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Introducing Poker
Ranking Hands
The sequence of play
Betting Interval
Betting Small and Big Blinds
Table stakes
Using wild cards
Probability of holding
First betting interval
seven card stud
Other forms of poker
Texas Hold'em Basic Hand
Five - Six card Omaha
Poker Sense
Slow Playing
Other Gambling Card Game
Seven-card Brag
Gin Rummy

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First Betting Round


  1. Player 2 speaks first and checks, as do player 3 and 4.
  2. Player 5, with a promising hand, bets 2 chips.
  3. Player 6, with a hand from which he would have to discard two Jacks and an 8, folds.
  4. Player 1, the dealer, would have to discard a 6, plus the two big cards, King and 10, so he folds, too.  Generally, in Lowball, to have to the draw more than one card means the hand rank is not too good – if it is necessary to draw three, it is best to fold straight away.

AFTER THE DEAL   Only player 5 has a really promising hand; 2, 3 and 4 have middling hands, and the hands of players 1 and 6 are very poor for Lowball.


  1. Player 2, who checked, could discard a 9 and hope for an Ace, 3,4,6 or 8 to give him a hand of 9 high, but 9 high is not brilliant and he is a tight player so he folds.
  2. Player 3 goes to the other extreme.  Only one player has bet, there is only one to come so he takes the optimistic view and calls, intending to discard Q, 5 and hoping to draw two small cards from 2,3,4,6 or 7.
  3. Player 4 is in a similar position –he must drop K, 7 and hope for an 8 – high hand.  He calls too.

The first betting interval is over with 12 chips in the pot limit and players 3,4 and 5 still in, with player 5 a firm favorite.

The draw

  1. Player 3 draws two cards, and gets 10, ace for his Queen, 5, leaving him with the lowest pair, aces.
  2. Player 4 draws 2,2, for his K, 7 and finishes with a pair of 2s.
  3. Player 5 discards a 4 and receives a King, leaving him king high.

Second betting interval

Player 5 is faced with a difficult choice.  He now has a poor hand, King high.  In practice, in Lowball, unmatched hands are usually announced by naming the highest two cards, so he would think of his hand as King, 7.  However, both his opponents drew two cards and quite easily could have found a pair or picked up a high hands cards themselves (none higher than King, unfortunately for him).  But from his point of view it is conceivable that each opponent could be something like Queen or 10 high, whereas from their point of view player 5 could have a very good hand, having drawn only one card.  It is a perfect situation for a bluff.

  1. Player 5 bets the maximum of five chips. If raised, he would probably fold.
  2. Because players 3 and 4 have picked up pairs they both fold immediately.

Player 5 takes the pot of 17 chips, a profit to him of nine chips.  King, 7 would not be a hand to win many deals of Lowball.


2ND BETTING INTERVAL Player 5, who bet first, actually holds a poor hand, but as he is the only player to draw one card, he decides to bluff with a maximum bet.  Players 3 and 4 fold, so he wins.  Ironically, he held the best hand anyway.

Variations on Lowball


Lowball is sometimes played with the hands ranked in the standard manner, with Aces high and flushes and straights recognized.  Thus the lowest possible hand becomes 7,5,4,3,and 2.  Although Aces are high, they must be counted low in this variation of Lowball if they are part of the sequence, a,2,3,4,5, which is regarded as a straight.  A holder of this hand cannot call the Ace high low, and therefore have a hand of ace, 5 which would beat, for example, a pair.


When Jackpots are played in Draw Poker about and a hand is passed out because nobody has the required value to open, one popular arrangement is not to gather up the cards and reshuffle for a new deal, but to play a hand of Lowball instead, the player to dealer ’s left being the first to speak.


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