2-7 Triple Draw is a draw variant of poker and uses a lowball hand ranking system. In draw variants, players may discard cards from their hand and replace them with cards from the deck.
The draw typically occurs before each betting round and occurs three times in 2-7 Triple Draw hence the name “Triple Draw”.
The easiest way of describing a lowball format is with the phrase “worst hand wins”. This situation is not always the case since there are different ways of measuring lowball hands.
The lowball hand rankings used in Stud Hi/Lo and Omaha Hi/Lo are not the same as those used in 2-7 Triple Draw.
Let’s look at the full breakdown.
The Basics: 2-7 Triple Draw Hand Values
In some sense, 2-7 hand rankings are the easiest to learn because they are the complete opposite to Hold’em.
The worst hand in Hold’em is 2,3,4,5,7,but it makes the nuts in 2-7 Triple Draw.
2-7 Hand Rankings Quick Breakdown:
- Worst hand (in Hold’em) wins.
- Straights and flushes count against our hand.
- Aces are always high!
A,2,3,4,6 is also not a great hand because the Ace must always be treated as high. 2,3,4,5,7 hence beats A,2,3,4,6.This is where the variant gets its name, Deuce to Seven. 2,3,4,5,6 would be a six-high straight and, hence, not a good hand from a 2-7 Triple Draw perspective (complete garbage in fact). Straights and flushes count against our hand.
However, A,2,3,4,6 is not complete garbage since it still beats any hand with a pair or higher (worse).
The Basics: How to Make Hands in 2-7 Triple Draw
Making hands in 2-7 Triple Draw is more straight forward than in most other poker variants.
Players always have precisely five cards in their hand at any given moment. We do not need to worry about combining hole cards with community cards like we do in games such as Omaha and Hold’em.
Our hand is always the exact five cards we have in front of us.
Before any cards are dealt, the blinds must be posted. The small blind and big blind are posted by the player directly to the left of the button, and the player two to the left of the button respectively.
2-7 Triple Draw is identical to Hold’em and Omaha in this respect.
We no longer use terms such as “preflop” and “flop” when discussing draw games. The word “flop” implies community cards and draw variants don’t typically make use of any community cards.
There are four betting rounds in2-7 Triple Draw we use the terms “pre-draw” and “post-draw” to help us distinguish between them. (Post-draw being any betting round occurring after the initial draw.)
Each player is dealt 5 cards face down. The pre-draw betting round starts with the player to the left of the big blind and proceeds in a clockwise direction.
Once all the pre-draw betting is complete, players now decide which of their cards they would like to discard.
Players can discard any number of their hole cards, including all five. If players wish to keep their current selection of five cards, they have the option to “standpat” which means to draw nothing.
Starting with the small blind and proceeding in a clockwise direction, players announce how many cards they are discarding and draw the equivalent number of cards from the deck.
If (in the rare occurrence that) the deck runs out of cards, the discard pile can be reshuffled and treated as a fresh deck.
There are now three additional betting rounds, two of which are followed by an opportunity to draw.
The third of these three post-draw betting rounds will be followed immediately by Showdown. Confused?
Don’t worry, here is a quick map of the entire structure -
- Posting of blinds
- The Deal
- Pre-draw betting round
- Draw 1
- First post-draw betting round.
- Draw 2
- Second post-draw betting round.
- Draw 3
- Final betting round
In a manner identical to Omaha and Hold’em, post-draw betting rounds start with the player in the small blind (or whoever is remaining immediately left of the button). The pre-draw round starts with under-the-gun (with big-blind acting last).
The betting rounds in 2-7 Triple Draw follow an identical structure to other Triple Draw formats such as Badugi.
Once the post-draw betting action is over, players reach Showdown. Players reveal the strength of their five-card hand and the pot is awarded to the strongest (lowest in this context) hand.
2-7 Triple Draw Betting Actions
The betting options are identical in the majority of poker formats.
Here is a quick recap of the legal options -
Action passes to our left without us making a wager. Can only be used if there is no existing bet in the current betting round.
We make the first wager in the current betting round. Other players must at least match our betor be forced to fold.
There is an existing wager in the current betting round, and we decide not to match it. Folding means to give up and forfeit all right to win the pot.
There is an existing wager in the current betting round. To “call” means to match that bet exactly and continue with the hand.
There is an existing wager in the current betting round, and we decide to increase the size of that wager. The original better must at least match the size of our raise or be forced to fold.
A player has already raised on the current street, and we elect to raise again. Any raises after the initial raise are described as “re-raises”.
It’s essential to keep in mind that drawing additional cards carries the possibility of making our hand significantly worse. A decent low hand could end up picking up a pair or being turned into a straight/flush.
Although drawing may still make our hand worse in a variant such as 2-7 Triple Draw, it will usually only make the hand slightly worse (i.e. discarding a kicker and drawing an inferior one).
Drawing can sometimes entirely destroy our hand in 2-7 Triple Draw. If there is already a decent chance that we are head (usually based on the number of cards our opponent is drawing), it may not be correct to draw to a better low and risk damaging our hand.
On the other hand, if our made low is unlikely to be good (based on our opponents’ actions), we can “break” our hand and redraw for something better.
2-7 Triple Draw is primarily played with a fixed limit betting structure. The allowable bets on each street are identical to fixed limit Hold’em. Both games have four betting around and allow plays to double the size of their bet on the last two betting rounds.
However, in recent times, no limit 2-7 Triple Draw has become popular among higher stakes players online.