What are the guiding principles when playing this poker version? Are there any strategies that could prove useful in this game? We have the answers, so read along!
Deuce to Seven Basics
This game has quite an appeal to it, mostly because of its main rule — you need to achieve the lowest hand in order to win. Considering that Ace is counted as a high card, that hand consists of 7-5-4-3-2 cards. In addition, flushes and straights should be avoided, as well as duplicates, so you should discard them when your turn comes.
This version of poker game is otherwise known as Deuce to Seven Triple Draw or just as 2–7 Triple Draw since that is the range that builds the strongest hand. Moreover, many forms of this draw game could be found in other versions of poker, especially lowball, such as Ace to Five (California Lowball) and Ace to Six (London Lowball).
Aside from the basic rules of the game, another thing you should know are the hand rankings as well as some other specific features that distinguish this game from others, which we will cover in the following passages.
This game is played similarly to Texas Hold’Em Poker, so before you begin, you will need to post blinds. Namely, the player to the left of the dealer should place the small blind, and the player next is the one to post the big blind. Also, instead of the dealer, you can have a dealer button, which will decide who will take that role. Either way, having a dealer will make the game go much smoother since they are professionals that have many nights of poker behind them and will supervise every part of the game to make sure everything is going as planned.
After that, each player will be dealt five cards which are face down. Ideally, these cards should not only be the lowest but also different in value, since pairs will only decrease your chances of winning.
Knowing that, you will be able to plan your move much more easily. If you happen to not achieve your goal with what you’re dealt with, you will have three rounds of drawing in total, so don’t get discouraged. Additionally, this game is pretty entertaining and gives you many chances to get better cards due to the fact that there’s no limit to the number of cards you can replace. Or, if you’d rather keep all your cards, you can do that too. It means you are completely satisfied with your hand, and it will make you a fierce opponent to other players. This move is called “Stand Pat,” but some players may also use it to bluff, which is a highly risky move, but if you like a bit of adrenaline rush, you can try it.
How to Draw?
Though you can discard and replace as many cards as you want, many poker players would suggest sticking to the so-called rule of thumb and not drawing more than 3 cards at once. Of course, you do not have to stick to it. You will often see a player choosing to replace all 5 of their cards right away, which is also allowed. When that happens, the dealer will give them 4 cards first and then the last one only after all the other players take their turn drawing.
Because of the three rounds of drawing and no limitation to the number of cards you can ask to receive, you may think that the standard deck is not enough when playing this game. However, the dealer will just have to shuffle the cards that were dismissed by other players more often than in other games, but that will not delay the game in any way.
You should know that this poker variant is a fixed-limit game. That means that the sum you are allowed to wager is restricted. This way, players will often post small bets first, and then increase that amount as the game progresses, hitting the maximum allowed later on.
After the three rounds of drawing are over, the players will proceed to the showdown, i.e., the round in which they will reveal their cards and see who the winner is. There are some rules concerning this final round and how it plays out.
Firstly, you will see that the hands are read from the highest card you have down to the lowest. Also, in case you are not blessed with the ideal hand (7-5-4-3-2), you can still win supposing none of the other players have it. As we have mentioned before, straights and flushes, as well as pairs, will decrease your hand value, but that doesn’t mean you are destined to fail. The outcome will certainly depend on the hands of other players.
Also, if two players happen to have the same lowest hand, they will share the pot.
There is no sure-fire way we can reveal or advice we can give you that will guarantee you a win, but luckily, in this game, you can apply a great deal of logic in order to try to predict how the game will play out. Though you cannot know which cards other players have, you can assume based on their moves. For example, if a player chooses to dismiss more cards, they definitely had a bad hand. And vice versa — the player who stood pat probably has the closest to the ideal hand.
Next, since the Aces are always counted as high, the winning hand will start with a 2. So whenever you draw this card, you should hold onto it tightly. Also, as you might have noticed, the winning hand does not contain a 6, only a 7. The reason for that is that sixes are the shortcut to creating a flush or a straight, and you want to avoid those.
Moreover, when a player draws only one card, you will have a somewhat harder time to predict what their hand is. Typically, the players will rather draw two at a time. Though the three card draw in a round should be avoided, many beginners will choose to go with that strategy.
When playing a game like Triple Draw poker, you may find yourself dismissing and drawing recklessly, since the limitation to the number of cards you can replace does not exist, and that goes on for the whole three rounds. However, you should draw fewer cards and carefully, so that you don’t lose more than you initially planned, and much faster.
Also, comparing yourself to other players and their behavior can only get you so far since bluffing is not excluded as a strategy in this game, like in many others. In the end, the best thing you can do is hold onto the lowest cards and try to avoid Aces and Sixes, as well as pairs, which should be discarded as soon as possible.