2-7 Triple Draw Poker and its sibling Ace-5 Triple Draw Poker are two poker variations that require players to play low. We will discuss only 2-7 Triple Draw here.
The key element in 2-7 Triple Draw is that high hands lose and low hands win. The game is played like standard draw poker but there are three draws. A player can decline to draw at any time.
The ace is always played as a high card. Straights and flushes count so the best hand is 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 unsuited.
Since most players are used to playing for the high hand, you have to change your thinking when playing for the low hand. You may have to break up a very low hand because it is also either a flush or a straight. You will discard pairs, picture cards, and aces. Nevertheless, the strangeness of the strategy and the three draws make it a very exciting game.
In 2-7 Triple Draw there are also blinds. The small blind is to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is the next player.
There are four rounds of betting: before the first draw and then after each of the three draws. In most casinos the first two betting rounds are at the lower table level and the last two are at the higher table level. Some houses limit raises.
On any draw you may discard any or all of your cards. You may stand pat at any time.
Five cards are dealt face down to all players.
The player to the left of the big blind bets first. The player must call, raise, or fold. All players must make the same decision. This is essentially the same type of betting as in Texas Hold’em.
After all players have either called or folded the remaining players draw or stand pat.
There is another round of betting. Betting now begins with the player to the left of the dealer.
This continues for a total of three draws.
Strategy & Tips
Remember to discard cards that give you a too-strong hand.
Aces are always high. Many players forget this and hold onto an ace instead of discarding it.
The best hand is 2,3,4,5,7 unsuited. The next best hand is 2,3,4,6,7 unsuited. This reverses the way hands are valuated when playing for high hand. In 2-7 Three Draw you want as many low cards as possible.
Many inexperienced players underestimate the ability of their opponents to dramatically improve their hands with three draws. The best possible hand often wins. If you don’t have a deuce your chances of winning are much reduced.
It is also uncommon to win with a nine-high hand. There are simply too many eight-high hands. All of them will beat you.
Bluffing is common, of course, so you have to size up your opponents.
The blinds often stay in for at least one draw because they have money invested.
You can always draw as many as five cards, but if you are drawing five cards on the final draw you probably should have folded long before.
No one really knows where 2-7 Triple Draw Poker was created. The sleuths say that the trail leads to Mississippi. Wherever it was developed, it has caught on big time. For some players it is a pleasant change of pace. For others it is their game of choice.
2-7 Triple Draw began as a game for high rollers but that is no longer the case. You can get into quarter half-dollar games as well as high stakes games.