The developer of the Drury conventional method was Mr. Douglas A. Drury of Sebastopol, California, United States. He was born in the year 1914 and died in the year 1967. In the early days of the game of bridge he became a bridge teacher / instructor to introduce more players to the game. For this action it was necessary that he become the owner, operator, and manager of a bridge club, which was connected to the American Contract Bridge League.

Note: It cannot be denied that Mr. Eric R. Murray cooperated with the development of the Drury conventional method since he was the actual reason for the development owing to his habit of opening with unknown values in third and fourth seat following two or three consecutive passes. Therefore, it can most certainly be maintained that Mr. Eric R. Murray was the co-author of the Drury conventional method.

Note: The concept is known widely in Europe as Toronto Drury according to to Mr. Magnus Lindkvist, born in Karlskrona, Sweden, in his publication Bridge: Classic and Modern Conventions, First Volume, published 2001, page 200, ISBN-10: 9163110997 / ISBN-13: 978-9163110993.

Note: This conventional method, and all similar versions, can be employed following a 1 Heart / 1 Spade opening bid in third (fourth) seat. However, after collecting and studying many examples, in which the Drury conventional method could be employed, the statisticians, with the help of calculators and mainly computers, had determined that the frequency rate was slightly lower if the opened Major is Hearts since the responder will more often than not simply bid 1 Spade, thereby rendering the employment of the Drury convention unavailable.

During his bridge career Mr. Douglas A. Drury found it opportune, also as a stockbroker by profession, to relocate to Toronto, Canada. He became a rather well-known bridge player on the national level. He won the Summer North American Championship Men's Pairs in the year 1954 with his partner Mr. Eric R. Murray. He repeated this victory for a second time one year later in 1955 also with partner Mr. Eric R. Murray.

He also won the Master Mixed Teams tournament played for the Lebhar Trophy (formerly the Barclay Trophy until 1945). His team mates were Mary Bowden, Robert Freemen, Agnes Gordon, and Eric R, Murray.

He was also a well-regarded Bridge Administrator, and served as a member of the ACL Board of Governors, the Systems and Conventions Committee, and also the ACBL Goodwill Committee.

The reason for the development and introduction of this conventional method lies in the fact that his long-time partner, Mr. Eric R. Murray, had the sometimes irritating habit of opening the auction in third and/or fourth seat with very light openings. In such instances, whereby the responder, already a passed hand, could determine whether the opening was light or indeed a genuine opening, Mr. Douglas A. Drury devised a bidding system in order to determine the nature of the opening bid.

An illustration will suffice to identify the problematic situation:

South (D)   West   North   East   Meaning
Pass   Pass   1   Pass   The question is whether the opening bid in a Major suit is light or is the opening bid a genuine opening
2               This is the Drury conventional method inquiring as to the nature of the opening bid.
              Note: as the student can readily recognize South can support partner's Major suit by bidding 3 Spades to indicate the required 9/10-12 high card points plus a minimum of 3-card support. This is a forcing response and the opener must respond in a manner as to indicate light or regular opening values.
    Pass   2   Pass   North denies full opening values.
2   All Pass           Knowing that the opener is light in values, then partner will sign-off at the two level.
        2   Pass   However, if North rebids the original suit following the Drury conventional inquiry, then North will rebid the opened Major suit.

Note: Knowing that the opener has full values for an opening bid, then the responder may decide to attempt a game contract with the shown example by pre-established continuations.

Note: If the responder actually holds a long Club suit, then it is important that the responder has a method of communicating this information. Although unsubstantiated, since the concept was never published officially, the possibility was left open for the responder with values ranging between 10-12 high card points to first bid 2 Clubs, forcing partner to rebid, and then followed by a 3 Club response. The same is true for a long Diamond suit, only that the responder rebids 3 Diamonds. This manner of responding allows the opener to determine whether only a partscore or a possible game contract in either the bid Major suit or in No Trump.

Explanations of the Concept

Note: The idea of the concept is two-fold. If the responder, a passed hand, rebids only 2 Spades in support of partner's Major suit, then this is considered an underbid. On the other hand if the responder raises to the three-level with only 3-card support in Spades, then this action could be considered inappropriate.

Note: The concept can be employed both in the third seat and also the fourth seat. Note also that this latitude was altered in later versions of the concept. Some partnerships agree only to employ the Drury conventional method in third seat, but not fourth seat.

Note: The student of bridge should also keep in mind the time period, namely the mid-1950s, when bidding practices were in use, which are sometimes no longer employed by partnerships owing to the development of newer methods.

Alternative Agreement

The concept devised by Mr. Douglas A. Drury has become the backbone for various modifications in order to exchange certain information in such bidding circumstances. Although not part of the original version the following was rumored to be the first variation, but this, however, cannot be substantiated.

Note: This alternative agreement is almost identical with the concept of Bergen Drury as devised by Mr. Marty Bergen, except that this agreement does not define and/or limit the range to 10-12 high card points (Bergen Drury), but rather to sufficient values based on the re-evaluation of the holding and is primarily based on the number of either the number of winning tricks or the number of losing tricks.

South (D)   West   North   East   Meaning
Pass   Pass   1   Pass   The question is whether the opening bid in a Major suit is light or is the opening bid a genuine opening
2               The exchanged information is that South holds sufficient values for a double raise in Spades, but promises only 3-card support.
2               The exchanged information is that South holds sufficient values for a double raise in Spades, but promises only 4-card support.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.