Lowball is an interesting and less commonly played, but interesting poker variation. It is very much similar to the five card stud, but the low hand wins the game. Ace is the lowest in these games and straights and flushes to not count against the low ranks.
Sevens rule is an important aspect in lowball poker and you need to know it for any kind of lowball games. The 7s rule “if you happen to check without betting with a 7 low (or) & 7 better following the draw and then happen to call the bet of a player who did bet after you, you need to return his bet if you happen to beat him.” Checking with a 7 and then calling the bet should be made with consideration of the number of players in the table at any time.
Some of the common of lowball poker variants in terms of ranking are:-
• A-to-5 lowball poker! If wild cards are used, it can replace the gap of the lowers card that you do not hold. A-2-3-4-5 is the best hand. Ace is the low and straight and flushes do not count against lows.
• Deuce-to-2 lowball poker! In this variant, straights and flushes count against the low killing the value of the hand. Ace is contradictorily high card in this variant of lowball. 7-6-5-4-3-2 is the best hand. If 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2 happen to be an exposed card before a draw then the card should be replaced with some other card.
The common betting structure variations apply for lowball poker too like:-
• No limit lowball poker
• Pot limit lowball poker
Compulsorily after the draw or replacement any exposed card should be replaced. Exposed cards if they are anything from A, 2, 3, 4, 5 in A-to-5 or 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 in 2-to7 should be replaced.
At any point in time you cannot falsely call that you have a better hand. If you happen to call wrongly and any better low folds fearing to lose, then your hand is totally dead and you do not qualify to split.
Most games allow the use of a joker or a wild card in a lowball poker for any unused card rank. You need to work out probabilities for various combinations to skillfully play this poker form. Having a browse through probability tables should help!