Bridge: 5-card
"Puppet" Stayman

The 5 card puppet Stayman method fits all 8-card major fits and works best over 2NT, or a strong 1NT that may contain a 5 card major. There is less reason to transfer the declaration opposite weaker no-trumps.

This page defines the method and discusses its pro's and cons'

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The puppet Stayman method


Our objective is to reveal 5 card majors in the NT opener, and ensure that he becomes declarer. This rather nice definition was posted to Usenet by John (MadDog) Probst as part of the discussion linked to below

2NT - 3C 5-card puppet Stayman, used whenever no 5 card major held

3D No 5-card major, not 2 spades 3 hearts exactly
- 3H denies 4 hearts, asks partner to bid 3S with four, otherwise 3NT
3S - 3NT then denies spades as well
- 3S shows 4 hearts, denies 4 spades, asking for 3NT/4H
- 3NT shows 4-4 majors NB: don't do this with 3-2 or 2-3!
- 4H shows 5 spades and 4 hearts , partner cannot be 2-3, for correction

3H Opener has 5 hearts

3S Opener has 5 spades

3NT Opener has 2 spades 3 hearts (or 2-2 majors)

2NT - 3D Transfer into hearts
3H doubleton, or three
3NT would show 5 spades and 2 hearts (in case resp is 3-5)
3S, 4C, 4D transfer break: 4-card fit small doubleton in suit as above
4H transfer break: 4-card fit, no doubleton

2NT - 3H Transfer into spades
3S doubleton or three
3NT shows 5 hearts and 2 spades as above
4C, 4D, 4H transfer break: 4-card fit small doubleton in suit as above
4S transfer break: 4-card fit, no doubleton

2NT - 3S puppets 3NT*
3NT* - 4C/D Single-suited slam try
3NT* - 4H/S Splinter, 5-5 minor suit slam try

2NT - 3NT may be used for other meanings - but don't get them wrong :((

Memory points

Usenet discussion from 2002

The pros and cons of 5 card puppet Stayman were debated on Usenet in 2002. One of several good discussions archived on this site

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