by Kitty and Steve Cooper, Fort Collins, CO

Cathy Fun, who lives in Arizona and Colorado, asked about reverse Drury: “Partner opens one spade in third or fourth position. Responder bids two clubs, Reverse Drury, which is artificial and shows three or more spades and 10+ points. I am unclear on the follow ups, can you help out?”

Coopers: Reverse Drury refers to an artificial bid of 2C after partner opens one of a major in third or fourth seat to show support for opener’s major and about limit raise strength (10-12 or so). If you play light opening bids in first and second seat you should consider using Drury with 8-9 support points (Drury never came up in our partnership until we made this change). Some players use two- way Reverse Drury, where a bid of 2C shows three card support and a bid of 2D shows four or more; we don’t much like this treatment (the primary advantage is for Law afficionados, who deeply desire to know exactly how many trumps our side has so they can decide how far to compete; the only difference from the responses from those used in one way Drury is that if partner bids 2D to show four or more card support you must bid 2N to say that you can visualize game - if you bid 2D over partner’s 2D the director will visit your table and bad things will happen).

Opener's rebids after Pass – 1S - 2C, Reverse Drury, are:

2D: Opener has a real opening bid and can imagine game opposite a limit raise. (Using 2D to say this is the reverse part of Reverse Drury; in traditional Drury 2D says that opener doesn’t think that we have an game and two of his major to show the good opener. This is unsound for two reasons: using 2D for the worse hand lets the enemy in more easily and using two of the major for the better hand takes away room we could use for exploration when game is possible.)

2H: Non-forcing with four or more hearts, even if he bid 1S.

Two of the major he opened: Opener cannot imagine game opposite a passed hand.

2N: Natural and game invitational with only four cards in the major he bid.

Three of a new suit or 2S after opening 1H: Game try, either a long/help suit or short suit try (we use short suits). If opener bids 2D over 2C and then bids a new suit that should be the other sort of try; for us it’s a long/help suit game try.

Jump in the major he bid: Forcing and demands a cuebid of the cheapest ace (responder bids 3N with no aces other than, perhaps, the ace of trump but a suitable hand with at least one outside king)

3N: Choice of games, typically five cards in the major bid and the values to rebid 2N.

Four of a new suit or 3S after 1H - 2C: Short suit slam try. Tells responder that if he has no high cards in this suit there is a slam. Responder therefore should sign off with wastage in this suit and cuebid or bid Blackwood if his holding in opener’s short suit is suitable.

If opener rebids 2D responder bids:

2H when opener bid 1S: Natural and nonforcing; responder has only three spades and has four or more hearts.

Two of opener’s major: Three card limit raise not good enough to jump to game. Responder does not have a hand that can make a game try (see below).

A new suit: Game try. We play this as a short suit try; you and your partner should agree on how you want to play it.

2N: Balanced game try with only three cards in partner’s major.

Three of opener’s major: Forcing; responder has a hand too good to jump to four of opener’s major. Warning most people play this as just the four card limit raise so don't expect a new partner to play it this way.

If opener rebids two of his major responder will usually pass; if he has a top end four card limit raise and wants to urge partner to look again he may raise to three.

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