What do I do if I have zero cards left in my hand at the end of my turn? Do I wait until the end of my turn then draw the usual one card at the beginning of my next turn or do I draw a new seven card hand?

  • 8
    I just wonder: what makes you think that you would be drawing a new seven card hand?
    – murgatroid99
    Jan 28, 2014 at 22:08
  • 3
    @murgatroid99, I have seen it before in "lunchroom Magic," where grade-school students play during their extremely short lunch breaks (during which they also need to eat!), and drawing a full hand when you empty it speeds up the game. It breaks card balance in half, certainly, but it does make the game faster.
    – Brian S
    Jan 28, 2014 at 22:31
  • @murgatroid99 Some games do have mechanics like that, including I think some simple playing card games as well as board games that were designed with the idea that everyone should always have something to do (cards in hand). It's a common enough notion that someone asked about Munchkin too.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 28, 2014 at 22:57
  • If a game doesn't want you to run out of cards, it usually has you top off your hand. ("If you have fewer than X card, draw until you have X.") The only time MTG has you draw is at the start of the game, one card in the Draw step, and when you are instructed to by effects.
    – ikegami
    Jan 29, 2014 at 20:18
  • Cosmic Encounter has you refill when you're empty [or don't have any of a certain type of card]. Because card trading is possible, sometimes giving away your entire hand can be beneficial both to you and the person receiving it.
    – Samthere
    Apr 12, 2017 at 9:18

3 Answers 3


When you get to your draw step, you must draw a single card, unless some effect lets you draw more or less. If you attempt to draw a card when your library is empty, you lose the game.

Even if your hand is empty, the rules remain the same, and you still only draw one.

Here is how the comprehensive rules states it.

The draw step is the third step of the beginning phase.

  1. Draw Step

    504.1. First, the active player draws a card. This turn-based action doesn't use the stack.

    504.2. Second, any abilities that trigger at the beginning of the draw step and any other abilities that have triggered go on the stack.

    504.3. Third, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

  • 5
    I think it is important to add to this answer that there aren't any other steps or phases when the rules say that you draw cards. The main confusion in the question seems to be about drawing extra cards from an empty hand.
    – murgatroid99
    Jan 29, 2014 at 1:16

Rule is you draw 1 card during draw and 1 card only. You only draw more cards if you are instructed by a card to do so.


During casual games with my friends we draw 3 cards during our draw step instead of 1 because that's how my brother taught me to play Yu-Gi-Oh (we played that before I found mtg) and it sort of transferred over to MTG in my head all my friends thought it was better then only drawing 1 so we use that.
However if you play in an official game then that's a big no-no.

  • 3
    This answer is a house rule and will not apply to 99.99% of places where magic is played.
    – Joe W
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:42

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