Matthew Johnson

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5-card puppet Keri

Keri is a system to find 4–4 major fits similar to Stayman, but it also allows a weak takeout to diamonds. 5-card puppet Stayman is an extension to Stayman to find a 5–3 fit when the 1NT bidder might have a 5-card major. This is an analogous extension to Keri to achieve the same objective.

You don't have quite the same abilities as Keri, since responder with a weak takeout to diamonds has to either be happy playing opposite a 5-card major or at the three level, but it gives you more weak options than 5-card puppet stayman, which generally promises at least invitational values, unlike the more traditional 'garbage' stayman bids.

5-card puppet Keri starts with 2♣ after a natural 1NT bid and the responses are as follows. All the breaks to new suits and features can be changed to the meaning of your choice, we use them to show side suits and to use the General Swiss slam convention.

  • 2/♠—with a 5-card major
    • 3♣—to play
    • 3—to play
    • Other rebids are as after this sequence in 5 card puppet Stayman.
  • 2—with all other hands.
    • Pass—weak with diamonds
    • 2—4 spades; may have 4 hearts.
      • 2♠—forcing; promises 4 hearts.
        • 2NT/3NT—inv/GF, not 4 hearts.
          • Pass—to play, not 4 spades
          • 4♠—also 4 spades
        • [3♣/3—4 hearts, feature in suit bid; GF]
        • 3/4—inv/GF, 4 hearts.
        • [3♠—GF, 4 hearts, auto-Swiss.]
        • [4♣/4—GF, 4 hearts, Swiss.]
      • 2NT/3NT—min/max, denies a 4-card major.
      • [3♣/3/3—4 spades, feature in suit bid; max.]
      • 3♠/4♠—min/max, 4 spades.
      • [4♣/4—max, non-serious Swiss.]
    • 2♠—4 hearts; denies 4 spades.
      • 2NT/3NT—min/max, denies 4
      • [3♣/3—4 hearts, feature in suit bid, max.]
      • 3/4—min/max, 4 hearts.
      • [3♠—4 hearts, maximum, auto-Swiss.]
      • [4♣/4—GF, 4 hearts, Swiss.]
    • 2NT—3–3 majors; invitational strength.
    • 3♣—to play
    • 3NT—3–3 majors, GF.

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