Booster draft is a format of play where you pick one card from a pack and then pass it to your neighbor.
In order to have a Booster Draft, you need three things:
- 3 Booster packs per player from the current draft format (currently Theros, as of late 2013)
- 8 total players (It’s possible to draft with fewer than 8, but 8 is the number needed for sanctioned Magic drafts)
- A healthy supply of basic lands
Players are seated randomly at the table. Once everyone has found their seats, each player opens his or her first booster pack, chooses one card from the pack, and puts it face-down on the table. Once you’ve done this, pass the rest of the pack to the player on your left. Once everyone has passed their packs, pick up the next pack (located on your right), pick the best card for your deck from that pack and put it in your pile, and again pass it to the neighbor on your left. This process continues until all the cards from the pack have been picked. You then get a review period to look at the cards you have picked and figure out what direction your deck is going (typically this lasts 60 seconds). Once that ends, each player opens his or her next pack, picks a card, and passes the pack to the right (Packs go left, right, left.). This continues as before until all cards from a pack have been chosen, and then you get another review period before opening the final pack, taking a card, and passing to your left again.
Any drafted or opened cards not used in a player’s Limited deck function as his or her sideboard.
Once you have 45 cards in your pile, it is time to build your deck. Booster Draft rules allow you to add as much basic land as you want to your deck, and require that the deck be at least 40 cards. The standard number of lands in a draft deck is 17–18.