme from out of town. I

<snip>


>
>This sounds more like a version of Romex Stayman than Puppet Stayman
>-- there's no puppet! The only Rosenkranz book I have handy doesn't
>include Romex Stayman, though, and I can't recall the details.
>Attention Ed Reppert!

You make an interesting point; I have often wondered about the
semantics in this regard. What seems to be known as standard Puppet
Stayman over 2 NT (3 diamonds response by opener promising at least
one 4 card major, but denying a 5 card major) does not seem to me to
be much of a puppet at all. I just checked the "Official Encyclopedia
of Bridge" (why didn't I do that a long time ago?). What that tome
describes as "Puppet Stayman" is a scheme devised by Kit Woolsey for
use over 1 NT. 2 diamonds by opener simply denied a 5 card major, and
follow-up sequences were used to uncover a 4-4 major fit if it
existed. Since opener most often took the puppet to 2 diamonds
(breaking the relay only when holding a 5 card major), I suppose it
was closer to being a "puppet" (although I still quibble with the
semantics: I believe that in general, a "puppet" causes the responding
hand to take the transfer absolutely).

I also just checked the OEoB under Romex: there is an entry for "Romex
Stayman". Although it fills the same gap (a scheme over 2 NT openings
for uncovering both 4 and 5 card majors), it is quite different yet.
For example it includes a special rebid of 3 NT to show both majors.
I'm afraid that "Romex Stayman" doesn't cut it.

Whatever we choose to call it, I like "my scheme" better than any of
the above, mainly because 4 card majors (as a response by opener) are
bid directly (as in old fashioned Stayman), and it better handles
Smolen type hands by responder, always getting them played by the
strong hand in the major fit, when appropriate.

Chuck Arthur,
Toronto, Canada

Ed Colley

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Feb 24, 2002, 4:00:32 AM2/24/02
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"Chuck Arthur" <chuck-...@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:da0h7ugtg9q395hmo...@4ax.com...

> On 23 Feb 2002 19:55:54 -0800, paul...@infi.net (Paul Hightower)
> wrote:
>
> >Chuck Arthur <chuck-...@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:<cvpc7usm69nu8fo45...@4ax.com>...
> >> One of my occasional partners brought this scheme from out of town. I
> <snip>
> >
> >This sounds more like a version of Romex Stayman than Puppet Stayman
> >-- there's no puppet! The only Rosenkranz book I have handy doesn't
> >include Romex Stayman, though, and I can't recall the details.
> >Attention Ed Reppert!
>
> You make an interesting point; I have often wondered about the
> semantics in this regard. What seems to be known as standard Puppet
> Stayman over 2 NT (3 diamonds response by opener promising at least
> one 4 card major, but denying a 5 card major) does not seem to me to
> be much of a puppet at all. I just checked the "Official Encyclopedia
> of Bridge" (why didn't I do that a long time ago?). What that tome
> describes as "Puppet Stayman" is a scheme devised by Kit Woolsey for
> use over 1 NT. 2 diamonds by opener simply denied a 5 card major, and
> follow-up sequences were used to uncover a 4-4 major fit if it
> existed. Since opener most often took the puppet to 2 diamonds
> (breaking the relay only when holding a 5 card major), I suppose it
> was closer to being a "puppet" (although I still quibble with the
> semantics: I believe that in general, a "puppet" causes the responding
> hand to take the transfer absolutely).

Some people around here who play puppet Stayman don't allow opener
to bid a five card major, since that would spoil the various fancy-pants
follow-ups. I have a feeling that Kit Woolsey's original mandated a
2D rebid also, but my Bridge World collection doesn't go back that
far.

May I suggest the name 'five card Stayman' for systems which allow opener
to immediately distinguish between four and five card suits?

Incidentally, my current favourite variation is:

3D One or two four card majors
3H No major (now 3S puppet, 3NT = 5S)
3S Five spades
3NT Five hearts

[snip]

> Whatever we choose to call it, I like "my scheme" better than any of
> the above, mainly because 4 card majors (as a response by opener) are
> bid directly (as in old fashioned Stayman), and it better handles
> Smolen type hands by responder, always getting them played by the
> strong hand in the major fit, when appropriate.

The scheme is quite pretty, but there is a cost to getting the four
card majors out directly - for example consider responder with a mild
slam try with 4H and 5D. In standard schemes, he can bid:

2NT 3C
3D 3S (showing hearts)
3NT (no fit) 4D (showing diamonds)

In your scheme, it is more likely to start:

2NT 3C
3S (4 spades) ?

Now, is 4D show a fit or deny one? If it denies a fit, presumably you
can bid 4H as a general slam try, but you have clearly lost some
accuracy.

- Ed


b...@moscito.org

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Feb 24, 2002, 7:00:07 AM2/24/02
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In article <cvpc7usm69nu8fo45...@4ax.com>,
Chuck Arthur <chuck-...@rogers.com> wrote:

>One of my occasional partners brought this scheme from out of

>town. [...] Can anybody suggest a proper attribution for this
>variant of Puppet Stayman over 2 NT openings (or rebid after 2C)

This general scheme (often credited to M. Sklar circa 1970)

2N-3C; Ask for majors
3D No major, or 5 spades
-3H do you have 5 spades
-3S shows 5-4 or 4-5 in the majors.
-3N can be the other 54 majors, less than slammish if you want.
3H exactly 4 hearts, possibly also 4 spades
-3S do you have 4 spades
3S 4 spades, not 4 hearts
3N 5 hearts, responder may transfer with 4D

is the one written up by Marshall Miles in "Bridge from the Top", what
I consider an indispensable introductory book to bidding theory. OTOH,
I urge you to adopt Romex, mentioned by others here:

2N-3C; Ask for majors
3D No major, or 4 spades
-3H do you have 4 spades
-3S shows 5-4 in the majors
-3N can be 4-5 in the majors, less than slammish if you want
3H 4 hearts, maybe 5; not 4 spades
-3S do you have an extra heart?
3S 5 spades.
3N 4-4 in the majors, responder may transfer with 4D or 4H

Compare the two structures carefully, and I think you will agree that
Romex is better. I leave the reason as an exercise to the reader. :P

--
If you worked it out, you might actually learn something in the process :P

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