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Bridge Conventions, Puppet Stayman

Puppet Stayman

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Puppet Stayman is a version of Stayman that is popularly used in response to a 2NT opening bid.

By Ana Roth
On 25 April, 2013 At 17:17

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Puppet Stayman
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Source: ACBL

Puppet Stayman is a specialized version of regular Stayman that is popularly used in response to a 2NT opening bid.
Beginning an auction with 2NT has pluses and minuses. In the plus column, opener gets to convey her strength (for the purpose of this column, we’ll define 2NT as showing 20 to 21 high-card points) and relative shape, which is, of course, balanced. On the minus side, 2NT is unwieldy because it takes up a lot of bidding space.

Also, many of the hands that are candidates for 2NT openings will contain a five-card major. If you open 2NT on a hand that has five hearts or five spades, wouldn’t it be easy to miss a 5–3 major-suit fit?

This is why many pairs use puppet Stayman, a bidding tool designed to diagnose such a fit.

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