published on 12/18/06 at 5:44 am
If you’re looking for a new poker challenge, one poker game that many pros agree is extremely difficult to master is the game of Deuce to Seven lowball. Also called Kansas City lowball, Deuce to Seven lowball is a “pure” low game. This distinguishes it from California lowball, where A 2 3 4 5, or a “wheel” is the best hand. This means the best (or worst, depending on your perspective) hand is 7 5 4 3 2 of at least two different suits, since A 5 4 3 2 gives you an ace high and 6 5 4 3 2 makes a straight. Play in Deuce to Seven lowball proceeds like Texas Holdem poker, with a button, a small blind and a big blind. Deuce to Seven can be played fixed limit, pot limit, or no limit. Players all receive five cards to begin with as in five card draw. When all players still in the hand have called, raised, or folded, players can replace as many cards as they like from their hand, just like in five card draw. Then there is another round of betting and a showdown, worst hand wins. Your worst hand is determined by the highest card in your hand, so 9 6 4 3 2 would lose to 8 7 5 4 3, even though most of the cards in the 8 hand are higher than the cards in the 9 hand.
It is good advice for players who are new to this poker game not to put money in the pot without a deuce in their hand (unless in a blind position). All the best hands have a deuce in them, so without a deuce in your start hand you will be running uphill. You should always aim at making an 8 or 7 low. When you make this kind of hand, stop drawing and take any chance to bet as much as possible in order to make opponents pay for their draws – unless one of them has already made a pat hand (chose not to draw). If you need to draw three or more cards to make your hand, most of the time you’d be better off not to play it.
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