A cost-free variation on drafting, specially designed for two players, the Soloman Draft is another interesting way to play Magic: the Gathering. In this variation, 80 random common cards are selected from one of the participant's collection of cards. This stack of cards should not include any basic land (plains, mountain, forest, island, swamp). A separate stack of basic land is necessary, for the players to share.
This stack of cards is shuffled thoroughly and then placed face down on the table. A player is chosen by coin toss or another fair method to decide who has first pick. This player turns over the top four cards, spread out on the table. He examines them and chooses, or "drafts," one, taking it and placing it face down in front of him; the other player drafts two of the remaining cards, and the first player must take the last card left out of these four.
Now, the order is reversed. The player who did not have first choice for the first four cards turns over the next four cards of the 76 that remain and drafts one; the other player drafts two, and the player who turned them over takes the last card. The players alternate taking the first pick out of each four until the stack is gone.
As in a normal draft, the players now must each construct a deck of at least 40 cards, using only basic land from the communal pile and cards that they have drafted for themselves, and when each player has built his deck, they play a series of games, usually to best out of five, to determine the winner.
Something to keep in mind in the Soloman Draft is the strategy of "counter-drafting." In other words, not only is it important to take cards that you think will be useful for your deck, but to take cards that you don't want your opponent to have. For example, if you'd drafted a lot of green creatures, and a Perish, which kills all green creatures currently in the game, came up, you'd want to take it to make sure your opponent couldn't use it against you. Another way to apply counter-drafting is to look for what your opponent probably wants most, based on the cards he's been taking, and take it first; for example, if your opponent has been drafting a lot of blue cards, and a Counterspell, one of the most useful blue cards in the game, comes up, you'll definately want to take it. This strategy of "counter-drafting" can apply to a normal draft as well, but it's even more applicable in Soloman, where you see everything that your opponent takes.
While Soloman Draft does not lend itself well to playing for some kind of prize (well, maybe money, but you can play any game for money), it is cheap, entertaining, and a great way to build your Magic skills.