2-7 Triple Draw
Introduction to 2-7 Triple Draw
2-7 Triple Draw is not a poker variant that many regular poker players are even aware exists, however it is becoming very popular among many of the professionals and players that like to play Low games. In recent years sites like Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker have integrated the game, making the game more and more popular but in is still far from being close to games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha in popularity. World Series of Poker has also integrated 2-7 Triple Draw tournaments as bracelet events in the last years, where all the best players usually participate to show that they master this uncommon poker variant.
2-7 Triple Draw is a special game that is similar to Five Card Draw, but with more draw rounds and using the 2-7 lowball ranking system for hands instead of the high rankings that Five Card Draw uses. All players are dealt five cards face down and then continue to have four betting rounds and three draw rounds before the hand goes to a showdown. There are no community cards in this game, meaning that players can only rely on the cards they have on their hand to create the best possible 2-7 Triple Draw hand.
The overall game play of 2-7 Triple Draw is very easy to learn, especially while playing online as the poker software handles everything for the players except choosing the cards you should swap. The main problem in learning 2-7 Triple Draw is to learn the hand ranking rules, as the rules are slightly more complicated than in high or normal low games. In the next chapter you can read more about the hand ranking rules.
Hand Ranking Rules
2-7 Triple Draw uses the “lowball” hand ranking system, which is the opposite of the high ranking system, where the player with the highest possible hand wins. However it is not similar to the traditional ace to five low rules, where players have the nuts with the lowest straight possible. In 2-7 Triple Draw all pairs, flushes and straights counts against you and are the worst hands you can have. If you have a flush, straight or a pair you will lose to all hands that does not have any of these, no matter how high their hand otherwise is. Another special rule for the 2-7 game is that the ace is the highest card and not the lowest as it is in other low games. This means that if a player has A-2-3-5-6 he has an ace high hand and not a low combination. The best hands in 2-7 Triple Draw is therefore the lowest possible hand that is not a straight or a flush but simply a combination of low cards. Below we have given some examples in different hands by ranking, starting with the worst possible hand and ending with the best.
J, 8, 6, 4, 2 (In the same suit creating a flush. Any hand making a flush is the worst possible hand)
9, 8, 7, 6, 5 (A straight in any form is the second worst holding you can have, no matter how low your cards are)
7, 7, 7, 4, 2 ( Three of a kind is the third worst holding, again no matter how low the cards are)
5, 5, 4, 3, 2 ( A pair is the fourth worst holding to have, no matter how low your cards are)
A, 5, 4, 3, 2 ( This combination is a Ace High as Ace is the highest card in 2-7 Triple Draw)
K, 7, 5, 4, 2 (This combination is a King High combination, beating all of the above, but is still a bad hand in 2-7 Triple Draw)
8, 7, 6, 5, 2 (This combination is not a bad hand, but all combinations starting with a 7 is better)
7, 6, 4, 3, 2 (This is the second best hand and is known as a 7-6 combination)
7, 5, 4, 3, 2 (This is the best possible hand as it gives the lowest possible combination without being a straight)
Now that you have a better understanding of how the hand ranking works in 2-7 Triple Draw, we can now move on to the basic game play rules so you can start playing yourself.
Basic Game Play
To begin playing 2-7 Triple Draw you will need to know what is going to happen while playing, so you can optimize your strategy.
2-7 Triple Draw is a blinds game which means that two players will pay blinds each round and that the dealer will have position in each hand that is played. The dealer will deal each player five cards face down and in clockwise rotation around the table. When all players have received their cards the first betting round will begin.
The two players to the left of the dealer will be forced to pay the first bets, known as blinds. Blinds have been integrated in poker games to create action because there will be something to play about in each hand. The player on the direct left of the dealer will post a small blind and the second player to the left of the dealer will have to post the big blind. Once the blinds have been posted, the player on the left of the big blind will act first and the action will then rotate clockwise around the table until everyone has made their decision. There will then be a draw round where players can swap cards for the first time out of three possible times. In total there will be four betting round and three draw rounds before players eventually come to a showdown of their hands. At showdown the player with the best possible 2-7 hand will win the pot and a new hand will begin.
2-7 Triple Draw can be played with 2-6 players at the table, but not more players. This is due to players having to be able to swap their cards and with more players there will not be enough cards for everyone. Since there are three swapping rounds, the deck might run out of original cards. In the case that happens, the cards that have been swapped will be reshuffled and used to swap cards.
Button and Blinds
When you play 2-7 Triple Draw all hands have to have a dealer assigned to know who has to post blinds, who has to act first and who has to act last. To assign the button when you start up a new table, the poker software will deal all players a card face up and the highest card wins the button the first round. The button will then move around the table in a clockwise manner so all players get to be the dealer for each round of 2-7 Triple Draw played.
When a player has been assigned to the button, the dealing of the cards will begin. The player to the immediate left of the dealer will have to post a small blind and the second player to the left of the dealer will post the big blind. With the dealer button rotating around the table, all players will be forced to pay the blinds eventually. When you play 2-7 Triple Draw online the software takes care of all of this for you, so you don't need to worry about that and you can just focus on playing your cards.
First Betting Round
The first betting round is where players receive their cards and can begin to play. The player with the dealer button will virtually deal all players a total of five cards, one card at a time. When all players have received their cards, the player to the direct left of the player will post the small blind and the second player to the left will post the big blind. When this is done, the round begins with the player to the left of the big blind starting the action. The players will have the following options:
Call: When players have a hand that they want to continue with and are able to improve they can call the big blind or a raise to continue in the hand
Raise: When players have a good hand from the start, they can raise to get as much money as possible in the hand
Fold: When players have a terrible hand that they don't think they can improve they have the option to fold and no longer participate in the hand
When the first player has made his decision, the action moves around the table clockwise until everyone has made their decision, after that the hand moves on to the first draw round.
First Draw Round
When the first betting round is over, it is time for players to swap the cards they want to change. Players will be able to exchange all their cards if they want or not change any at all, but can only do it one time per draw round. The player that was in the small blind in the first betting round will be the first player to swap cards and then the swapping continues clockwise around the table, ending with the player being the dealer. When all players are done swapping cards, the hand continues to the second betting round.
Second Betting Round
After the first draw round, the second betting round begins. The first player to act in the second betting round and in the following betting rounds will be the player to the left of the dealer, who was the small blind in the first betting round. In the second betting round players are able to check, bet, raise, call and fold depending on the prior action. Players can only choose to check if there has not been any bets in the round before their turn, otherwise they have to choose one of the other options. When the betting round is over, the hand goes on to the second draw round.
Second Draw Round
Just like in the first draw round, the players are now able to swap the cards that they don't want in order to try and improve their hands. The first player to swap his cards is the player to the left of the dealer and it then continues around the table until everyone has swapped their cards. When this is over, the hand continues to the third betting round.
Third Betting Round
The third betting round is the same as the previous rounds, starting with the player on the left of the dealer and continuing around the table until everyone has made their decision. Once again players can choose to check, bet, raise, call or fold and are only able to check if there has been no prior bets in the round. The hand then moves on to the third and final draw round.
Third and Final Draw Round
In the third and final draw round, the players have the last chance to swap cards to improve their hand before the final betting round. Once again the player to the left of the dealer will be the first to swap his cards and ends when the dealer has swapped his cards. When all players have swapped their cards, the fourth and final betting round begins.
Fourth and Final Betting Round
After the last draw round, the fourth and final betting round begins. The final betting round works exactly like the previous rounds, having the player on the left of the dealer acting first and then the rest of the players in a clockwise rotation. Players can check, bet, raise, call or fold depending on the action prior on the table. When all players have made their decision for the last time, the players go to showdown to determine who has the best low hand.
When all players have made their action in the last betting round, the players come to a showdown to determine who has the best low hand. Showdown only happens if a hand goes all the way to the last betting round and has more than one player left at that point.
The dealer will then show the players cards to determine who has the best 2-7 Triple Draw hand and award the pot to the player. Should two players have the exact same hand the pot will be split between two.