Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 04/01/2010
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Drury is a convention that CAN be very useful. But before you read about it, I ask: do you open light in third or fourth-seat? If not, then don't bother reading about Drury. If you and partner do open light in third or fourth seat, then Drury can be a very handy tool.

Drury is a convention used by the responder after his partner has opened 1? or 1? in 3rd or 4th seat to show a good raise. When we say Drury, it is really short for "Reverse Drury", but almost no one plays it any other way than the one described below. 

The conventional bid (see end of article for variations) is 2? to show a good raise, examples below:



Pass Pass Pass 1?
 Pass  2?    



Pass Pass Pass 1?
 Pass 2?    










Pass  Pass 1?  Pass




 Pass  Pass  1?  Pass






In all cases, the 2? bid is artificial (says nothing about clubs). It shows support for the major (at least 3 cards) and a good raise. "Good" means more than a single raise to the 2-level. So, instead of 6-9, this raise is showing 10+ (counting distribution). Of course, it can't be too strong a hand, since the player bidding 2? has already passed.  Here are some examples of hands that would bid 2?, Drury, after a third- (or fourth-) seat 1? opening:

?Q 8 3
?A 8 7 6 5
?K J 4 2
, or

?K J 2
?K Q 5 2
?J 8 7 6
?3 2
, or

?A 2
?A Q 2
?8 7 6 5 3
?6 5 2

After a third-or fourth-seat 1? opener, a Drury bidder might hold:

?A K 3
?8 7
?J 5 4 3 2
?Q 7 3
, or

?K Q J 2
?A 2
?7 6 5 4
?10 4 3
, or

?9 8 7
?A K
?K 7 6 2
?10 8 7 6

After the Drury 2? bid, the opener can sign-off in 2-of-the agreed major by bidding it, for example:

 Pass Pass 1? Pass
2? Pass 2? Pass
Pass Pass    

If opener is interested in game, he can bid game, or make some bid other than 2 of his major.

Why use this convention? A player who opens in 3rd or 4th seat is often on the light side. The 2? response (rather than a limit-raise to the 3-level) has the advantage of keeping the partnership at the 2 level when the opening bid was made on say, an 11- or 12-count.


> Some pairs use 2-way Drury. This entails a 2? Drury bid which promises exactly (only) 3-card support. With 4+ card support, the Drury bid is an artificial 2?. As long as you can remember it, this isn't a bad idea.

> When playing Drury, you lose the ability to respond with a natural 2? (and a natural 2? if playing 2-way).

> It is not a good idea to use Drury over interference. If the opponents double (or overcall) after the major-suit opening, you should just play "natural."

> To play this convention, make sure you can remember it, have discussed which way you play it (I suggest as above), and if you are using 2-way. Also, of course, discuss that it is OFF in competition.
>If opener wants to be in game after hearing the Drury bid, he should just jump to 4-of-the-major and not give away information. [Example:  P  P  1?  P; 2? P ??  -- Jump to 4? with:  ?A Q 2
?A Q J 8 7 6
?Q 10 4

> This convention is not on my top-12 list -- but does make the next grade -- not a bad one.

Drury is alertable.



Last updated: December, 2021