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 The invitational 2♣ Puppet Stayman bid Feb 24 2017

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PostSubject: The invitational 2♣ Puppet Stayman bid Feb 24 2017   Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:27 am

In the Standard notrump system, a 2♣ response to 1NT (15-17 pts) promises at least an invitational 8-9 points but does not set an upper limit on responder's point count (which could be game forcing 10+). A responder with an invitational 8-9 point hand has to show this later in the bidding using the 2NT bid (over the 1NT opener's 2♥,♠ or ♦ rebid) or by making a 3 level raise of opener's 2♥'s or 2♠'s rebid with support. Since responder needs the 2NT bid to sometimes show his invitational 8-9 point hand, you can not play Puppet Stayman in the Standard notrump system at the 2 level with invitational values (8-9 points) since Puppet Stayman sometimes forces to the 3 level and the 2NT bid is lost. This is why Puppet Stayman is not usually played at the 2 level since you can not play it with invitational responder values, only with game force values.

This changes however when the 3♣ bid by responder is used to start Puppet Stayman with all suitable 10+ point (game force) hands. It becomes possible to play an invitational Puppet Stayman at the 2 level with 8-9 points.
When the 3♣ game force Puppet Stayman bid is available, a 2♣ bid by responder limits the responder hand to 8-9 points, invitational but not game forcing. (With more points, responder would bid 3♣).
The 2NT responder rebid is no longer needed allowing the use of an "invitational" 2♣ version of Puppet Stayman which does not force to game but instead allows the 1NT opener to decide whether to play at game level or play in 2NT or 3 of a major.
With the invitational version of Puppet Stayman described below, opener knows that responder will pass a bid of 2NT or 3 ♥s' or ♠'s by opener who is declining the invitation by making these bids.
Opener can also jump to a game level 3NT or 4 ♥s' or 4♠'s in his bidding, thereby accepting responders game invitation made with the 2♣ response.

3♣ Game force Puppet Stayman
Game force 3♣ Puppet Stayman should be used when responder has at least one 3 card major and at least 10 points (game force for the 15-17 pt NT range).

A 1NT -- (Pass) -- 3♣ sequence starts the game forcing Puppet Stayman convention, promising 10+ points in responder's hand.

The 3♣ bid by responder asks the NT bidder to bid a 5 card major at the 3 level if he has one, or bid 3♦'s if he has no 5 card major but at least one 4 card major. With no 4 or 5 card major, opener bids 3NT to play.

If the NT opener bids a major (showing 5 cards) and responder has 3+ card support, responder raises opener's bid to the 4 level to play (or starts slam bidding).

Without 3 card support for opener's 5 card major, responder bids 3NT to play (even with 4 cards in the other major) and opener should pass.

If opener bids 3♦ (promising at least one 4 card major) and if responder has only one 4 card major, responder bids 3 of the major he does not have. If opener has 4 cards in the unbid major, opener bids 4 of the unbid major. If the opener does not have 4 of the unbid major, he bids 3NT.

After a 3♦ bid as above by opener (showing at least one 4 card major but no 5 card major), if responder is 4-4 in the majors, responder bids 4♦ telling the opener that he is 4/4 in the majors and asking the opener to pick the major. Opener bids 4 of his 4 card major.

2♣ invitational Puppet Stayman
Invitational 2♣ Puppet Stayman should be used when responder has at least one 3 card major and at least 8 points but not more than 9 points. (invitational for the 15-17 pt NT range). In general, opener should accept the 2♣ game invitation with 17 points and decline with 15-16 points.

A 1NT -- (Pass) -- 2♣ sequence starts the invitational Puppet Stayman convention, promising 8-9 points in responder's hand and inviting to game.

The 2♣ bid by responder asks the NT bidder to bid a 5 card major at the 2 level if he has one, or bid 2♦'s if he has no 5 card major but at least one 4 card major. With no 4 or 5 card major, opener bids 2NT to decline the invitation or 3NT to accept the game invitation.

If the NT opener bids a major (showing 5 cards) and responder has 3+ card support, responder raises opener's bid to the 3 level. Opener passes this 3 level bid to decline the invitation or raises the major to the 4 level to accept the invitation.

Without 3 card support for opener's 5 card major, (even with 4 cards in the other major), responder bids 2NT. Opener passes to decline the invitation or raises to 3NT to accept the invitation.

If opener bids 2♦ (promising at least one 4 card major) and if responder has only one 4 card major, responder bids 2 of the major he does not have. If opener has 4 cards in the unbid major, opener bids 3 of the unbid major to decline the game invitation or 4 of the unbid major to accept the invitation. If the opener does not have 4 of the unbid major, he bids 2NT to decline the game invitation or 3NT to accept the invitation.

After a 3♦ bid as above by opener (showing at least one 4 card major but no 5 card major), if responder is 4-4 in the majors, responder bids 4♦ telling the opener that he is 4/4 in the majors and asking the opener to pick the major. Opener bids 3 of his 4 card major to decline the game invitation or 4 of his 4 card major to accept the invitation.
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