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Lowball

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LOWBALL (ALSO CALLED LOBALL, CALIFORNIA LOWBALL AND LOW POKER)

INTRODUCTION

Lowball poker is played the same as Draw poker, except it’s played for low (the lowest-ranked hand wins the pot). Aces can be played as 1, so the lowest-ranked hand, which is the best hand in Lowball, is the wheel: 5-4-3-2-A. No other hand in Lowball will beat it (another wheel can tie it, though). The next best hand in Lowball is 6-4-3-2-A, then 6-5-3-2-A, and so on. Anything higher than a 10 in your hand is generally un-winnable.

If your hand consists of five unmatched cards (no pairs, trips or quads), you use the card with the highest value to determine its rank. If you and another player have the same high card, the next card down is used to establish whose hand is the lowest. For example, if the two last players have an 8 as their highest card, the next card down in value determines who has the best hand (and so on in case that card matches as well). So if both players have an 8, and one player’s next card down is a 7 and the other player’s is a 4, the player with the 4 has the lowest hand, which is the strongest hand in Lowball.

The same applies to matched cards (pairs, trips or quads). If player A has 8-8-Q-6-3 and player B has 8-8-J-6-3, player B wins because her Jack is lower than player A’s Queen.

Straights and flushes don’t count in Lowball.

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It’s very confusing for beginners to get a grip on the hand ranking in Lowball, but don’t give up! The more you play, the more practice you’ll get and you’ll be able to identify the best low hand with greater ease. The best place to gain lots of practice playing poker is online you can get years’ worth of experience in no time since the action moves so quickly. Better yet, you can play for free! Visit PokerStars.com to start playing the best free poker you’ll find on the internet. They have games that play for high and low, which will give you an excellent opportunity to practice spotting the low hand!

HOW TO PLAY THE GAME

It’s played exactly the same as regular Draw poker, with an exception to the hand ranking as described above. It can be played with antes or blinds even two blinds in some cases. Jokers can also be included in the game and can represent any card you need to make your hand.

LOWBALL RULES

The same rules used in Draw poker are used in Lowball, except for the hand rankings.

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