Seven Card Draw Rules
Not to be confused with Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Draw is a poker variant that closely resembles Five Card Draw. The only difference is that each player is dealt seven cards rather than five cards.
Seven Card Draw is a relatively obscure variation but it’s still occasionally found in home games. Seven Card Draw was designed to address one of the biggest complaints players have of Five Card Draw: the game doesn’t have enough big hands.
In Seven Card Draw, the players may choose any five of their seven cards to create the best five card hand possible. In this version of draw poker, you’ll see strong hands more often and generate more betting action.
Antes and Blinds
Seven Card Draw can either be played with antes or blinds. In the ante system, each player must place a small bet at the beginning of every hand. This bet is usually equal in size to 10% of the small betting limit. In a $10/$20 game, the antes would be $1.00.
Other times, players can use the same blind system that Texas Hold'em uses. In the blinds system, the player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, which is equal in size to half the minimum bet. The player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind, which is equal in size to one minimum bet.
In a $10/$20 game, the small blind would be $5 and the big blind would be $10.
If a full time dealer is used in the game, a small button is used to represent the dealer’s position at the table. The dealer’s button moves one seat to the left at the beginning of each hand. The purpose of this is to denote position and to ensure each player pays the blinds once per orbit.
At the beginning of each hand, the dealer deals the cards face down, one at a time, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer and going clockwise around the table until each player has seven cards.
First Betting Round
After all the cards have been dealt, the players now have a round of betting. This round begins with the player to the immediate left of the dealer. This player may call, fold, or raise. All bets in this betting round are placed in increments of the low betting limit. In a $10/$20 game, each bet and raise would be placed in increments of $10.
The action then continues clockwise around the table with each player having the same choices. If any player raises, the other players must at least match that raise to stay in the hand. The action continues clockwise until all the bets have been matched.
After the first betting round, the players may now discard up to four cards and receive new cards in exchange. Players may also “stand pat” and not draw any cards if they so choose.
Second Betting Round
The second betting round begins with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer. This time all bets are placed in increments of the high betting limit. In a $10/$20 game, all bets would now be placed in $20 increments.
The first player may bet, check, or fold and then the betting continues clockwise around the table. Once again, if any player bets or raises, each of the other players must either match that amount or fold their hands.
Any players remaining after the last betting round now show their hands. The player with the best five card poker hand, using any combination of the seven cards in his hand, wins the pot. If there is only one player left after the last betting round, that player may take the pot without showing his hand.