2-7 Single Draw poker, also referred to as Lowball Poker, is a draw game, meaning that players are dealt a hand of five cards and may discard any of their five cards one time in exchange for new ones. 2-7 Triple Draw affords players to draw up to three separate times in order to make a winning hand. Players are not required, though, to draw three times. They can opt to “stand pat” and not trade any of their cards during any round of the game. A winning hand in 2-7 Triple Draw, unlike in many popular poker variations, is the lowest ranking five-card poker hand (hence the name 2-7 because only cards 2-7 are likely candidates to make a low hand). If you are familiar with Razz Poker, 2-7 Draw Poker is similar to that game in terms of winning hand rankings.
In 2-7 Draw poker, straights and flushes will count against a low hand, and Aces are valued high, which is the exact opposite of Stud Poker. Consequently, the best low hand in 2-7 Draw is cards within the 2-7 range, or 7/5/4/3/2. In 2-7 Draw Poker, this Straight is the nuts, but you don’t need this exact hand to win.
Like flop games (Texas Hold ‘em and Omaha), Draw Poker begins with blinds. However, unlike flop games, Draw Poker games also are typically played with antes, as well as blinds. The hand begins with a five-card deal to each player. These cards are dealt face down. The player to the left of the big blind is first to act. He can fold, call, or raise. The action then continues clockwise around the table, completely back to the big blind, who can fold, call, raise, or check bet, when no other bets have been placed.
The first draw follows. Each player can discard up to five cards of their hand, exchanging them to the dealer for the same number of new cards with the purpose of improving their hands. Cards that have potential to create a winning hand are kept, while unwanted cards are discarded. The draw is carried out by each player clockwise around the table. Another betting round follows. Players remaining in the hand can bet or fold. This continues in the same manner for two more rounds. It is acceptable to reshuffle the discard pile should the deck run out of draw cards.
After the third draw, the betting round will result in a showdown between any remaining active players. The best hand showing cards 2-7 wins. Should two players have equally ranked hands, they will split the pot.
A bit of strategy in this game is to watch the amount of cards your opponents discard or hold onto. If they hold four or five cards, this is a red alert that they are holding a pretty strong hand because there’s little or no room for improvement (if it’s not broke don’t fix it will be their thought process). If a player starts out drawing three cards and then continues throughout the next two rounds to draw just one card, this means that he has gotten what he needs minus one card. He may or may not have drawn the missing link on the final draw, but you can assume that it is likely he got it after three chances. He will be betting aggressively on the same pre-tense.
On the final betting round, whether he got his card or not, he may be trying to throw you off to believe that he did get what he wanted in order to get his chips back (or he may have actually drawn the card). You can also watch the player’s face at this point. While many players do remember to put on their poker face, in a high-excitement situation like the last draw in a game of 2-7 Triple Draw, he might just for one instant forget to hide his emotions. Also, by watching his betting behaviours, you can foresee what he will do in the final betting round.
Playing 2-7 Draw Poker does require a frame of mind change because hands that are strong in other games, such as Hold ‘em, are not strong in 2-7 Draw Poker. Hands that include straights, pairs, trips, or flushes are no good in this game. If you can master both mind sets, your grasp of poker in general will improve, making you a more well-rounded player.