Lowball poker can refer to any of several types of poker variants where the worst hand wins the pot. Common variants include Razz (lowball seven-card stud) and 2-7 Triple Draw (lowball draw poker). Other games, like Omaha Hi-Lo or Seven-card Stud Hi-Lo, are not exclusively lowball but instead award half the pot to the lowest hand and half the pot to the highest hand. Usually, in the Hi-Lo games, there is a qualifier for Lo hands, such as requiring all cards in your Lo hand to be lower than 8 to qualify. Some strategies for low poker may include discarding pairs, king-high, or queen-high type hands.
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Lowball is never played in Hold’em, because players only have two hole cards. Hands in lowball are scored based on their worst card. A hand like A-2-3-4-8 is an “eight low” and loses to a hand like 3-4-5-6-7, a “seven low”. Straights or flushes typically do not count against the player, so the “wheel,” A-2-3-4-5, is usually the best hand. Aces typically play as a low card, but in deuce-to-seven lowball, the deuce is the nut low. Since lowball is a variation, you should confirm the house rules before sitting down in a game. Lowball is an exciting way to add some variety to your poker night.
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