2-7 Triple Draw Rules

2-7 Triple Draw Poker

Immersive 2-7 Triple Draw is primarily characterized by the use of a lowball hand ranking system, and it's always about winning with a weak combination at showdown. Technically, this game is simple, with clear and straightforward rules, while offering intense and action-packed gameplay. 

It features standard blinds, but combinations are graded oppositely to what is commonly seen in Texas Holdem or Omaha poker. Your goal is to form a five-card hand as low in the hierarchy as possible.

This discipline is much appreciated among poker enthusiasts worldwide, even superior professionals like the legendary Daniel Negreanu enjoy playing it. With his deep understanding of the game, he wrote a section on fundamental principles of triple draw for the book "Super System 2" authored by his colleague, Doyle Brunson (who, regretfully, passed away in May 2023, at the age of 90).

Hand Combinations for 2-7 Triple Draw

If you have ever played Draw poker, you know that it follows the standard (high) hand ranking. But everything is exactly the opposite here – low combinations are considered victorious. In other words, the weaker your cards, the better for you.

This game has no shared cards to be used by everyone; the qualifying hand is formed solely from what you hold. Here are key nuances to consider when forming your potentially winning combo:

  • aces represent an exceptionally high rank, so A-2-3-4-5 shall not be considered as a straight;
  • straights and flushes count, but they work against you – winning a pot with them is extremely challenging (so we advise avoiding them);
  • three of a kind loses to pairs, straights to triplets, flushes to straights, full houses to flushes;
  • A-K-Q-J-9 (mixed suits) stands as the weakest low-type hand;
  • royal flush – as morbid as it sounds – is the worst possible combination.
What is the best hand in 2-7 Triple Draw?
What is the best hand in 2-7 Triple Draw?

Offsuit 2-3-4-5-7 is an absolute nuts, that is to say, the strongest set of cards in this case. Here are the top 10 best possible combos (suits provided as an example):

1.2♦ 3♠ 4♣ 5♥ 7♥6.2♠ 3♣ 4♠ 6♦ 8♦
2.2♦ 3♦ 4♥ 6♣ 7♠7.2♥ 3♣ 5♣ 6♠ 8♣
3.2♠ 3♣ 5♦ 6♥ 7♠8.2♦ 4♥ 5♦ 6♥ 8♠
4.2♣ 4♦ 5♠ 6♠ 7♥9.3♥ 4♦ 5♠ 6♣ 8♦
5.2♥ 3♣ 4♣ 5♠ 8♦10.2♥ 3♣ 4♠ 7♥ 8♠

What about betting systems?

Triple Draw 2 7 Lowball is typically played with a fixed limit, meaning users are restricted to betting and raising by predetermined amounts. In the initial two rounds, it is 1 BB (big blind), but in the last two rounds, this limit increases to 2 BB.

No-limit and pot-limit versions also exist, but these structures are less common for this discipline.

How to Bet and Exchange Cards

Seats are limited to 6 people. When there are not enough elements in the pack, a dealer shuffles those discarded earlier in the game. This is not good because we usually fold bad (high) cards.

The first active player to the big blind's left always opens betting. Checking is traditionally directed clockwise. You can take advantage of the following actions when competing for the pot:

  • bet – original amount wagered
  • call – matching your rival’s bet/raise (who acts before you)
  • raise – increasing the size of the immediately preceding bet
  • check – when you move on the action to the next opponent (during the initial betting, this option is only available to the player in the BB!)
  • fold – voluntary cessation of further participation in the hand

Card replacement policy 

The discussed game involves four betting rounds and three exchange phases, during which users can get rid of as many undesirable cards as they want. Moreover, they are even permitted to replace their entire hand if desired. Adults replace particular figures and then pass on the opportunity to discard unwanted cards to the next participant. If the current hand fully meets their satisfaction, they declare a "stand pat" (there is a dedicated button in online games) and wait for the betting to flow.

Noteworthy detail
Noteworthy detail

Should you decide to swap all five items, you will receive four new ones in return. The fifth element will be provided after other players complete their exchanges.

Game Process Step-by-Step

The initial steps closely resemble classic poker. The action is triggered by compulsory bets, commonly regarded as blinds. This responsibility customarily falls upon the shoulders of two individuals sitting to the left of the button (abbreviated as BTN/BU; this is a position of the virtual dealer, marked with an ad hoc token). BB (big blind) usually pays twice as much as their neighbour to the right, that is, SB (small blind).

The triple draw variation often incorporates ante – this is an alternative mandatory contribution to the pot. It is taken from every participant at the given table rather than being charged to specific players, so people are much less likely to fold their hands. Such a bet generally amounts to 1/10 of what BB posts.

Main part of the game

After setting the blinds, each engaged person receives 5 cards face down, but not the entire pocket set at once. Instead, they are distributed one by one. By the way, opponents cannot see each other's hands until the showdown time.

Then the first round of betting kicks off: people check/assess their combinations and make appropriate decisions.

2-7 Triple Draw Rules

This stage concludes either when wagers are equalized (meaning all players contribute identical amounts) or when someone successfully eliminates all opponents from the game. In the latter scenario, the victor claims the pot and this is where the match ends.

When at least two users remain, they move on to the draw phase. There will be three such rounds, just like in Badugi (another captivating form of poker).

First Draw
First Draw

Participants announce how many initial figures they wish to replace, starting with the first active adult to the button’s left. Next comes the second betting auction, which unfolds according to a similar scenario.

Second Draw
Second Draw

Everybody remaining can choose to throw out any unwanted cards if considered necessary. If not, users begin to "negotiate" for the third time.

Third Draw
Third Draw

This is the last opportunity to improve your combo by renewing its composition. This is followed by the concluding round of betting, and, if multiple individuals stay in the game, the very final phase commences (we refer to showdown).

Deciding winner at showdown

Now it’s time to compare combinations to declare the champion. The pot ultimately goes to one who manages to collect the best low hand.

Initially, you should juxtapose the highest-ranking cards. If they share the same strength, check the next elements in rank and so on. In the screenshot below, 2-4-5-3-J beats 6-4-7-3-Q cause Jack is weaker than Queen.

2-7 Triple Draw

Should finalists have equally strong combinations, the pot will be divided among them, making each a victor. This concludes the game, paving the way for a new one to commence.

Basic Strategy Tips for Beginners

  • Since there are no community board, betting and swapping from late positions is a huge advantage. Playing in position, you already know how many elements your opponents have changed. With this in mind, you can make an optimal decision.
  • If you are dealt 7-high (or 8-high), you should play it aggressively before the 1st exchange stage, since refusing to swap figures will make your combo obvious and your opponents may no longer pay you off. Therefore, there is no point in slow playing.
  • Four low elements are considered strong starters, therefore, you should play them as aggressively as possible. However, beware of straight draws. Let’s assume you have x4567. In this case, twos and nines are the only outs to improve your holding.
  • In multi-pots, your chances of getting 2 or 3 are significantly reduced since low items (most likely) have already been dealt to others.
  • It’s recommended to 3-bet with a starter that is one item short of a complete low combo. 
  • A low to Jack is always ahead of a four-card draw. A low to Queen is always ahead of a three-card draw.

How to Play 2-7 Single Draw Poker

Deuce to seven single draw (often termed Kansas City Lowball) is another variation where users have a chance to replace undesired pieces in what they hold. It strongly resembles the triple-draw version, except for some minor differences.

Let’s consider the main distinctions: opportunities to exchange cards have been reduced to one round; you have two betting streets instead of four (this makes the format more dynamic). Besides, the given discipline is typically played according to a no-limit structure, allowing adults to go all-in (put all their chips on the line). We note that essential principles and hand rankings stay intact.

The sequence of actions in Single Draw:

  1. Dealing starting hands.
  2. First round of betting.
  3. Draw (card exchange).
  4. Second round of betting.
  5. Comparison of low combinations (showdown).

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Draw lowball is full of action, dynamic and sometimes unpredictable format (in a positive way).
  • Since opponents can’t see your cards and there is no board, you can use bluffs. It often brings additional profit.
  • Few players can boast of having great skills. So you can win money from inexperienced users if you hone your skillset and take them to an advanced level.
  • Fixed-limit structure and power to change cards three times reduce variance, allowing you to understand the rules and principles of collecting combinations without much risk.
  • You will have limited information to make assumptions about the strength of your rivals’ hands, so you must always be extremely careful and watch your opponents.
  • Novices may spend a lot of time learning strategy and tactics.

Where to play Deuce-to-Seven Lowball

This format falls significantly behind the popularity of traditional poker but occupies a unique niche in the industry. You can come across this game at major offline festivals, such as the WSOP. However, as practice shows, players’ skill level is not high, which should incentivize people to delve into the game strategy. Online, you can test-drive the gameplay at cash tables and tournaments on PokerStars, including both real money and play money modes.

If you have a keen interest in non-standard poker, it's worth familiarizing yourself with Omaha Hi Lo rules.

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FAQ
📌 What is 2-7 Single Draw in poker?

This is a form of five-card poker featuring two betting rounds and one exchange, played in the lowball format. Everyone’s task here is to assemble the weakest possible combination, rather than the strongest.

🧐 Is 2-7 Lowball no limit?

The single draw variation normally runs in a no-limit format, while the triple draw is more often played with a fixed limit. But there may be exceptions.

👑 How do you win a 2-7 Single Draw?

Similar to other poker types, your primary goal is to take the pot. This can be achieved by either forcing opponents to fold or demonstrating the most potent holding at a showdown.

In this specific variation, users don’t have to follow standard hand ranking, trying to collect combinations from a pair to a royal flush. They should focus on making a low hand. This is a set of five unique offsuit cards that do not form a straight or a flush. In this case, the optimal combo is 23457 with figures of mixed suits.

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