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How to play 2-7 Triple Draw – Rules, FAQ, Strategy and Tips

Introduction

2-7 Triple Draw falls into the draw poker and the lowball poker categories. This means that there are no community cards dealt – like in the best known version of poker, No-Limit Hold’em – instead, the players are drawing from the deck to make their 5-card hands. The 5-Card Draw is the most popular game in that genre.

“Lowball” means that the hand ranking is inverted – the lowest possible hand wins at showdown. Razz is also in this category, but there are differences between the two games – while for Razz, straights and flushes are discounted, they are not for 2-7 Triple Draw. Ace counts as low in Razz, but as high in Deuce-Seven. These are the two types of lowball games out there. More on these later in the “Basic Rules” section.

Most online rooms don’t offer 2-7 Triple Draw, however, the biggest one, PokerStars does. Action at the tables is scarce. The limit version of the game has usually the most people playing.

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Basic Rules

 

Each player at the table is dealt 5 cards, face down. The player sitting left from the dealer button, posts the small blind. The person sitting to the left of them posts the big blind. The first, pre-draw betting round starts at the player sitting left to the big blind.

The player next to act can either fold their hand, call the blind or raise. If a raise is made the rest of the players need to match that raise in order to keep their hand live. If at least two players remain in the hand after the first betting round, the first draw takes place.

After the first draw is completed, another betting round is held, this time starting from the player sitting closest to the dealer button to the left of it. This is repeated two more times. In the fixed limit version of the game, you get to bet twice the limit of the earlier streets after the second draw.

The third draw is the last one, as the name of the game suggests. After that, players have the option to bet again, totaling the number of possible betting rounds in a hand at four. Once that goes down and there are at least two players still in the pot, a showdown follows. Evidently, if there is a bet that is called by no-one, the last raiser claims the pot, just like in every other poker game.

At showdown, whoever has the hand that would lose in No-Limit Hold’em wins. This is a significant difference between 2-7 Triple Draw and other lowball games, such as Omaha Hi-Lo and Razz because there, straights and flushes do count. Furthermore, the Ace is always considered the highest card in the deck – people are often confused about that, so be aware of that. If more than one player has the same high card, the second highest counts.

With that in mind, the “absolute nuts”, the best possible hand, you can have at showdown is 2-3-4-5-7, called “the wheel”. In Hold’em, the Ace-5 straight is called the wheel, but in this game, the nomenclature is not the same.

However, technically having the nut low does not guarantee you to take the whole pot – since there are no community cards, it is possible for another player to have 2-3-4-5-7 of other suits, although this is extremely unlikely.

Another rare but possible scenario is that people draw so many cards that the deck runs out of cards. In that case, the discarded cards are reshuffled and players continue to draw from there.


Basic strategy

Although draw poker is much different from No-Limit Hold’em, there are some principles that apply to both.

You still play your cards against your opponents’ ranges, but instead of getting information from the board, you get information from seeing how many cards they draw. If they discard one card, that indicates a way stronger range than if they were to discard four. While the rules allow one to discard 5 cards, strategically it makes no sense – don’t ever do that, just fold your hand.

Standing pat evidently shows the strongest range, that is why some people stand pat and raise as a bluff. This play is called “snowing”. This is especially smart to do if you have one or two low pairs – while that makes your hand weaker at showdown, it blocks your opponents from having low cards.

Also, you get information from the betting patterns of the other players as well. Position is very valuable since if you get to draw after your opponent, you know how many cards they chose to discard before – that way, you can narrow their ranges.


History

2-7 Triple Draw is one of the newer poker games. It showed up on the online poker scene in the early 2000’s, and gained some traction. PokerStars added it to the selection in 2006.

The first WSOP 2-7 Triple Draw tournament was held in 2004, after that it was off the schedule for a couple of years until its return in 2007, and it’s been featured ever since.

What helped the game’s popularity is that Doyle Brunson wrote a chapter about it in his 2005 poker strategy book, Super System 2.


Notable 2-7 Triple Draw Players

French poker pro Alex Luneau is a draw poker specialist. Under the screen name “Alexonmoon” he played over 60,000 high stakes draw poker hands on Full Tilt and he is over $1.2 million in profit. He also came in 8th in the $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw championship in the 2014 World Series of Poker.

Another Frenchman, Sebastian Sabic is also a notable figure in the high stakes online 2-7 Triple Draw scene. His alias is Seb86 on PokerStars. Some other screen names that you could find at a high stakes 2-7 Triple Lowball table are: Wrasse, NoraFlum (real name Marco Johnson) and oogee (Eugene Yanayt).

2-7 Triple Draw is a part of multiple popular mixed games – mixed games are poker games where the game type changes after a certain amount of hands. Deuce-Seven is part of the 8-game, a popular online mixed poker game, and part of the Dealers Choice tournaments as well. That is why all the big names who enjoy playing mixed games often play 2-7 Triple Draw even if they can’t be considered specialists. These players include the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.

Last year, the WSOP $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Championship was won by Nicholas Seiken. The American card-player earned $287,987 with that victory.

The best known 2-7 Triple Draw champion, however, is a fictional character. In the episode “Casino Night” of The Office, one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, the character Kevin Malone claims he won the $2,500 Triple Draw event at the 2002 World Series of Poker. In reality, no such event took place at the 2002 WSOP.

 

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