2-7 (Deuce to Seven) Triple Draw Lowball is a poker game in which the low poker hand wins the pot at showdown. In other words, it is a form of ‘Lowball’. It is a ‘draw’ game, meaning that you are dealt five cards, and may discard from zero to five of them on the draw, and receive that number of replacement cards. In Triple Draw, each player has the opportunity to draw three times, though you may ‘stand pat’ (not discard any cards) on any or all of the draws.
How to Play 2-7 Triple Draw
First, it’s important to understand that the hand rankings are different in 2-7 than in other low games. In 2-7, straights and flushes count against your low hand, and aces are always high. So the best possible hand is: 7, 5, 4, 3, 2. The following 2-7 hands (not a complete list) are ranked from least powerful (#1, which will rarely win the pot) to most powerful (#16, the nuts):
- J, 7, 4, 3, 2 (all the same suit – a flush)
- 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 (a straight)
- 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 (a lower straight)
- 5, 5, 5, 6, 3
- 2, 2, 7, 6, 5
- A, 9, 6, 4, 2
- A, 8, 7, 4, 2
- A, 5, 4, 3, 2 (not a straight – ace-high)
- K, J, 8, 7, 4
- T, 7, 5, 4, 3
- T, 6, 5, 4, 3
- T, 6, 5, 4, 2
- 9, 7, 6, 4, 3
- 8, 6, 4, 3, 2
- 7, 6, 4, 3, 2
- 7, 5, 4, 3, 2
Draw games are played using forced bets known as blinds, with the player sitting to the left of the dealer button posting a small blind, and the player to their left posting the big blind. The small blind is usually equal to half the size of the big blind. Lowball is also sometimes played with an ante, which is a small forced bet posted by each player in addition to the blinds.
Each player is dealt five cards face down. There is then a round of betting, where you have the option to either call, raise, or fold. Players still left in the hand after the first round of betting now have the opportunity to draw. That is, each player selects which (if any) cards he wishes to discard by clicking on them. By clicking a second time on a card that you have planned to discard, you remove it from the discard set. You can discard all five cards if you wish. If you feel that you already have a strong hand, you can opt to ‘Stand Pat’. This means that you are choosing not to discard any of your cards. Discarding continues around the table clockwise. When it is your turn to discard, you press the button to confirm you wish to discard the selected cards.
After the first draw, there is another round of betting, beginning with the first active player to the left of the button. There are two more draws with a round of betting following each one, resulting in three draws total, and four rounds of betting. If more than one player is still left in the hand at this point, a showdown takes place, with the player holding the best hand taking the pot.
So the sequence of action is:
- Five cards dealt to each player
- Betting round #1, beginning with player to left of big blind
- Draw #1, beginning with player to left of button
- Betting round #2, beginning with player to left of button
- Draw #2, beginning with player to left of button
- Betting round #3, beginning with player to left of button
- Draw #3, beginning with player to left of button
- Betting round #4, beginning with player to left of button
- Showdown (if necessary)
In draw games, it is possible for more cards to be needed than are remaining in the deck. In this case, the cards are reshuffled, and play continues using the new deck.
Showdown – Determining the Winner
The player with the best five-card 2-7 hand wins the pot. After the pot is awarded to the best hand, a new game of 2-7 Triple Draw is ready to be played. If two or more hands have the same value, the pot is equally split among them. There is no rank of suit for the purposes of awarding the pot. This is different from other forms of low or high/low poker, where an ace can be played either high or low. In 2-7, an ace is always the highest card.