Drury Convention

Mr. Douglas Drury, born 1914 and died 1967, devised the Drury convention. Mr. Douglas A. Drury, of Vancouver, Canada, and later of Sebastopol, California, United States, as an experienced bridge player, realized that an opening in either the third seat or even the fourth seat following two or three passes respectively should and could be made on sub-minimal values.

Note: Mr. Douglas Drury was a stockbroker, bridge teacher and club owner. He made his mark early as a tournament player while living in Toronto, Canada. He was deemed a capable and popular bridge administrator, who served on the ACBL Board of Governors and the Systems and Conventions Committee. He also shared the same status in the bridge community as Mr. Percy Sheardown, Mr. M. M. Miller, Mr. Vincent F. Boland, Mr. Bruce Gowdy, Mr. C.B. Elliott, and Mr. Eric Murray.

The concept was based on the opinion and/or theory that if the third seat, following two passes, did indeed hold sub-minimal values, then most of the values were held by fourth seat.

Hence an opening made with fewer than standard values was almost mandatory for third seat. Fourth seat openings were only made at the discretion of the the player and were based on several features such as possession of the Spade suit, distribution, etc.

However, the responder had no genuine way of knowing whether the opening in third or fourth seat was based on standard opening values or whether the opening was made with fewer than opening values.

  • Note: The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, Sixth Edition, page 128, states that Mr. Douglas Drury, born 1914 and died 1967, invented the conventional method, so the story goes, as protection from the feather-light third-hand openings of his partner Eric Murray, his partner at the time and also from Canada.


  • Note: Mr. Douglas Drury, of Sebastopol, California, was a stockbroker, bridge teacher and club owner. He began his bridge career early as a tournament player while living in Toronto, Canada, and playing with the capable Mr. Eric Murray. He was a capable and popular bridge administrator. Mr. Douglas Drury served on the ACBL Board of Governors and the Systems and Conventions Committee.

The method, as devised by Mr. Douglas Drury, assisted the responder, who held values sufficient for a limit raise with a response of 2 Clubs. In the case that the opening was sub-minimal in values, then the partnership could end the auction on the two level, and not have to play on the three level if the responder would simply jump to the three level via a limit bid, showing support and sufficient values.

  • Note: This conventional method is only employed if the opening bid is made in either the third seat or the fourth seat and the opening is a Major suit.


  • Note: Some partnerships have the agreement that Drury may be employed in all seats, which is a variation of the original concept.


  • Note: This conventional method is sometimes referred to as the Toronto Convention in certain parts of Europe.


  • Note: Some sponsoring organizations allow the Drury conventional method and all variations to be permitted at their sponsored events in all positions or in all seats. For example the ACBL allows this conventional method to be employed at NABC+ events and is on the Mid-Chart. Source: BB7.


The convention devised by Mr. Douglas Drury also gives his partner a way of describing his hand, even though there has been no intervening bid. It must be noted that the Forcing 2 Clubs Response bid by the responder is completely artificial and says nothing about the Club holding.

The Drury Convention may only be applied when the responder has a suitable fit, distribution, and sufficient values for the Major suit bid by the opener.

This should become clear in the following examples
If this is not the case with the holding of the responder, then the responder must seek another bid.

The problem, however, with Third and/or Fourth Seat openings after two, respectively three passes, is the question, whether the opener is holding a:
1. sub-minimal, or
2. minimal, or
3. a much stronger holding.

The intention of the Forcing 2 Club Response is to answer just this question.

Analysis of both hands: North holds the 10-12 required points for supporting his partner in the bid Major suit of the examples of the bidding sequences above. The question is whether South, in both bidding sequences has a sub-minimal, minimal, or stronger holding. Using the Drury convention, North now becomes obligated to further describe his holding.

If the opener has a stronger holding and the intended rebid by the opener would have been 2 Diamonds, then the opener can jump to 3 Diamonds, especially if the holding is particularly distributional. Otherwise, it is suggested that the opener temporize with a 2 Diamond denial rebid and rebid Diamonds naturally, later in the auction. A third option is to rebid 2 No Trump.

With this distribution and amount of values, Mr. Douglas Drury devised the Forcing 2 Club Response bid to show exactly this distribution of 3-card support and amount of values ranging from 10-12 points. This bid by the responder is forcing and must be alerted.
The opener looks at his holding once again, and if the opener decides that game is not possible, the auction can stop on the two level. If the opener has extra values, then opener will try for, or simply bid game.

Even though East has opened, and South has overcalled, the already passed North hand will bid a Forcing 2 Clubs with the required support and amount of values indicated in the two examples above. The opener will then be able to make the decision whether to try for game or leave the auction end on the Two Level.

The Drury convention also works with the Heart Major suit, although the passed partner has the opportunity to bid 1 Spade. Therefore, the frequency of the Drury convention has been lessened considerably. If the responder subsequently bids 2 Clubs during the auction, this bid does not activate the Drury convention. Also, if the opponents intervene immediately with an overcall of 2 Clubs, then the Drury convention also becomes inactive and can not be applied.

In the convention devised by Mr. Douglas Drury, a rebid of 2 Diamonds by the opener in this bidding sequence strongly suggested a sub-minimum opening, and the responder would simply end the auction on the two level, barring any continued interference.

This treatment did not have that much appeal for the bridge players using Drury, so many bridge partnerships and bridge experts came together and modified the convention, which ended up being called Reverse Drury or a variation thereof.