Deuce to seven triple draw, or 2-7 triple draw for short, is
a popular variation of draw poker where the lowest hand wins.
Some players also call deuce to seven low ball. 2-7 triple draw
has gained popularity in some circles recently as an alternative
to Texas hold’em. It can be an extremely fun form of poker to
On this page we take you through the basic rules of the game
and provide you with a brief guide on how to play. This is
followed by strategy advice to help you consider starting hands
and how to play each hand in the most profitable way.
If you haven’t played a low ball game before then it might
take some time to get used to how hands are ranked, and if
you’ve played then you’ll soon find out that 2-7 triple draw is
a little bit different from other low ball games.
Betting and table structure are similar to Texas hold’em and
Omaha but it also has some similarities to 5 card draw and other
forms of draw poker. If you’re familiar with these games then it
shouldn’t take too long to get the hang of deuce to seven triple
How to Play – 2 to 7 Triple Draw Rules
Dealer & Blind Positions
In 2-7 triple draw you use a dealer to determine the order of
play. A player will be identified as the dealer by a white
dealer button with the word ‘DEALER’ on it, or just a letter
“D”, or something similar depending on where you play.
From there the person to the left of the dealer is the small
blind and to their left is the big blind. Once each hand is
completed the dealer button moves to the next player on the
left, as do the small blind and big blind.
To make sure there’s action in every pot the blinds have to
make a forced bet. The small blind is usually half the amount of
the big blind and the big blind is determined by the table
limits that you are playing at.
For example, if you are in a $2 / $4 limit game then the big
blind is $2 and the small blind is $1.
The Initial Deal
Once you have the blinds in the middle the dealing will start
with the small blind receiving their card first. The cards are
dealt one at a time clockwise around the table. In this
variation of poker each player is dealt five cards face down,
also known as five hole cards.
Once every player has their five cards the first round of
betting starts. The first person to act is to the left of the
big blind and they have the following three options.
Players continue to act clock wise around the table until
those remaining have called all raises.
At this point the first draw takes place. A player can choose
to discard one to five cards and receive new ones from the
dealer, or they can stand pat and keep the five cards they have.
Once all players have indicated how many cards they would like
they are then dealt these in the same fashion as the cards were
You then have a second round of betting, a second draw, a
third round of betting and a final draw. Finally, there is one
more round of betting and if multiple players are still
remaining they will show down and expose their cards to see who
has the better hand and wins.
Here’s a quick summary of all that action.
Each player is dealt five cards starting with the small blind
1st betting round, starting with player to the left of the big blind
1st draw, beginning with player to the left of the dealer
2nd betting round, beginning with player to the left of the dealer
2nd draw, beginning with player to the left of the dealer
3rd betting round, beginning with player to the left of the dealer
3rd draw, beginning with player to left of dealer
4th betting round, beginning with player to the left of the dealer
Showdown (if required)
Now that you understand how each hand is played out including
drawing and betting rounds, let’s look at how hands are ranked.
As we touched on earlier 2-7 triple draw is a low ball game.
This means the aim of the player is to get the lowest value
hand. The biggest difference between this low ball game and
others is that straights and flushes will count against the
Therefore if you get ace of Spaces, two of clubs, three of diamonds, four of hearts and five of diamonds, you’ll have a straight,
which is not a good hand. It’s the same if you get a flush,
which is five cards of all the same suit. Also in 2-7 triple
draw the ace is considered high. This is how we get the name of
the game, because 2 to 7 without a flush, or two of spades, 3 of clubs, four of diamonds, 5 of hearts and seven of diamonds or
the same cards with different suits, is the best possible hand
that you can get.
Like other low ball games, the winning hand can be identified
by mentioning the highest card and then low. For example, the
hand six of spades, nine of clubs, ten of diamonds, jack of hearts and king of diamonds, would be considered king low. If someone
had another hand with a lower high card then they would take the
See below for some example hands showing who would win in a
These are both very strong hands, however the first hand wins
as it is 8, 6, 5, 4, 2 low and the second hand is 8, 6, 5, 4, 3
Why Play 2-7 Triple Draw?
If you’re looking for an excellent variation of five card
draw then you should go no further than 2-7 triple draw. It’s a
great game which is challenging, complex, and entertaining.
It has gained popularity recently due to the fact there is so
little information available to players, meaning it is a truly
natural form of the game. It’s a little different than other low
ball games given flushes and straights count and ace is high,
and this really adds an extra layer of complexity and fun to the
The only information you have to your advantage is hand
history, betting patterns, draw information, and body language
and tells if you’re playing live. This is what makes 2-7 triple
draw truly awesome. You can also find 2-7 single draw
occasionally, but it’s quite rare. Deuce to seven betting limits
can include fixed limit, pot limit, and no limit.
2-7 Triple Draw Strategy
Deuce to seven triple draw strategies have the same major
themes as Texas hold’em and Omaha, but include quite a few
different things to focus on as well.
The good news is you don’t find many good 2-7 triple draw
players so the games are ripe for profits for good players. If
you take the time to learn the best strategy and practice you
should be able to learn how to be a profitable player at deuce
to seven faster than in many other forms of poker.
The tendency of most deuce to seven players is to see what
happens on the first draw if they can get in the pot cheaply. If
they can make their first draw for a couple bets or less they
figure it’s worth the gamble.
While it’s true anything can happen on a draw the worse your
starting hand is the worse your odds to improve on a draw.
The next thought poor players have is with three draws they
can turn any hand into something good. This is also true, but
the problem is it has to happen often enough to make entering
the pot and chasing a better hand for three draws worth it the
few ties you win.
If you win one out of every five times you start with a poor
hand, will you win enough to make up for the other four times
you chase a better hand? The answer is almost 100% of the time
You need to play your best starting hands and
fold the ones that don’t show a great deal of promise. Just like
in Texas hold’em and Omaha, the player who starts with the best
hand has the best chance to win in the long run.
The best starting hands are made hands with five unpaired
cards that don’t form a flush that are nine high, eight high, or
of course seven high.
The next level of starting hands includes four low cards that
aren’t of the same suit. These hands only need a single card to
be drawn on each of the three drawing rounds until you hit a pat
Marginal hands include those with three low cards. If these
types of hands don’t improve on the first draw they should
usually be folded.
We realize that these starting hand suggestions don’t offer
many chances to play, but do you want to play a bunch of hands
or do you want to win? The best players tend to play fewer hands
than their opponents, not more.
This is especially true at the lower limits, but is pretty
much the same at the medium limits too. As you advance to the higher limits of play and face better
competition more games will be contested heads up. In heads up
play you’ll see some rather poor hands win pots when both
players miss their draws. This doesn’t mean you can play poor
hands, but it does change the game from what you get used to at
the lower and medium levels.
What it does mean is the average hand strength needed to win
goes down as the number of opponents goes down. When five or
more players stay in the hand until the final betting round the
odds are high that at least one of them has a strong made low
hand. If you missed your draw and have a pair, even a low pair
like twos or threes, the odds of winning a big multi way pot are
When every hand starts with a raise or two and only two or
three players see the first draw you can often win with weaker
hands at the end.
This is a tricky subject and one that’s quite hard to make
clear in writing. You almost have to play in these situations to
have a chance to completely understand what we’re talking about.
Just because lesser average hands win at the upper levels
because of fewer players in the hand, it doesn’t mean you can
play weaker hands. It means the opposite. You have to play even
better hands to win.
We realize this is a short section but it’s so important that
we wanted to make sure everyone reading this gets it. Aces are
terrible cards in deuce to seven. They’re usually great cards in
most forms of poker. If you play Omaha 8 you automatically look
at an ace as a great low hand card.
Aces only count as high in deuce to seven. Don’t forget!
Most poker players we know learned how to count outs by
playing Texas hold’em. When they start trying to count outs in
deuce to seven it takes a bit of adjusting but works out about
the same in the end.
Here’s an example.
Your starting hand is 2h 3h 6h 8c 8h.
You’re going to discard the 8h and hope to draw any 4,
5, or 7.
If you draw a 9 or 10 it may be good enough to win.
You’re hoping for a lower card on the first draw though.
You have seen five cards, leaving a total of 47 possible
cards to draw.
You know the deck holds four each of 4, 5, and 7.
You’re hoping to draw one of those 12 cards.
There’s another 8 cards that may let you win (4 each of
the 9s and 10s).
Any remaining 2, 3, 6, or 8 are terrible.
Any of the face cards or aces isn’t what you want.
That’s 27 cards you don’t really want.
20 decent to good cards compared to 27 bad ones offer
pretty good odds.
If you don’t get what you need then there’ll be:
20 good and 26 bad ones on the second draw.
20 good and 25 bad on the final draw.
It’s important to note that the numbers change if you have
four low cards but they’re all the same suit. Now you only have
three of each rank that can help you instead of four because
another card of your suit makes a flush
In most poker games table selection is one of the most
important ways to improve your profitability quickly. The way we
explain table selection to new players is by asking them a
Do you think you’ll stand a better chance of winning by
playing at a table of players who’re better poker players than
you or at a table filled with players who aren’t as good as you?
You always want to play poker with as many people as
possible who are worse players than you.
While we stand by this advice as some of the best we’ve ever
given, there’s a problem with it when referring to 2-7 triple
If you have a choice of tables you should play where the
competition is poor, but you’ll rarely have an option to play at
more than one table. Most poker rooms don’t offer deuce to seven
triple draw and if they do only one table will run most of the
You can find mixed games that include it at some large rooms,
but your best bet may be building your own game.
This creates a situation where you can control who plays so
you can focus on surrounding yourself with poor poker players.
Don’t worry about wondering why bad poker players would play in
your game because bad poker players tend to play in any game.
They don’t worry about table selection or finding players who
aren’t as good as them. All they want to do is play.
Reading Your Opponents
One of the big things that sets deuce to seven triple draw
apart from more popular games like Texas hold’em and Omaha, and
even 7 card stud, is you don’t see any community cards or cards
your opponent holds in her hand.
Because of this you have to figure out other ways to
determine the possible hand strength of each opponent. You’ll
still be guessing about a range of possible hands in most cases,
but you still need to narrow the possibilities down as far as
One way to do this is learn as much about each of your
opponents and their playing tendencies as possible. You do this
by watching how they play even when you aren’t involved in the
The more you know about a player’s tendencies and how they
play in certain situations the better your chances to win
against them when you’re both in a pot.
The next big clue to the possible strength or your opponent’s
hand is how many cards they draw on each drawing round. If they
draw two or more cards their hand isn’t very strong, but if they
draw a single card they’re more than likely drawing to a strong
If they don’t draw they either have a solid pat hand or are
planning to bluff.
Any time an opponent doesn’t draw and then checks to you only
bet with your best hands. The first time this happens to you it
may surprise you, because most of the time when a player stands
pat on a draw they fire a bet into the pot.
It’s often a sign of a bluff when an opponent draws two or
more cards and then raises your bet. Drawing two cards is a sign
of weakness and if they suddenly start betting aggressively it
can mean they hit two perfect cards, but more than likely they
missed and are trying to buy their way out of a bad situation.
This doesn’t mean you should keep raising unless your hand is
very strong, but you should almost always call a single wager in
You need to always pay attention to how your opponents bet in
different situations. Some players only raise with a pat hand
and others will always call a bet on the final round even when
they miss their draw. If you know things like this about many
different opponents it will make you extra bets and save you
bets in the long run.
Every extra bet you win or extra bet you don’t lose adds to
your long term profit.
If you know your opponent always calls a bet on the final
hand you know it’s a bad idea to bluff. Simply check the hand
down and see who wins.
When you know an opponent only raises with a pat hand and you
face a raise after the final draw when you paired you can save
yourself a bet and fold.
Don’t go overboard on this though. Unless you’re 100% sure
the player won’t raise without a pat hand it can be costly to
fold to a single wager on the last betting round. The pot is
usually large enough that you only have to win 10% or less of
the time to make the correct play.
Don’t miss any opportunity to learn more about your
opponents. It may be more fun at the moment to watch the
cocktail waitress or visit with your neighbor when you aren’t in
the hand, but it won’t be more profitable.
Planning the Hand
One area that separates losing poker players from winning
ones is how they approach each hand. Most poker players don’t
spend time thinking about a hand and / or what can happen as it
It’s a much better idea to plan for every possible outcome
starting before you receive your hand. The first thing you need
to consider is your position compared to the dealer button. Your
position changes which hands should and shouldn’t be played and
how you play the hand after you decide to willingly enter the
Late position is the best and most profitable because you
have the advantage of seeing how all of your opponents play
their hands before you have to act. You get to see how many
cards each opponent draws on each round. This can be a great
advantage, especially on the final draw.
If you’re in a heads up hand and your opponent draws two
cards on the final draw and you have a made king high hand what
do you do?
The odds say you should stand pat because drawing two cards
runs a good chance of pairing one of your opponent’s hole cards.
But what if your opponent stands pat on the final draw and
your king high hand has a second highest card of seven? Further,
what if you know your opponent never stands pat on a hand less
than five unpaired cards. You’d want to draw one replacing your
king in hopes of improving to a better hand. The odds of your
king high pat hand being good in this situation isn’t good.
Another advantage to being last to act during the hand
involves a greater ability to control the size of the pot. You
can call or raise prior bets or check or bet in situations where
hands are checked to you. This lets you build bigger pots when
you have the best chance to win and keep pots smaller when you
don’t think you’re a favorite to win.
This advantage alone can be the difference between winning
The next time you get to see a winning player at the deuce to
seven table start keeping track of how many hands they play and
the percentage of hands they play from early, middle, and late
position. In the short run random starting hand distribution can
make it seem like they play more hands in early position, but if
you’re able to watch them play over a long period of time you’ll
almost certainly see they play more hands from late position
than anywhere else. You’ll also probably see they willingly
enter fewer pots than most players.
If neither of these two things is true then we doubt they’re
really a winning player.
This statement alone tells you enough to know how to be a
winning deuce to seven low ball player at lower limits even if
you forget everything else on this page.
If you enter the pot fewer times than your opponents and play
more of these hands from late position than other positions
you’ll instantly start winning more.
By playing this way you’ll only play your very best hands
from early position, including the blinds, and even when you
play a few more hands in late position you’ll still have a
better hand on average than most of your opponents.
After your plan starts with considering your position, you
need to decide what you plan to do with each type of hand you
can receive. We’re not saying your plan can’t change, but you
need to know what hands you’re willing to play from each
position and those you aren’t willing to play.
Next you need to plan on what you’ll do if an opponent
raises. If you’re still in the hand at the first draw plan what
you’ll do if you make your hand and if you miss. This may sound
simple, but if you’ve already decided your course of action
you’ll be less likely to betray the strength of your hand and
more prepared to maximize your profits or minimize your losses.
It can take a great deal of experience before you’re able to
completely plan out each hand, but with practice you can reach
the point where nothing surprises you. It’s worth the effort to
reach this point.
We know we’ve already covered the ability to control the size
of the pot when playing from late position, but there’s another
situation where it’s important to control the pot size. When you
play limit deuce to seven triple draw you only have to face a
bet based on the table limits. But if you’re playing pot limit
you can face a bet the size of the pot. Even if the pot only
receives one pot sized bet and call per round it can get quite
large by the end.
That’s why it’s even more important in pot limit play to
understand where your hand is in comparison to your opponent’s
hands and build the pot when you’re favored and keep it as small
as possible when you’re not.
Casual poker players don’t usually think too much about
bankroll management. They have income from somewhere else so
they either have enough to play poker or they don’t. In
addition, they don’t usually track their winning and losing
sessions so they don’t really know how much it costs them to
play poker in the long run.
The simple fact is if you’re a losing player it doesn’t
matter how big your bankroll is because it won’t ever be enough.
Once you start playing break even poker you can have a bankroll
large enough to handle the natural fluctuations, but do you have
any idea how big it needs to be?
The answer depends on many things including your overall
ability and the natural variations from the poker game you play,
but the most important thing is making sure you have enough to
play without worrying about it in any profitable game that
Professional advantage gamblers try to amass a bankroll large
enough that they can play in any game where they can find an
Your goal needs to be the same for your deuce to seven triple
draw play. If you ever have to think about the size of your
bankroll while playing you need to play at a lower level.
It’s hard enough to win on a consistent basis without
worrying about winning or losing in the short term. When you
make the right play more often than not you’ll win money in the
long run. In the short term anything can happen because of short
term variance, but keep putting your money in when you’re a
favorite and in the long run you’ll be a winning player.
Controlling Your Tells
The only information your opponents have about the strength
of your hand is what you give them. If you stand pat after the
first or second draw you send the message you have a strong
When you bet and raise you also indicate a strong hand.
On the other hand, if you draw two or more cards it indicates
you have a weak hand and are drawing to improve at least two
It’s difficult not to give away information in these
instances, but in other areas you can protect some of your
The first things you must control are your voice, facial
features, and body language.
Practice talking in a monotone voice at all times while you
play poker. If your voice falters when you announce a draw, bet,
call, or raise it can give away information about your hand to
your opponents. It’s fairly easy to speak in a monotone voice if
you stay conscious of it every time you play.
Your face can also give a great deal of information away if
you let it react to the cards you receive in your starting hand
or in a draw. Just like your voice, practice keeping your face
the same no matter what happens in your hand.
The final thing to control is your body language. The natural
tendency is to slouch or sigh when a hand doesn’t go the way we
want and some players tense up or shake when they hit a big draw
or hand. Once again, practice how you react to every hand so you
look the same when you miss a draw and when you hit one.
When you play at a table with at least a few good players who
pay attention to their opponents you can sometimes use some of
the things we just talked about against them.
The key is to be subtle and not overdo it, but if you
practice you can send incorrect signals in big pots.
The next time you’re in a big pot with a good opponent who
pays attention decide to let your shoulders slightly slump when
you hit a big draw. Just let them slump for a second and then
act like you caught yourself and straighten up quickly. You have
to do all of this in a subtle way, but if you can pull it off
your opponent will likely think you missed your draw.
You can also let out a small sigh but you must be careful
this doesn’t look like you meant to do it. Anything you do
that’s over the top will probably work against you.
It doesn’t do any good to bet and raise aggressively and then
draw two or more cards. Your opponents know your hand needs a
great deal of help when you draw two or more cards so why would
you waste your money by betting like a maniac?
Folding on the final round of betting against a single
opponent is almost never a good idea. The only exception is if
your opponent didn’t draw a card on the final round and you
paired on your final draw. Even when this happens you still
should call in some situations.
Compare the amount in the pot to the amount of the bet you
must call. Then try to determine a range of hands your opponent
could possibly have. If you can win against a higher percentage
of possible hands than the odds the pot is offering you need to
If you’re playing in a $20 / $40 game with $400 in the pot
and you’re facing a $40 bet you have to put 10% in the pot. That
means you have to win at least 1 out of every 10 times you make
the call to break even. If you have a chance to win more than 1
out of 10 times you’ll turn a profit making the call in the long
What hands could your opponent hold that you can beat?
If they didn’t draw on the final round the worst hand they
probably have is a small pair, but usually they’ll have a set
low, even if it’s a high one.
But, poor players tend to bluff all the time so if your
opponent isn’t very good it’s hard to tell what they hold. They
could just as easily be on a two round bluff, showing strength
by not drawing when they have a weak hand.
A strong player may also be acting the way they are because
you’ve shown weakness and they’re playing you instead of the
Deuce to seven triple draw offers an interesting change of
pace to the same old tired Texas hold’em games that seem to
dominate poker rooms.
It’s a game where good players can quickly take advantage of
weaker players, which can make it more profitable than Texas
hold’em for some players.
Once you completely understand the rules, learn the
strategies and tips covered on this page, you’ll be ahead of
most of your opponents at the deuce to seven tables.
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