What is Lowball Poker?
Lowball is a unique and fun variation to the standard Five Card Draw game of poker. In Lowball, the worst poker hand wins rather than the high hand. Lowball begins and operates like a standard game of Five Card Draw with each player being dealt five cards face-down. The first round of betting then commences where each player must either bet or fold.
The players who remain then have the option to replace up to four cards to improve their hands in what is known as the draw. The dealer burns, or discards, the top card of the deck prior to dealing out the replacement cards to the players in clockwise order. After this, another round of betting begins beginning, like usual, with the player to the left of the dealer. Following this final betting round, if more than one player remains a showdown occurs. The highest hand wins and receives the winnings from the pot.
Straights and flushes do not count against the player except in Kansas City Lowball, in which straights and flushes do count against you, so that a sequence must be unconnected in order to qualify. Aces are high only, therefore the best hand is 2-3-4-5-7. The best Lowball hand, therefore, is A-2-3-4-5 and a 2-3-4-6-7 is better than a 2-3-5-6-7. Lowball is played with a 53 card deck. The Joker must be used as the lowest card not already present in the players hand. Lowball games have two different types of betting structures. In games up to and including $5-10 (also termed five blind), the betting is structured. There is an ante and a blind bet posted by the first player to the left of the Dealer Button. The blind bet is equal to the lower limit of the structure. For example, a $5-10 Lowball game has one $5 blind and it applies toward the opening bet.