A face up draft format for 2 players.

How to Play

Start with 80 shuffled cards. Deal 4 cards face up into 4 piles. A player chooses one of the piles to add to their draft pool. Deal one new card onto each of the four piles and the other player drafts a pile. Continue adding a card to each pile with each pick until all cards are drafted.

As the draft goes on, piles will become asymmetrically larger. Part of the challenge is evaluating choices between quality and quantity.

Each player builds a 40+ card deck from their draft pool.

Advantages of Winchester Draft

Winchester draft is one of the earliest methods devised to capture the spirit and fun of drafting with just two players, and was originally played by opening and shuffling a set of booster packs.

Winchester still has a lot of the meaty face-up decisions of Rochester, but takes much less time. Combine that with the simplicity and mini-game of Winston, and you’ve got a killer combination.


Because picks can be from piles of different sizes, it’s possible for players to end up with different size pools, and extreme cases find themselves without enough cards they want to put in their decks. This isn’t a fatal flaw, but something to keep in mind for players to end up with a deck they’re happy with.

Winchester is ideal for two players. For three or four players, consider Quilt Draft or Grid Draft for a similar experience.

Draft Formats

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