Drury and Light Opening Bids Opposite Passed Hand Partner

Opening Light

Third Seat

You may have heard that it’s a good idea to open a hand in third seat that you wouldn’t open in first or second seat, especially if you are not vulnerable.  The main reasons for doing this are to

  • Provide your partner with a _______ – ______________ if you wind up defending the hand.
  • Mildly __________ the opponent in fourth seat, who may have a good hand.
  • Try to ______ the hand from the opponents.

In 100 Winning Bridge Tips Klinger suggests that you should open any hand in 3rd seat that you would have made an overcall with if your RHO had opened 1 Club.  Example:  S AKxxx H Qx D xxx C xxx.  This has 9 HCP but is a viable 3rd seat opener.

Fourth Seat

After 3 passes you should open any legitimate opening hand.  If your hand is borderline use “Casino Count” or “Pearson Points” to decide whether or not to open.

  • Rule of 15: Add your HCP to the number of ___________ in your hand.  If you get 15 or more, open.  The reasoning is that you are more likely to win the partscore battle if you have ____________ .

Common to both Third and Fourth Seat

In third and fourth seat it is OK to open a ______ ________ _______ as long as it meets these criteria:

  • You have less than a ______ opening bid.
  • You are prepared to ________ your partner’s response, no matter what it is.
  • You really want this suit ______ .

A third or fourth seat opening bid in a minor is usually a full opening bid.  This is because it doesn’t have much preemptive value and a light opening bid of 1C or 1D might allow the opponents into the auction too easily.

Responding to Partner’s Third or Fourth Seat Opening Bid

You need to give your partner some leeway if they open in 3rd or 4th seat.  For example, you don’t want to end up at the three level too easily.  For example, your partner opens 1H and you hold S xx H Kxxx D Axx C Kxxx.  You want to make a limit raise, but you don’t want to get to the three level if partner opened light.  For this reason the Drury convention was invented by Doug (can you guess his last name?)

Larry Cohen has a page on Drury on his site.

Original Drury

The original form of the Drury convention responder with limit raise values in partner’s major suit uses an (alertable) 2C response to ask about the quality of partner’s opening bid.  In this form partner responds 2D with a real opening bid and 2 of their major with a minimum.  However, almost nobody uses this form of the convention.  Instead, they use….

Reverse Drury

The basic form of this switches opener’s rebids around, so that:

  • 2 of the ________ _________ shows a hand with no interest in game opposite a passed hand.
  • Any other bid is forward-going, typically a _______ ________ .

Two Way Reverse Drury

In many cases the difference between a 9 card trump fit and an 8 card trump fit is the key to making game.  Therefore this version of Reverse Drury uses two artificial bids to ask opener about their opening bid:

  • 2C is a limit raise with __________ trumps.
  • 2D is a limit raise with __________ trumps.

Reverse Two Way Reverse Drury

Of course, some people have to make it complicated.  They switch the meanings of the 2C and 2D bids above.  Usually these are the same people who play the reverse version of Bergen.

To Discuss With your Partner:

  • Do we use Drury after an opening in 4th Seat?
    • Pro:  A better chance to stay low when there’s no game.
    • Con: If you and your partner don’t open light in fourth seat then you lose a natural bid or bids.
  • Is Drury on in competition?
    • Option 1:  Off in all competition.  (Recommended by Larry Cohen)
    • Option 2:  On over X, off over overcall.
    • Option 3:  On in competition.
  • If we play Bergen, when do we make a Drury bid and when do we make a Bergen raise?
    • I’ve heard this credited to Joel Weintraub:  You might want to make the agreement that a passed-hand Bergen bid promises a singleton or void somewhere.