2-7 Triple Draw Lowball is a unique and interesting variation of the game of poker where players are attempting to get the best low hand. This is unlike other variations where the objective is to have the best high hand to win.
2-7 Triple Draw, like Texas Hold ’em is what is known in the poker world as a blind game. This means, simply that players must post bets “blind”, or without seeing their cards first. The position of these blind bets is designated by the dealer button, which moves clockwise around the table after each hand is over. The player one position to the left of the dealer button must post the small blind, and the player one position to the left of the small blind must post the big blind, which, in most cases, is double the amount of the small blind.
Before the First Draw
Once these players have posted their blinds, five cards are dealt to each player at the table, one card at a time, beginning with the player in the small blind and proceeding clockwise around the table. Betting begins with player one position to the left of the big blind and proceeds clockwise around the table. This position is known as “Under the Gun”, or UTG for short. Each player’s options are as follows:
Call – The player places a bet equal to the big blind in the pot.
Raise – The player places a bet equal to double the blind or more into the pot.
Fold – The player passes on participating in the hand any further and places no money in the pot.
Before the first draw, the last player to act will be the player in the big blind. This player may check, which means proceed to the next step without placing any further wagers, or raise if they are inclined to do so.
At this point, players can “stand pat“, which means keep all of their cards, or draw up to 5 new cards. As with all action in the game, this begins with the player closest to the left of dealer button that has not folded and proceeds clockwise around the table. After the draws are completed for each player, a round of betting ensues where the options are as follows:
Check – pass the action to the next player, without placing a wager
Raise – place a wager, the minimum amount being equal to the big blind, or any amount higher
Reraise/Call/Fold – If a raise has occured in front of a player, their options at that point are to reraise, which at least doubles the raise in front of them, call to match the raise in front of them, of fold and end their participation in the hand without contributing any more money.
Next, a second draw occurs, where players once again can stand pat or draw up to 5 new cards, followed, once again by a round of betting. A third draw occurs followed by a round of betting. Once wagering for the third round ends, any remaining players must show their cards, and the best hand will win the pot.
How to Win a Hand
Winning a hand can happen two different ways. First, remain in play after all rounds of betting and show the best hand to win the pot. The other way to win a hand can happen during any round of betting. If any player makes a wager that causes all other players to fold, they automatically win the hand without anyone showing their cards. This can happen either before the first draw, or on any of the three betting rounds after the draws.
What is a winning hand in 2-7 Triple Draw?
Now that you understand the mechanics of the game, it is important to understand the types of hands that can win in 2-7 Triple Draw. If you are familiar with other poker games like Texas Hold ’em, five card draw, or Seven Card Stud, where the highest hand is the best and wins the pot, think the opposite when approaching 2-7 triple draw. Any hand that may potentially win you a pot in those other games, will almost certainly be a loser here.
2-7 Triple Draw is a form of “lowball” poker, where the best hand is the lowest hand. The best possible hand in 2-7 Triple Draw is 2-3-4-5-7, or number 1 as players of the game refer to it. As you can see, this hand would be complete garbage in a “high-hand” variation of poker.
Basic 2-7 Lowball Hand Rankings
From here, you can see the basic pattern of hand ranking. More simply, you are going for five cards with no pairs, no straights, and low cards.
Because this is a game with three draws, no community cards, and a betting structure that can make for some large pots, players skilled at deception can often excel at this game. Bear in mind that only one deck of cards is used for this game. The reason that this is important to remember is because of the nature of the game, people will tend to throw away their high cards to make the best low hand. Once the end of the deck is reached, the discard pile is reshuffled and used as the new drawing pile. So, if several players have made it to the third drawing round, there may be no low cards to draw.
Now that you’ve got an understanding of the game, the best way to learn is to play.