The three key points about 2-7 Triple Draw:
In 2-7 Triple Draw, the Ace is considered only as a high card. Additionally, straights and flushes are counted as such. As a result, the best possible hand in 2-7 Triple Draw, an unbeatable hand (the nuts) is:
The second best possible Low hand is:
And so on.
Note that 5-4-3-2-Ace does not make a straight as the Ace is only counted as a high card. This is the best possible hand containing an Ace. However, it is a very weak hand as it is beaten by King-5-4-3-2 etc. On the other hand, Ace-King-Queen-Jack-9 is the worst possible high card hand. That said, having a pair is better than trips (three of a kind), trips is better than a straight, a straight better than a flush, etc. You guessed it: the worst possible hand in 2-7 Triple Draw is a Royal Flush!
Like in Texas Hold’em, a 2-7 Triple Draw hand starts with forced bets, called “Blinds”. The player seated directly to the left of the button posts the small blind, and the player to their left posts the big blind (generally, double the amount of the small blind).
2-7 Triple Draw is played with a maximum of six players. Each player receives five private hole cards.
Just like in Texas Hold’em, the first round of betting starts with the player sat to the left of the big blind. Each player has the option to call (equal the existing bet), raise (increase the stakes), or fold (quit the hand) in turn, with action moving clockwise round the table.
2-7 Triple Draw is played Limit: the amount of bets and raises is limited and set in advance. During the first round of betting, this amount is called a small bet and is equal to one small blind. In the first round of betting the number of raises is limited to 3: raise (1), re-raise (2), final raise (3).
Once the first betting round is complete, the remaining players will have the chance to exchange none or all of their cards. The players state their intentions clockwise around the table, starting with the player to the left of the button, with the new cards being dealt in the same order. When a player wants to change no cards, they “stand pat”. Note that a player who stands pat on one round of betting retains the right to change their cards in future rounds of betting.
The second round of betting starts with the player to the left of the dealer button. As in the previous round, the bet and raise amounts are equal to a small bet. For this betting round and until the end of the hand, the number of bets/raises is limited to 4: bet (1), raise (2), re-raise (3) and the final raise (4). Just like in Texas Hold’em, it’s possible to check (bet nothing) as long as no bet has yet been placed this round. If one or multiple players bet after one or more players have checked, action returns to these players who can choose to fold, call, or raise (if the maximum number of raises has not yet been reached). If all players check in a round of betting then play moves onto the next round.
Once the second round of betting has ended, the remaining players have the option to change their cards a second time, according to the same rules as the first time.
The third round of betting starts with the player directly to the left of the dealer button. The bet or raise amount is now a big bet, which is equal to double the amount of a small bet.
Once the third round of betting is complete, the remaining players have the chance to change their cards a third and final time, according to the same rules as in the previous rounds.
The fourth and final round of betting starts with the player seated to the left of the button. The bet and raise amount is a big bet.
Once all bets have been called in the final round of betting, the remaining players go to a showdown. The last player to have raised must show their cards first. If there was no bet on the last round of betting, the player sat the left of the dealer button must show their cards first. The hands are always then revealed in turn clockwise around the table.
The winner of the pot is the player who holds the weakest five card poker hand, according to the hierarchy detailed previously. If one or multiple players show a hand of identical value (not counting the suits of the cards), the pot is shared equally between them. Once the pot is awarded to the winner(s), a new hand can begin.
Sometimes, there are not enough cards in the deck to complete the exchange of cards. This situation is rare, but can occur when a large number of players are in the hand after the first round of betting, and if every player changes a high number of cards.
For example: the first player to act changes 3 cards, but there are only 2 cards in the deck. He will receive the last 2 cards in the deck, then the cards which have already been discarded by other players in the hand (in previous betting rounds or card changes) will be shuffled with the exception of the 2 cards the player has just discarded. The player will then receive the first card off the top of the “new” deck of shuffled cards. It is therefore possible to receive a card that he himself discarded in a previous betting round.
Let’s then imagine the example continues with another player wanting to exchange 2 cards. There are no cards left in the original deck so the player will receive 2 cards from the newly shuffled cards. In this particular case, the deck contains all the cards previously discarded with the exception of the cards held by the players remaining in the hand, the 3rd card discarded by the previous player and the 2 cards he has now just discarded.