is draw poker with the lowest hand winning the
pot. Each player is dealt five cards facedown,
after which there is a betting round. Players
are required to open with a bet or fold. The players
who remain in the pot after the first betting
round now have an option to improve their hand
by replacing cards in their hands with new ones.
This is the draw. The game is normally played
with one or more blinds, sometimes with an ante
added. Some betting structures allow the big blind
to be called; other structures require the minimum
open to be double the big blind. In limit poker,
the usual structure has the limit double after
the draw (Northern California is an exception).
The most popular forms of lowball are ace-to-five
lowball (also known as California lowball), and
deuce-to-seven lowball (also known as Kansas City
lowball). Ace-to-five lowball gets its name because
the best hand at that form is 5-4-3-2-A. Deuce-to-seven
lowball gets its name because the best hand at
that form is 7-5-4-3-2 (not of the same suit).
For a further description of the forms of lowball,
please see the individual section for each game.
All rules governing kill pots are listed in "Kill
1. The rules governing
misdeals for hold'em and other button games will
be used for lowball. [See - Explanations, discussion
#7, for more information on this rule.]These rules
governing misdeals are reprinted here for convenience.
"The following circumstances cause a misdeal,
provided attention is called to the error before
two players have acted on their hands:
The first or second card of the hand has been
dealt faceup or exposed through dealer error.
(b) Two or more cards have been exposed by the
(c) Two or more extra cards have been dealt in
the starting hands of a game.
(d) An incorrect number of cards has been dealt
to a player, except the button may receive one
more card to complete a starting hand.
(e) The button was out of position.
(f) The first card was dealt to the wrong position.
(g) Cards have been dealt out of the proper sequence.
(h) Cards have been dealt to an empty seat or
a player not entitled to a hand.
(i) A player has been dealt out who is entitled
to a hand. This player must be present at the
table or have posted a blind or ante."
In limit play, a bet and four raises are allowed
in multihanded pots. [See - Explanations, discussion
#6, for more information on this rule.]
3. As a new player,
you have two options:
To wait for the big blind.
(b) To kill the pot for double the amount of the
In a single-blind game, a player who has less
than half a blind may receive a hand. However,
the next player is obligated to take the blind.
If the all-in player wins the pot or buys in again,
that player will then be obligated to either take
the blind on the next deal or sit out until due
for the big blind.
In single-blind games, half a blind or more constitutes
a full blind.
In single-blind games, if you fail to take the
blind, you may only be dealt in on the blind.
In multiple-blind games, if for any reason the
big blind passes your seat, you may either wait
for the big blind or kill the pot in order to
receive a hand. This does not apply if you have
taken all of your blinds and changed seats. In
this situation, you may be dealt in as soon as
your position relative to the blinds entitles
you to a hand (the button may go by you once without
Before the draw, whether an exposed card must
be taken depends on the form of lowball being
played; see that form. (The player never has an
9. On the draw, an
exposed card cannot be taken. The draw is completed
to each player in order, and then the exposed
card is replaced.
A player may draw up to four consecutive cards.
If a player wishes to draw five new cards, four
are dealt right away, and the fifth card after
everyone else has drawn cards. If the last player
wishes to draw five new cards, four are dealt
right away, and a card is burned before the player
receives a fifth card. [See - Explanations, discussion
#9, for more information about this rule.]
Five cards constitute a playing hand; more or
fewer than five cards after the draw constitutes
a fouled hand. Before the draw, if you have fewer
than five cards in your hand, you may receive
additional cards, provided no action has been
taken by the first player to act (unless that
action occurs before the deal is completed). However,
the dealer position may still receive a missing
fifth card, even if action has taken place. If
action has been taken, you are entitled on the
draw to receive the number of cards necessary
to complete a five-card hand.
You may change the number of cards you wish to
No card has been dealt off the deck in response
to your request (including the burncard).
(b) No player has acted, in either the betting
or indicating the number of cards to be drawn,
based on the number of cards you have requested.
If you are asked how many cards you drew by another
active player, you are obligated to respond until
there has been action after the draw, and the
dealer is also obligated to respond. Once there
is any action after the draw, you are no longer
obliged to respond and the dealer cannot respond.
Rapping the table in turn constitutes either a
pass or the declaration of a pat hand that does
not want to draw any cards, depending on the situation.
Cards speak (cards read for themselves). However,
you are not allowed to claim a better hand than
you hold. (Example: If a player calls an "8",
that player must produce at least an "8" low or
better to win. But if a player erroneously calls
the second card incorrectly, such as "8-6" when
actually holding an 8-7, no penalty applies.)
If you miscall your hand and cause another player
to foul his or her hand, your hand is dead. If
both hands remain intact, the best hand wins.
If a miscalled hand occurs in a multihanded pot,
the miscalled hand is dead, and the best remaining
hand wins the pot. For your own protection, always
hold your hand until you see your opponent's cards.
Any player spreading a hand with a pair in it
must announce "pair" or risk losing the pot if
it causes any other player to foul a hand. If
two or more hands remain intact, the best hand
wins the pot.
ace-to-five lowball, the best hand is any 5-4-3-2-A.
Straights and flushes do not count against your
If a joker is used, it becomes the lowest card
not present in your hand. The joker is assumed
to be in use unless the contrary is posted.
In limit play, check-raise is not permitted (unless
the players are alerted that it is allowed).
In limit ace-to-five lowball, before the draw,
an exposed card of seven or under must be taken,
and an exposed card higher than a seven must be
replaced after the deal has been completed. This
first exposed card is used as the burncard. [See
- Explanations, discussion #8, for more information
on this rule.]
In limit play, the "sevens rule" is assumed to
be in use (the players should be alerted if it
is not). If you check a seven or better and it
is the best hand, all action after the draw is
void, and you cannot win any money on any subsequent
bets. You are still eligible to win whatever existed
in the pot before the draw if you have the best
hand. If you check a seven or better and the hand
is beaten, you lose the pot and any additional
calls you make. If there is an all-in bet after
the draw that is less than half a bet, a seven
or better may just call and win that bet. However,
if another player overcalls this short bet and
loses, the person who overcalls receives the bet
back. If the seven or better completes to a full
bet, this fulfills all obligations.
deuce-to-seven lowball (sometimes known as Kansas
City lowball), in most respects, the worst conventional
poker hand wins. Straights and flushes count against
you, crippling the value of a hand. The ace is
used only as a high card. Therefore, the best
hand is 7-5-4-3-2, not all of the same suit. The
hand 5-4-3-2-A is not considered to be a straight,
but an ace-5 high, so it beats other ace-high
hands and pairs, but loses to king-high. A pair
of aces is the highest pair, so it loses to any
other pair. The rules for deuce-to-seven lowball
are the same as those for ace-to-five lowball,
except for the following differences:
The best hand is 7-5-4-3-2 of at least two different
suits. Straights and flushes count against you,
and aces are considered high only.
Before the draw, an exposed card of 7, 5, 4, 3,
or, 2 must be taken. Any other exposed card must
be replaced (including a 6).
Check-raise is allowed on any hand after the draw,
and a seven or better is not required to bet.
AND POT-LIMIT LOWBALL
1. All the rules
for no-limit and pot-limit poker apply to no-limit
and pot-limit lowball. All other lowball rules
apply, except as noted.
A player is not entitled to know that an opponent
does not hold the best possible hand, so these
rules for exposed cards before the draw apply:
In ace-to-five lowball, a player must take an
exposed card of A, 2, 3, 4, or 5, and any other
card must be replaced.
(b) In deuce-to-seven lowball, the player must
take an exposed card of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7, and
any other card including a 6 must be replaced.
After the draw, any exposed card must be replaced.
After the draw, a player may check any hand without
penalty (The sevens rule is not used).
Check-raise is allowed.
provided by Bob Ciaffone via ROBERT'S RULES OF