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How to Play 2-7 Single Draw

How to Play 2-7 Single Draw

Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw (aka 2-7 Single Draw) is a poker game played in mixed cash games in poker rooms around the world. You’ll also see 2-7 Single Draw as part of the lineup in many of the mixed-game events at the World Series of Poker every summer.

The WSOP also runs multiple 2-7 Single Draw tournaments every year, and it’s a favorite among many of the world’s top players.

The 2-7 Single Draw variant (aka Kansas City Lowball) is one of several games in the lowball poker family of games.

Let’s take a look at the rules of this poker game:

2-7 Single Draw Poker Rules

The 2-7 Single Draw game falls under the category of five-card draw games, and winning hands are decided by lowball hand rankings.

In lowball games, you try to make the best possible low hand. Lowball draw poker games generally use one of two sets of lowball hand rankings:

  • 2-7 Lowball – The deuce ranks as the lowest possible card, and straights and flushes count against you. The lowest/best possible hand you can make is 2-3-4-5-7 with no flush.
  • A-5 Lowball – The ace can rank as both the highest and lowest possible card, and straights and flushes don’t count against you. The lowest/best hand you can make is A-2-3-4-5, and the hand counts as a qualifying low even if it’s the straight flush version.
How to Play 2-7 Single Draw

Straights and flushes don’t count against low hands under 2-7 Lowball rules.

A hand of 2-7 Single Draw begins with each player dealt five cards, face down. The game uses a system of a button, small blind, and big blind, which should be familiar to many poker players from its use in No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO).

Once each player has five cards, the first betting round begins. Starting with the player to the direct left of the big blind, each player gets the opportunity to either bet, raise, or fold, depending on the action that’s already happened in front of them.

After the first betting round is complete, all remaining players enter the drawing round. Starting with the first live player to the direct left of the dealer button, each player declares how many cards they want to discard, and replace with new cards.

Each player declares the number, pushes the discards to the dealer, and receives the new cards all at once, before the action moves to the next player. There’s one exception to this rule – if a player chooses to discard all five cards, the dealer gives the player four cards, then deals the fifth after all other players receive their cards.

Players can also stand pat, and keep their original five cards without discarding.

After the drawing round, the final betting round takes place. If a player bets or raises, and all other players fold, that player wins the pot.

If two or more players are still in the hand when the final round of betting is completed, the hand goes to showdown, and players turn their cards face up.

The player with the best five-card poker hand according to deuce-to-seven rules wins the pot. Remember that the player with the best low hand wins, as 2-7 Lowball is not a game where you try to make the high hand.

Hands are counted down from high to low. For example, 9-8-7-6-4 beats J-5-4-3-2.

In cases where two hands share the same high card, the second-highest card breaks the tie. For instance, 9-7-6-5-4 beats 9-8-7-6-4.

Betting Structure For 2-7 Single Draw

You’ll generally see Deuce-to-Seven played in two formats: the 2-7 single draw poker game we’re discussing in this article, and also 2-7 Triple Draw.

These games share many common aspects, but differ in two important ways:

  • 2-7 Single Draw has one drawing round, and is usually played with a no-limit betting structure. Players can bet or raise all of their chips at any time.
  • 2-7 Triple Draw has three drawing rounds, and is generally played with a fixed-limit betting structure. The maximum allowed bet/raise is dictated by the limits of the game.

You might find both 2-7 lowball poker variants played in the mixed cash games available at poker rooms like the Lodge, as well as other poker rooms around the world.

The annual World Series of Poker features several tournaments that include lowball draw games. The $50,000 Poker Players Championship, considered the most prestigious poker championship in the world by many elite poker players, features both 2-7 No-Limit Single Draw and 2-7 Limit Triple Draw as part of a nine-game mix.

Basic Strategy Tips For 2-7 Single Draw

Poker pro Jimmy Fricke offers the following poker strategy tips for 2-7 Lowball games, covering both the single and triple draw variety:

Deuce to Seven Lowball Strategy

Tip 1: Deuces are Powerful

If it’s in the name of the game, it’s usually pretty good. Having a deuce in your opening hand is incredibly important, since the best hand you can make without having a deuce is 86543, which is the 9th best possible hand. So if you want to be able to make some real money, make sure you don’t start without a deuce.

Tip 2: Straight Draws Suck

Starting with four low cards in a row like 2-3-4-5 may look really strong, but since catching a 6 will give you a straight, you are actually going to brick a lot of draws with this hand. 2-3-4-5 is still very playable, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this hand is the best draw possible.

Side note: 2-3-4-7 is actually the best draw you can have, because catching a 5 or a 6 will give you the best or second-best possible hands, respectively.

Tip 3: The Person Who Draws the Fewest Cards Drives the Action

If there are draws left, any deuce player worth their salt will check to the person who drew fewer cards than everyone else. They don’t even need to look at their hand, because they know they’re a favorite to still be ahead. Basically, all game dynamics stem from this basic concept.

Tip 4: Blockers are Super Important!

Over the course of the hand, if you’ve discarded multiple of a card that might be important (like starting with a hand of 22257) then you can make assumptions about what kinds of hands your opponents have.

Any premium hand should have a deuce in it. So if you have three of the deuces and you’re up against two opponents, for example, you know for sure that one of them is starting with a pretty bad holding.

If you see enough key cards, you can make an expert maneuver called a “snow.” A snow is deciding to turn your draw into a bluff by drawing zero cards (called “standing pat”), then you take aggressive actions to represent a strong hand, hoping to force your opponent(s) to fold. This is a good way of incorporating bluffing into your draw poker game.

Check out the full article from Upswing Poker including Fricke’s tips on general draw strategy, as well as a variety of mixed-game variants here:

How to Play Draw Poker Games

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About the Author
Geoffrey Fisk

Geoffrey Fisk

Freelance writer and poker player based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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