Triple Draw

It’s the big-betting bastardisation of the classic Draw game. And it’s making a comeback

At a time when Hold’em has got a vice-like grip on the industry, it’s refreshing to see Triple Draw being added as an option on loads of online poker sites.

Traditionally a high-stakes game, it’s now readily available at an affordable level and while it’s never going to usurp Hold’em or Omaha, as Michael Kaplan put it In: ‘there are a lot of suckers who play it unwisely’. So what better reason to read our rules and give yourself an edge over the competition?

As with traditional Lowball and Draw, there are two varieties of Triple Draw: Deuce-to-Seven and Ace-to-Five. In Deuce-to-Seven, you need to make the lowest fivecard hand, where Ace is high and deuce is low. Straights and flushes count against you and the best possible hand is 2-3-4-5-7 with no flush, otherwise known as the wheel. In Ace-to-Five, straights and flushes do not count against you and Ace is low. So the very best low hand here – the wheel – is A-2-3-4-5, regardless of suit.

The magic number

Triple Draw is limited to a maximum of six players because of the number of cards needed. The game uses a dealer button as in Hold’em and the small and big blinds function in the same way. To start off each person is dealt five cards, and there is a round of betting. The players left in after that can opt to draw (replace) between zero (sit pat) and five cards. When you replace cards, your orginals are mucked and then you’re dealt all your replacement cards before the dealer moves onto the next player.

Once everyone’s discarded the game moves onto the second betting round, and the game continues in this vein until all four betting rounds have been completed (three discard rounds, hence the name). At the showdown the person with the best five-card low hand wins the pot. If at any point in the game there are not enough cards to complete a drawing round, the discards (muck) from all previous rounds are reshuffled and the draw is completed.

Because of the constantly changing nature of players’ hands, and number of betting rounds, Triple Draw is usually a limit game with betting fixed at the lower limit for the first two rounds and higher limit for the second two rounds. So if you’re playing a $5-$10 game, all bets and raises are at $5 for the lower limit rounds and then $10 after. The maximum amount of raises in any betting round is three.

With so many cards in play and high potential for betting, Triple Draw is a fast-paced game where the best hand changes frequently. If you fancy it, start off at a low stakes table to gauge the strength of hands and betting tactics.

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