Low Ball Poker by Dave

Editor’s Note: Dave has written some interesting stuff about low ball poker and I asked if he could share some of his thoughts here with you guys. Show him a little love by giving his site a visit and checking him out.

Introduction To Lowball Poker

Lowball poker is a term used to encompass all games which use a variety of low hand rankings as opposed to the more traditional high hand rankings used in No Limit Holdem and many other popular poker variants. Texas Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha dominate the online poker world in fact there’s probably quite a few online players out there who have no idea how to play the different lowball games on offer.

This article will be part of series of guest posts Bill has kindly allowed me to make on his awesome poker blog! Today we’ll just start with an introduction to the most popular forms of lowball poker but in coming weeks the series will take a much more in depth look at the various lowball poker games you can play online. I’ll be doing my best to make all the posts as informative as possible as well as entertaining.

Popular Online Lowball Poker Games

Razz – Razz poker is without a doubt the most popular lowball poker game around. It’s got a reputation for being a bit crazy and outdrawtastic. A lot of players first come into contact with Razz via H.O.R.S.E and it’s considered one of the more tricky games in the H.O.R.S.E rotation.

Razz is essentially 7 Card Stud but using ace to five hand rankings. When playing Razz the holy nuts is A-2-3-4-5, straights and flushes don’t count against you when playing Razz but pairs and obviously high cards do. Aces are always considered low cards only.

Badugi – Badugi poker is the most recent form of lowball poker to be spread online and it’s thought to have originated from South Korea. It’s a four card triple draw lowball game which uses it’s own very unique system to rank hands. Badugi is a real favorite among high stakes live pro’s who consider it a real gambling game, don’t let that fool you though there’s a lot of skill involved.

When playing Badugi the aim is to make what is known as a Badugi. A Badugi consists of four cards which are all of different values and different suits. The best possible Badugi you can make is A-2-3-4. Pokerstars is pretty much the only place you can get a game online, it is spread at Merge networked poker rooms but their traffic sucks and the games never run.

2-7 Triple Draw – 2-7 Triple Draw is comfortably the second most popular lowball poker game but still sits firmly behind Razz in the popularity stakes. It first appeared online in 2003 when Pokerstars added it to their spread of games. 2-7 Triple Draw uses the deuce to seven hand rankings system in which a non flushing 2-3-4-5-7 is the absolute nuts. Aces are high cards and when playing 2-7 Triple Draw straights and flushes both count against you.

It’s usually played as a fixed limit game, sometimes played as pot limit game and very very rarely played as a no limit game. Online action can get pretty high and it’s not unusual to see the $1,000/$2,000 2-7 Triple Draw games running at Pokerstars.

2-7 Single Draw – Well as you probably already guessed 2-7 Single Draw is the same as Triple Draw aside from the fact there’s one draw and not three. As a result of less draws it’s played as a no limit game far more often than a fixed limit or pot limit game.

Single Draw is much less popular than Triple Draw online but is still spread on the cash tables at Pokerstars as well as featuring in their World Championship of Online Poker. Single Draw is sometimes referred to as Kansas City Lowball and you’ll virtually never find it spread in any live poker rooms.

Next Week Razz

Hopefully you enjoyed this introduction to lowball poker article, next time out we’ll take a much closer look at Razz poker. I’ll write a bit about it’s history, including on of the most exciting moments in Vegas poker history ever and give you a basic how to play guide.

Want to read more about lowball poker right now? Then you should check out my site playlowballpoker.com, I’ve covered all the lowball games above in much more depth and also some of the more popular hi/lo games. Check it out, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.

4 thoughts on “Low Ball Poker by Dave”

  1. Hey Guys,

    Just wanted to say I really enjoyed writing this post and next week should be even better, it contains one of my all time favorite poker stories!


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