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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

What Game is That? 2-7 Triple Draw

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If you have ever watched poker on TV, than you have seen Texas Holdem. What you probably don’t know is that there are many other poker games that are not only fun, but also very challenging. Professional poker players tend to become bored with playing the same game over and over. Often times, pros will play in a mixed game; a game that consists of more than one game. In this next series of articles, I am going to give you an idea of what games might be included in the mix, and give you the basics of how to play them.

Take a walk through the high limit section of any poker room, and you will almost certainly see 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (pronounced deuce to seven) being played. This is a game where reading your opponent becomes very important because you never get to see any of his/her cards. 2-7 is an action game; there is no doubt about that. If you decide to sit down at one of these tables, you had better have your seat belt on. But what exactly is 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball, and how do you play?

2-7 is played like the old 5 card draw games. It can only be played with six players, because it takes a lot of cards to get through one hand. It starts out like Holdem. There is a dealer button, a small blind, and a big blind. Each player is dealt five cards face down. Each player must then decided whether they are in or out, with the first player acting being the one to the left of the big blind. Then it is time to draw. A player can take up to five new cards, giving back the old cards in return. Or, you can draw zero cards and keep the cards you were dealt (this is known as standing pat). A round of betting ensues, followed by another draw. This happens three times, hence the name triple draw (meaning three draws). The object of this game is the exact opposite of most other games. While in a standard poker game a player is trying to make the best hand, in 2-7, the player is trying to make the worst poker hand. In this game, straights and flushes count against you. So the best hand possible is 2-3-4-5-7 with at least two suits represented. In order to read the hands, you must always start from the biggest card. For example, 3-4-6-7-8 is a better hand than 2-3-4-5-9 because the 9 is the highest card represented. Aces are always high in 2-7, so you don’t want to see them.

Now for some strategy in 2-7. First and foremost, you must never leave home without a deuce. Believe it or not, the deuce is the most powerful card in this game. Your goal in 2-7 is to make a 7 low, and this isn’t possible without a 2. There are four possible 7’s in this game, and all of them contain a deuce.

(1) 2-3-4-5-7 (known as a wheel or number one)

(2) 2-3-4-6-7 (known as number 2)

(3) 2-3-5-6-7 (known as number 3)

(4) 2-4-5-6-7 (known as number 4)

Of course 3-4-5-6-7 also makes a 7, but as we discussed earlier, this hand also makes a straight, and that counts against you. So, obviously most hands that you want to get started with will have to contain a deuce.

For obvious reasons, you would prefer to be dealt a pat hand (a hand that doesn’t require any draws). If you are fortunate enough to be dealt such a hand, you should bet and raise at every opportunity before and after the first draw. There is no point in slow playing, because once the dealer asks you how many cards you want and you say zero, your secret is out and your opponents will already know that you have a big hand.

If you have to draw, you would obviously prefer to be drawing one card to a 7 low. Drawing one card to an 8 low is also fine, but you don’t really want to be drawing to a 9 low. As we already discussed, the lower the hand the better. That said though, it is probably ok to stand pat with a 9 low, just don’t draw to it. As with any pat hand, you want to raise and re-raise with any one-card draw. These are powerful hands, but they still need help. You always would prefer to be heads up (only one opponent) in these situations, because it is a lot harder for one person to out draw you than it is for 1 of 2 people to out draw you.

In 2-7, the majority of the hands you will be playing will be two card draws. But if you are going to play a two-card draw in a raised pot, make sure your hand contains the powerful deuce. Drawing two cards to a 7 is preferable, and two cards to an 8 is fine, but just make sure that you have a deuce in your hand. I just can’t stress this enough. All of the 7 lows, and all of the good 8 lows will have to contain a deuce, so make sure that you have one. As for three card draws, you don’t ever want to be drawing three. The only exception being that you are in the blind, and you have to play.

2-7 Triple Draw is an action packed game that is a lot of fun, but at the same time can drive poker players crazy. All of the variables of poker are represented in this game, and the pots are almost always monsters. So if you are the type of player that likes to gamble and rake in monster pots, this is the game for you. Just don’t rip all of your hair out when you miss your draws.

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