Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw (also called 2-7 Lowball or Kansas City Lowball) is a less commonly played poker variation than games like Omaha and Hold’em, but is considered a classic and is still quite popular in live casinos and online card rooms, particularly among veteran poker players. Single draw is a game that requires a good balance of observation, bluffing ability, and luck, which makes it a fun and action packed poker variation.
Like the name “Lowball” suggests, the object of 2-7 Single Draw is to create the best five card low hand, keeping in mind that aces are high and that straights and flushes count against you. Therefore, the best 2-7 Single Draw hand is 2-3-4-5-7 (not of all the same suit, avoiding a flush), because you have the five lowest possible cards without creating a straight or flush.
In Lowball, each player is dealt five cards face down, to be kept private from their opponents throughout the hand. In 2-7 Single Draw, there is a round of betting before each player has the opportunity to exchange any, all or none of their hole cards for new cards in an attempt to improve their hand. Because this is Single Draw (as opposed to another popular Lowball variation called Triple Draw), players only have one opportunity to draw cards during each hand. There is one more round of betting before the winner is determined.
Because there is limited information given in 2-7 Single Draw, players must rely on drawing and betting patterns of their opponents to figure out what they might hold. Because the game relies so heavily on luck, there is a good deal of bluffing involved in Single Draw Lowball strategy.
2-7 Single Draw can be played with several different betting rules; either No Limit (players may bet any amount up to what they have in front of them), Limit (bets and raises must be made in specified increments) or Pot Limit (bets and raises may not exceed the amount of the current pot). While it is not uncommon to find Single Draw Lowball played in any of these formats, it most often played as No Limit, making it action packed and full of both risk and reward.
Deuce-to-Seven Lowball was first introduced to the World Series of Poker in 1973, which was only the third ever annual WSOP. Since then, it has appeared on the WSOP schedule almost every year and the events typically attract poker’s top pros and command high buy-ins. Poker legends Jack Straus, Sailor Roberts, Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin and Johnny Chan are among those who hold bracelets in 2-7 Single Draw. In fact, the list of Single Draw Lowball champions is so star-studded that it has become a bit of a joke in the poker community that bracelets in the game are only reserved for the most elite players. Modern 2-7 champions include Mike Matasow, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Berry Greenstein and Allen Cunningham. Perhaps the most well-known and respected 2-7 Single Draw player of all time is Billy Baxter, who has a handful of bracelets in this particular variation.
Once only available in high stakes cash games and tournaments in Las Vegas and southern California, Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw can now be played in many online poker rooms. Playing the game online is a great option for those novice players who are looking to practice, or for those who would like to experiment with new strategies. Because there are small stakes available around the clock on sites such as PokerStars.com, learning how to play Lowball has never been easier.
To learn the complete rules of 2-7 Single Draw Lowball, click on the Rules page on this site before reading our basic strategy article and continuing on to practice your game on the virtual felt.
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