Yesterday in a Swiss, partner had a somewhat rare opener (2N/20-21) and I held a somewhat-rare response hand (1462 game-going & possibly slammish). I had never dealt with this combination before, and would appreciate advice.
Before showing hands, let's talk methods. We play standard Puppet, but have never discussed how to deal with 4M/6m hands over a 2N opener. It seems like there are several possible sequences that might show this, depending on opener's response (let's assume x46x here):
(i) 2N 3♣ (ii) 2N 3♣ (iii) 2N 3♣
3♦ 3♠ 3♠ 4♦ 3N 4♦
QUESTION 1 - If you play Puppet, what are your methods (if any) to show a 4M/6m hand? Is there some standard approach here that we are simply unaware of?
QUESTION 2 - What do the sequences above mean to you? Is (ii) better used as slammish cue-bid in support of spades? Is (iii) better used as a delayed Texas transfer to show 64 majors?
Now some less mainstream methods questions, and one that will only relate to a 4M/6m hand if you choose to give up on the major. We play that 2N-3♠ is a relay to 3N showing two types of hands: (a) hand that wants to play 3N, or (b) various hands with one or two long minor suits. However, we haven't really discussed opener options after responder uses this approach to show a long minor.
QUESTION 3 - If using the 3♠ relay treatment, how would you play opener follow-ups after this sequence (2N-3♠-3N-4m) where responder has shown a 6+ minor suit?
My initial thoughts are that opener can (a) cue-bid to show 1st/2nd round control with hand suitable for the minor (some combination of max strength, trump support, non-diamond controls), (b) bid 4N as offer to play with minimum hand not suitable for diamonds, (c) bid 5m with non-slammish hand that is still suitable for the minor. Over the (a) cue-bid, responder can continue to cue-bid or bid RKC if indeed he holds a slammish hand. But please do critique and improve on this.
QUESTION 4 - Do you have better methods than the 3♠ relay to explore minor-suit games/slams over a 2N opener?
Now the responder hand:
QUESTION 5 - With the methods available (Puppet but no discussion of 4M/6m, 3♠ relay to show 6♦+ but with no discussion of opener follow-ups), what's your approach? How hard are you going to push for slam and under what circumstances? I recognize that many will abstain due to the ambiguity, but would appreciate anyone willing to comment.
QUESTION 6 - With your no-doubt-better-defined methods, what's your approach here?
The full hand:
Club lead. Making 6.
I decided that the combination of (a) uncertain follow-ups to Puppet to show 4M/6m, and (b) the possibility that ♦ are a better place sometime even with a ♥ fit, suggested focusing on diamonds. But am open to other thoughts.
Bottom line: we landed in the best place (unless we somehow knew a minor-suit lead was coming), but it's hard to take too much credit given that we were clearly on shaky method grounds here, and no doubt my choice to bypass the possibility of a heart game or slam could cost on other hands.
Plus... it's free!