Beginner's Guide to 2-7 Triple Draw Poker Pt. 1: Starting Hands


If you don’t feel like playing Hold’em or Omaha anymore, 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball might be an appealing option for you.

It’s become the de facto game of choice for the elite high-stakes games online and a newly introduced $1,500 event at the World Series of Poker is helping along a surge of interest in the game at the lower stakes.

It’s fun, complex and a great way to expand your poker knowledge will getting an edge on all the other newcomers soon to follow you to the game.

Our three-part beginner strategy series will give you all the basic knowledge you need to get into the game online.

First Steps

If you don’t know anything at all about 2-7 Triple Draw, click through here to read our introduction.

This article series is separated into three different parts:

  • Starting Hands and Play Before the First Draw
  • Play from First to Third Draw
  • Play after the Last Draw

Starting Hands and Play Before the First Draw

Keep in mind, as a rule of thumb, that you should never draw more than three cards.

In 2-7 Triple Draw starting hands are just as important as they are in all poker games.

Keep in mind, as a rule of thumb, that you should never draw more than three cards.

Also: Ideally, one of your cards is a deuce (two).

Pat Hands

These are the hands you “stand pat” with, meaning you won’t draw even once.

Examples are:

  • 7-6-5-3-2
  • 8-5-4-3-2
  • 9-7-4-3-2

The advantage of these hands is that they win pretty often; the disadvantage is that they give their strength away immediately.

If you hold 7-6-5-3-2 or 8-5-4-3-2, you should definitely not draw but bet as much as you can.

If you hold a 9-7, meaning a hand where the two highest cards are a 9 and a 7 as in the third example above, you might want to get rid of the 9 and draw to a monster with a 5 or a 6.

Hands that Draw One Card

There’s a pretty wide range of hands where you’ll want to only draw one card.

This applies to all the hands that contain:

Fake Phil Hellmuth
How you play after the first draw depends on the card you get and the number of cards your opponent is drawing.

  • 7-4-3-2
  • 7-5-4-2
  • 6-4-3-2
  • 6-5-3-2
  • 6-5-4-2

The next group to draw one card includes:

  • 8-4-3-2
  • 8-5-3-2
  • 8-6-5-2 and so on up to 8-7-6-3

All these hands are often favorites to win the pot when they go to showdown.

With all these hands you should play aggressively and cap before the first draw, meaning you try to get in the fourth and last possible bet.

How you play after the first draw depends on the card you get and the number of cards your opponent is drawing.

Hands That Draw Two Cards

In the majority of hands, players draw two cards in the first round.

The best hands that draw two cards in the first round of 2-7 Triple Draw are:

  • 4-3-2
  • 7-3-2
  • 5-3-2
  • 5-4-2
  • 7-4-2
  • 7-5-2

With all these hands you’re drawing to a seven high, and seven-high hands are the best in the game.

The following group of hands is also strong, but not that easy to play. They are hands with a 6 in them, like 6-3-2, 6-4-2, 6-5-2, and 7-6-2.

$10K Seven Card Stud
Always have a deuce in your starting hand before you get any chips in the pot.

The problem with these hands is the straight draw (see introduction) but they still have a lot of potential.

On the button you can also play hands like: 8-3-2, 8-4-2 and some hands without a deuce like 8-5-3 and 7-6-3.

Hands that Draw Three Cards

As in most poker games, tight-aggressive play is a good strategy for beginners. Get rid of your weak hands and only play hands that draw three cards in special situations. The hands you can play are:

  • 3-2
  • 4-2
  • 5-2
  • 7-2

All of them have enough potential to play them in the following situations:

1. To steal the blinds

2. To defend the blinds

For a steal, you also need position; to defend it’s the pot odds that justify a call of a raise.

All other hands, where you would have to draw four or five cards, you shouldn’t play. Get rid of them and wait for a better one!

Key Takeaways

It’s particularly important to hold a deuce in your starting hand. You want to draw from low to high cards and not the other way round.

As an example, it’s much better to hold 7-3-2 and draw to a 4 or 5 than hold a 7-6-5 and draw to a 2 or 3.

You can play a higher number of hands on the button than in any other position.

Tight-aggressive play means that you play your hands actively and raise with them rather than call.

Starting Hands Table:

Pat Hands
Hands that Draw One
Hands that Draw Two
Hands that Draw Three
7-6-5-3-2 7-4-3-2 4-3-2 3-2
8-5-4-3-2 7-5-4-2 7-3-2 4-2
9-7-4-3-2 6-4-3-2 5-3-2 5-2
6-5-3-2 5-4-2 7-2
6-5-4-2 7-4-2
8-4-3-2 7-5-2
8-5-3-2 6-3-2
8-6-5-2 6-4-2



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