Rules of 2-7 Triple Draw (Lowball)
2-7 Triple Draw or Lowball was a popular form of poker in the past, in which the winner at showdown was the holder of the weakest "low" combination. 2-7 Triple Draw is a form of draw poker in which each player receives five cards and can change any or all of them during the three stages. It is also possible for a player not to change any of their cards, standing “pat” with their starting hand.
Important points to remember about 2-7 Triple Draw Poker
The first is to remember two simple rules that will help you better understand this kind of low poker.
- Flushes and straights are the weakest hands
- Ace is always the highest card
Hold'em players often get confused about the ace. For example A♥K♠Q♣J♥T♠ is a straight, while the hand A♦2♦3♣4♠5♠ is not, because the ace is always the highest card.
2-7 Triple-Draw hands
So why is the game called 2-7 Triple Draw, not 2-6, this is the weakest range of five cards? It's simple. This combination forms a 2,3,4,5,6 Straight, which in this form of poker is a losing hand. Therefore, the combination of 2,3,4,5,7 (unsuited) is the strongest of all. The weaker the cards in your hand, the better. Low hands are always compared starting with the highest card. For example 8-6-5-3-2 is better than 9-5-4-3-2. If the players have the same highest card, then the next highest card comes into play.
In this game 7-high hands always beat 8-high, which in turn beat a 9-high hand and so on. A pair of deuces is better than pair of threes. Pairs are stronger than sets (trips), sets are better than straights. Any straight is stronger than flush. If both players have straight, the lowest straight wins.
The three most powerful hands in 2-7 Triple Draw (offsuit)
Top 1 – 7♥5♠4♦3♠2♣ (absolute nuts or "wheel")
Top 2 – 7♣6♠4♥3♥2♦
Top 3 – 7♦6♣5♠3♦2♠
Starting the game and blinds
As in other popular forms of poker, playing 2-7 Triple Draw starts with a mandatory bet. Every hand the player sitting to the left of the dealer (the button) posts the small blind while the player who sits to his left posts the big blind. Typically, the big blind is the sum of two small blinds. In Lowball there is often an added ante - a mandatory bet for all players, which is typically 1/10 of the big blind. After the blinds are posted, the game begins.
Betting rounds and exchanging cards
The first betting round. Each player at the table gets five cards. After this the first player to the left of the big blind starts the bidding round. At this stage, the players can take the following steps:
- Accept a bet (Call)
- Increase the bet (Raise)
- Check (for the player in the big blind)
The first exchange of cards. After the first deal the players can trade cards. All the remaining participants in the game have the right to exchange one, several or all of their cards for new ones (or not change them).
The second round of betting. After the first exchange of cards, players bet again, starting with the first player after the big blind.
Second exchange of cards. Players will once again change their cards if necessary.
The third round of betting. Players will once again place their bets.
Third exchange of cards. This is the last opportunity for players to change weak cards and improve their hands.
The fourth round of betting. This is the final round of betting, in which the players make their bets. After that, there is a showdown and comparison of hands.
Showdown to determine the winner
After the showdown the pot is pushed to the winner, who is the player with the best low hand. If two or more players have the same best hands, the pot is split between them. Then next hand begins.