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How to Play 2-7 No Limit Single Draw

Get an edge with these quick tips and basic strategies

Played with 5 hole cards, 2-7 No Limit Single Draw is, as the name indicates, a draw game with a total of 1 draw.

2-7 No Limit Single Draw (aka Deuce to Seven or Kansas City Lowball) is a poker game where the worst hand wins. If you always draw bad cards, this is the game for you.

This lowball variant of 5-card draw poker has a long and rich history. First played at the World Series of Poker back in 1973, some of the best players in the world have captured the 2-7 NL Single Draw bracelet including Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin and Barry Greenstein.

2-7 NL Limit Single Draw
Game ComplexityIntermediate
TypeLowball Draw Poker

Gameplay of 2-7 No Limit Single Draw

  • Setting Up

    Setting Up

    • You'll need: a button, small & big blinds (similar to Texas Hold'em).
    • Deal each player 5 cards, face down.
    • Use a no limit betting structure.
  • Action

    The Action

    • Action starts to the left of the big blind. You may fold, call or raise.
    • After the 1st betting round, draw 0-5 cards. Then betting resumes to the left of the button.
  • Who's the Winner?

    Determining a Winner

    • Worst possible hand wins, so the best hand is the wheel (2-3-4-5-7 offsuit).
    • Note: Straights and flushes DO count against you in this game, and aces play as high only.
    • The player with the worst hand scoops the pot. In the event of a tie, the pot is split.

Basic Strategies of 2-7 No Limit Single Draw

  • Pre-Draw

    Like most poker games with a button, position is a big factor in 2-7 No Limit Single Draw. Position is more important in this game than in any other form of poker.

    Knowing how many cards your opponent draws before you is key to formulating your strategy.

  • Drawing

    As a general rule, you should fold if you must draw more than 1 card.

    Never draw 2 cards unless you get a free draw or you start with 3 cards 8 or lower and the bet is small relative to your opponent's stack size.

    Adjust the number of cards you draw based on your opponent's play.

  • Betting

    Betting takes place before and after the first draw. If you draw fewer cards than your opponent, you should generally bet.

    There is no such thing as slow-playing a big hand since your opponent will see how many cards you draw.

What You Need to Know About 2-7 No Limit Single Draw Starting Hands

  •  Good Starting Hands

    Play these hands in all positions (and for a raise):

    • All pat hands of 9 or better.
    • All 4-card hands 9 or better.
  •  Poor Starting Hands

    Never play these hands: 

    • Hands where you have to draw 3 cards or more.
    • Hands with two paired wheel cards.
  •  Marginal Starting Hands

    Play these hands cheaply:

    • All hands containing 3 cards of 9 or lower.
    • All hands containing 2 wheel cards when you only have to complete from the small blind.
  •  Positional Hands

    Play in late position when folded to you:

    • On the button and hand contains 2 wheel cards and an 8 (occasionally a 9 depending on the blinds).
    • In the small blind play any 3-card hands containing 2 wheel cards and an 8 or 9.

Do's and Don'ts for Better 2-7 No Limit Single Draw Play

  • Never Limp Early

    Because position is so important, you should never limp into a pot in early position.

  • Try Getting Heads-up

    Playing heads-up pots in position is important. Try to reduce the number of players to 2 by raising every time you enter a pot.

  • Don't Bluff

    Bluffing (also called snowing) should be reserved for advanced players, and even then, rarely used.

Famous 2-7 No Limit Single Draw Hands

  • 2-7 No Limit Single Draw: Action from the 2004 WSOP

    Players including Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson play the WSOP Kansas City Lowball event.  

    This Video Contains:

    1. Ferguson doubles up an amateur, "Jesus heals another cripple".
    2. Standard banter among the big names.
  • 2-7 No Limit Single Draw: Barry Greenstein Wins First WSOP Bracelet

    Barry Greenstein finishes off Chris "Jesus" Ferguson for his first ever WSOP bracelet.

    This Video Contains:  

    1. Barry Greenstein
    2. Chris Ferguson

Where Can I Play 2-7 No Limit Single Draw Online?