2-7 Lowball Poker

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New Zealand

A lowball poker variant, 2-7 or Deuce to Seven Lowball, is a poker game where the lowest hand wins. 2-7 lowball game can either be a single draw or a triple draw game, the difference being the number of drawing and betting rounds.

While single draw 2-7 lowball is almost always played with the no limit option and sometimes with pot limit option, the triple draw 2-7 lowball is mostly played with fixed limit options. 2-7 lowball is also known as Kansas Lowball, and unlike in other lowball games, aces are considered to have a high value in this game.

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Getting Started

2-7 lowball starts off with the blind bets, followed by the drawing and the betting rounds. The game play for both the single draw and the triple draw game is more or less the same. The triple draw game is almost an extension of the single draw game.The single draw game has only one round for drawing cards, whereas the triple draw game has three. However, both variants have more than one betting round.

Blinds

Like in Texas Hold'em and Omaha, 2-7 lowball poker also starts with the blind bets. The small blind is placed by the player to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is placed to the left of the small blind. After the blinds are placed, each player is dealt 5 cards, one at a time.

Single Draw

In the single draw 2-7 game, the player to the left of the big blind starts the first betting round. In a clockwise direction, all players place their bets and have the option to fold, call, check, or raise. In the drawing round, the players remaining can discard any or all of their cards, and draw fresh cards to replace them. You can get all new cards, if you discard all of them.

In case you want to discard all your cards in any of the drawing rounds, you will only get 4 replacement cards in the beginning. The fifth card is given after all other players get their replacement cards. In case you are the last person to play in that round, and you want to replace all your cards, the dealer will give you four cards initially, burn one card, and then give you the fifth card.

Burning a card refers to discarding a face-down card on the table. A player who does not want to replace the cards can stand pat, which means to keep the existing cards.

The second round of betting starts after the drawing round, where players can bet or fold. The remaining players have to reveal their cards for evaluation. The one with the lowest hand is considered the winner. If there is just one player remaining after the second betting round, he or she is automatically considered the winner.

Triple Draw

In the triple draw game, there are three rounds of drawing after the initial deal, which are followed by one round of betting each. The game play remains the same as the single draw 2-7 game till the second betting round. However, after the second betting round, the remaining players have two more rounds for drawing cards and betting alternatively.

Players get three chances to replace their cards to make the best hand possible. The end of the fourth or the last betting round leads to the showdown, as long as there is more than one player remaining. If there is just one player at the end of the 4th betting round, he or she gets to win the pot without having to show the cards.

Nuances of the Game

2-7 lowball poker has a few nuances worth noting before you start playing. Straights and flushes are counted against the player in lowball games. They reduce the value of the hand. 5-4-3-2-A is not a straight hand, but a high A-5 hand. Ace is considered a high card in this game.

The best possible hand in this game would be an unsuited 2-3-4-5-7. In case of a tie, players split the pot. A hand with a flush, straight, or a pair is sure to get beaten by a hand without them, irrespective of the value. A suited hand is not considered as a low hand.

In case the dealer runs out of cards at anytime during the triple draw game, the discarded cards are reshuffled and used for replacement. 2-7 lowball is new compared to other variants of the game. The best way to learn and master this game is to practice it, rather than look for strategies to win.

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