Five-Card Puppet Stayman
When opening 2NT there is a reasonable prospect that opener may have a five-card major. Five-card Puppet Stayman enables responder to investigate for both possible 4-4 major fits and 5-3 major fits. The bid is game-forcing. The ‘puppet’ method enables the stronger hand to be declarer (i.e. concealed). (Don’t confuse with transfers in which the responder may have a 5-card major).
Responder uses the 3♣ bid if:
he has a hand containing a four card major – and would prefer to play in the 4-4 major fit if it exists (e.g. ♠K74 ♥Q832 ♦98 ♣J764).
he has a hand containing at least one three card major and would prefer to play in a 5-3 major fit if one exists (e.g. ♠K74 ♥Q83 ♦98 ♣J7642).
The basic method is (there are more complicated methods):
3♣ primarily asks opener for either 4- or 5-card majors, with the 2NT opener then responding:
3♦ - no five-card major, but at least one four-card major.
The responder (i.e. the original Stayman bidder) then bids:
3♥ - denies four hearts, but shows four spades. Opener then bids 3NT or 4♠.
3♠ - denies four spades, but shows four hearts. Opener then bids 3NT or 4♥.
4♣ - 4-4 in both majors. Opener then bids his better 4-card major (4♥ or 4♠).
3NT – no 4-card major (i.e. the original 3♣ bid was an attempt to find a 5-card major). Opener will pass.
3♥ - shows 5 hearts.
3♠ - shows 5 spades.
3NT - denies a four or five-card major.
a)♠ AKJ93b)♠ AKJc)♠ AKJd)♠ AK63e)♠ AK6
♥ A7♥ AK7♥ AK7♥ AKJ♥ AKJ7
♦ AJ4♦ J84♦ J84♦ J84♦ Q84
♣ K82♣ KJ83♣ KJ83♣ KJ8♣ K83
♠ Q74♠ Q74♠ Q74♠ Q74♠ Q4
♥ K83♥ Q83♥ Q832♥ Q832♥ Q832
♦ Q7652♦ Q7652♦ Q7652♦ Q7652♦ J7652
♣ 94♣ 94♣ 9♣ 9♣ 9
f)♠ AK3g)♠ AKJ93h)♠ AK3
♥ AKJ7♥ A7♥ AKJ
♦ Q84♦ AJ4♦ J84
♣ K83♣ K82♣ KJ83
♠ Q742♠ Q7♠ Q7642
♥ Q832♥ K832♥ Q83
♦ J765♦ Q7652♦ Q765
♣ 9♣ 94♣ 9
a) 2NT - 3♣ - 3♠ - 4♠. Responder would prefer a 5-3 major game on account of the fragile club suit, so bids 3♣. 3♠ from opener shows a five-card spade suit.
b) 2NT - 3♣ - 3NT - pass. As (a), but 3NT from opener denies a four-card or a five-card major.
c) 2NT - 3♣ - 3NT - pass. Responder would prefer to play in hearts if opener can support - 3NT from opener shows he can't.
d) 2NT - 3♣ - 3♦ - 3♠ - 3NT - pass. Responder would prefer to play in hearts so bids 3♠. Opener shows at least one four-card major. South denies four spades (and hence shows four hearts), but North can't support.
e) 2NT - 3♣ - 3♦ - 3♠ - 4♥ - pass. Responder would prefer to play in hearts so bids 3♠. Opener shows at least one four-card major. South denies four spades (and hence shows four hearts), but now North can support hearts.
f) 2NT - 3♣ - 3♦ - 4♣ - 4♥ - pass. 4♣ from responder shows both majors; North supports hearts.
g) 2NT - 3♣ - 3♠ - 4♠ - pass. Responder would like to find a 4-4 heart fit, but when opener shows the five card spade suit, he could bid either 4♠ or 3NT.Despite being only a doubleton spade, the poor club suit would probably persuade me to bid 4♠, hoping for a possible club ruff before defenders can draw trumps.
h) 2NT - 3♥ - 3♠ - 3NT - 4♠ - pass. Not 5-card Stayman - an ordinary transfer sequence when responder has the 5-card major.