Beginner 2-7 Triple Draw Strategy
2-7 Triple Draw is a deceptively simple game to play and complex to master. Unlike its A-5 cousin, 2-7 Triple Draw has a multitude of traps and pitfalls to watch out for… and to take advantage of. This article covers some of the basic 27 Triple Draw strategies used by winning players.
Reading Your Hand
As the name implies, the best hand is 2-3-4-5-7 unsuited. I specify “unsuited” because unlike most other lowball variants, in 2-7 Triple Draw straights and flushes count against your hand and Aces are always high. If you’re dealt Kh–7s-6s-5s-4s, you might think you have a great starting hand by just dumping the King and drawing low. But you’re far worse off than you think. You can’t draw a 3 or an 8 because that would give you a straight, leaving you with the options of drawing only a non-spade 2 (of which there are only three) or a non-spade 9… which is a mediocre hand at best. You can see it pays to pick your spots carefully.
Keeping #1 very much in mind, if you’re going to draw from an early position you should bet aggressively enough to limit the number of players behind you, but no so much that you’re committed to the pot if someone re-raises you strongly. The more players you draw against, the more players you have to battle for control of the action; the more you bet, the more you have to protect it. It’s a delicate balancing act that takes patience, practice and nerve.
Besides the obvious of wanting to draw as few cards as possible to begin with, you want to be drawing fewer and fewer cards as the rounds progress. If you start by drawing two cards on the first round and you’re still drawing two by the last round, the other players are going to sniff out your weakness and come after you. Sometimes, and ONLY sometimes, it’s better to appear stronger by holding worse cards and drawing fewer cards than continuing to try to draw to a monster that might never come.
Table image is talked about a lot, and it’s important enough to warrant the volume, but it’s even more important in 2-7 Triple Draw for several reasons: 1) there are no exposed community cards giving you clues about your opponents’ hand strength; 2) there are far fewer winning hand combinations than in most poker games, and; 3) there are so many drawing and betting rounds.
With the information about your opponents so limited, you’re going to be guessing a lot more than in other games, and they’re going to be guessing about you. Fewer discards means a strong hand… or does it? Strong bets mean a strong hand… or does it? Drawing fewer cards and betting stronger every round is just about the only reliable information you’ll have about the strength of his hand, and even then it’s only 50/50. Buy the time you’ve figured out he’s got a killer hand it may be too late. The point is to take advantage of this lack of information, not become a victim of it. Watch carefully, and make a lot of mental notes… it only takes one or two hands for the information to pay off.
Win Odd vs. Pot Odds
The only way to really know if calling, betting, raising or folding is the right decision is by the odds. The odds can be wrong too, but in the long run they usually work out. there are far too many variations to list each and every hand and it’s odds of winning, you’ll have to do that homework yourself; suffice it to say that the pot odds need to very close or better than the odds of winning the hand to make the call or raise. If the pot odds are 4:1 and the win odds are 5:1, that’s usually close enough depending on your read. But if the pot odds are 2:1 and the win odds are 20:1, that’s a fold no matter what you’re drawing to.