Lowball is a five-card draw game in which players attempt to make the best low hand. Lowball can be played as Deuce-to-Seven or Ace-to-Five and is usually played with either one or three draws. In Ace-to-Five Lowball, the best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A. Aces are always low, and straights and flushes don't count against the low value of a hand. In Deuce-to-Seven Lowball, the best possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2. Aces are always high, and straight and flushes do count.
This is a basic description of Lowball. For more general poker rules, read Robert's Rules of Poker, which also includes more specific Lowball rules.
- Post Blinds - Forced bets from the two players to the left of the dealer
- Deal - Five cards face down to each player
- First Betting Round
- First Draw
- Second Betting Round
- Showdown (for single draw; for triple draw, skip and continue to second draw)
- Second Draw
- Third Betting Round
- Final Draw
- Final Betting Round
Before each hand is dealt, the two players to the left of the dealer will post the blinds. The player immediately to the left of the dealer will post the small blind, which is typically, but not always, half the size of the big blind.
Each player is dealt five cards face down.
First Betting Round
After blinds are posted and cards are dealt, the player to the left of the big blind may choose to call, fold or raise. Each player follows in turn moving clockwise around the table until all players have folded or have called the last bet.
The player to the left of the dealer declares how many cards he or she would like to draw and discards the same number into the muck. The next player to the left does the same until each player has discarded and drawn.
Second Betting Round
The second betting round begins with the first player to the immediate left of the dealer, who may choose to bet, check or fold. The betting round continues until all players in the hand have either checked, folded, or called the last bet.
The second draw proceeds in the same way as the first draw.
Third Betting Round
The third betting round proceeds in exactly the same fashion as the previous round, except the betting increment is doubled on the turn in limit games, and the minimum bet doubles in pot- and no-limit games. (For more information on the differences between limit, pot-limit and no-limit games, please read Robert's Rules of Poker.)
The third draw proceeds in the same way as the first two draws.
Final Betting Round (Post River)
The final betting round proceeds in the same fashion as the previous round.
Once all bets have been settled, the last player to make a bet must show his or her hand. Players who called must show their hand if it beats the final bettor, but if they do not hold a winning hand, they have the option of mucking without showing.