Seven Card Draw

Introduction to Seven Card Draw

Seven Card Draw is the big brother of the popular Five Card Draw, the games are basically the same except from in Seven Card Draw players receive a total of seven cards instead of five. Seven Card Draw has never been a very popular game in casinos or in online poker; however it has been played quite a lot in home games around the world.

When you play Seven Card Draw, you and the other players all receive seven cards face down and start betting. You can then swap the cards on your hand you don't need to try and improve your hand and then bet again. The best five card combination using the high ranking system then wins the hand. It doesn't matter which of the seven cards you use for the five card combination, you can use all of them.

Seven Card Draw is easy to learn as it resembles Five Card Draw so much, which many players already know the rules of. Even for players that has never played a hand of poker in his life, the game is very easy to understand and as soon as the player understands the hand rankings he will be able to play.

Seven Card Draw is known to provide more action than Five Card Draw, due to the fact that each player has two cards more to create combinations with, making it more likely they will hit a hand. This is the reason why many home games throughout the years changed from Five Card Draw to Seven Card Draw.

Basic Game Play

When you want to begin to play Seven Card Draw, you will first need to learn the basic game play rules.

To start any game, a dealer has to be assigned to virtually deal the cards, swap the cards and to decide who has to post blinds and be first to act. The dealer will first deal each player seven cards face down, starting with the player on his direct left and then continuing clockwise. When each player has received the seven cards, the game can begin.

When the game starts, the first thing that has to be done is to have the two players to the left of the dealer post blinds. Blinds are the first bets in Seven Card Draw and are forced bets to create action in every hand dealt. The player on the direct left of the dealer will post the small blind and the second player to the left of the dealer will post the big blind. Once the blinds has been posted, the player to the left of the big blind will be first to act. This position is also known as being Under The Gun (UTG) due to the pressure of being the first person to do an action. The action then continues clockwise around the table until all players have made their decision.

The players will then be able to swap cards they have to new cards to try and improve their hand. Players can only swap cards one time but can choose how many of their cards they want to swap. After everyone has swapped the cards they want to, a new betting round begins. This time the player who was small blind in the first round will be first to act. After the betting round has ended, the player with the best five card combination wins the hand.

Sometimes while playing Seven Card Draw, there will not be enough cards in the deck to cover all the card swaps. In that case, the cards that have been discarded by the players will be shuffled and be used to swap the remaining cards.

Seven Card Draw can be played with 2-6 players at the table, making it a shorthanded game. It is not possible to play with more players due to the amount of cards players are dealt and can swap.

The Button and Posting Blinds

In all poker games including Seven Card Draw a dealer has to be assigned to take care of the virtual dealing, swapping and to determine which players act first and has to post blinds. When starting up a new table of Seven Card Draw, the dealer will be decided by the software dealing each player at the table a card face up and the highest card will win the button. The button then rotates around the table clockwise so all players have the advantages of being on the button.

The player with the button will always act as the dealer and the two players to his left will always have to post blinds. Blinds are the first bets in the game and are forced bets to create action in each hand. The player to the immediate left of the dealer will be forced to post the small blind and the second player on the left of the dealer has to post the big blind. When you play online, the poker software will always automatically post the blinds for you, so you do not have to worry about that.

First Betting Round

In the first betting round the dealer will deal all players seven cards face down, dealing each player one card at a time clockwise around the table. The players to the left of the dealer will then post the forced bets known as blinds and the player under the gun will be firs to choose his action. The first player to act, as well as the other players, have these options:

Call: Players can call the big blind amount or the raised amount if their hand is good but can be improved in the draw round

Raise: Players that have a good hand already in the first round can raise their hand, to try and get as much money as possible in the hand before the draw round

Fold: Players that have a hand that has no combination possibilities can choose to fold instead of paying to only improve their hand slightly

When the first player to act has made his decision, the action continues clock wise around the table until every single player has made his decision. When that is done, the hand moves on to the next round known as the draw round.

Draw Round

In between the two betting rounds, the draw round is taking place to make it possible for players to improve their hands before the last betting round. All players can choose how many cards, up to the seven they got, that they want to swap. It's only possible to swap cards one time, so players have to hope that they get the cards they need to improve their hand. The player that gets to swap his cards the first is the player that was the small blind in the first round, as he is first to act now and in the next betting round. When he has swapped the cards he wanted to swap, the swapping continues clockwise around the table until the last player has swapped his cards. After that has been done, the game continues to the next betting round, which is also the last betting round.

Second and Final Betting Round

Now that all the remaining players have swapped the cards they wanted to swap, the second and final betting round can begin so we can determine who the winner of the hand is. Players can now check their hand to pass on the turn to the next player for free, unless there have been any bets or raises prior. Otherwise players can call, bet, raise or fold depending on how good their hand is and what they put their opponent on.

The first player to make the decision is the same as in the draw round, the player on the left of the dealer who was small blind in the first betting round. The action then moves clockwise around the table until everyone has made their final decision. If more than one player is left in the pot at this point, the hand has to go to showdown.


After all players have made their final decision in the last betting round, the hand has to go to a showdown in order for the dealer to determine who has the best five card combination. The player who has the best hand in the high ranking system will then be win the entire pot and a new hand will start right after.

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