Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw Lowball is a classic poker game that was once reserved for top pros and those with disposable bankrolls. However, in recent years the game has become quite accessible to small stakes players by way of internet games and more reasonable tournament buy-ins. The game is also very simple to learn, and you should have a fairly good grasp on it after reading this article.
The goal of Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw (also called “Kansas City Lowball” or simply “Lowball”) is to hold the lowest five card hand. It should be noted that unlike some other low games such as Razz, flushes and straights do indeed count against your hand in Lowball. Another important rule to note is that aces are always high. Remembering those two important rules, the best 2-7 Lowball hand is (as the name suggests) 2-3-4-5-7 (with not all five cards being of the same suit to avoid a flush). Because aces are always high, you would not hold a straight if your hand was A-2-3-4-5 (you would simply hold ace high).
The most popular way to play 2-7 Single Draw is with no betting limits. In No Limit games, a player may bet or raise as much as the total amount they currently have on the table. Single Draw can also be played with betting limits or as a Pot Limit game, but those variations are far less common.
A full Single Draw Lowball table will typically seat six players. The dealer button, which is a small circular puck, is placed in front of one player at a time and is always moved one seat clockwise after the completion of each hand. The two players who are seated directly on the left side of the dealer button are required to post “blinds” before each hand is dealt. There is typically a small blind (seated directly to the left of the button) which is usually about half the size of the big blind (seated to the left of the small blind). The blinds are forced bets that seed the pot and drive the action after the deal.
After the blinds have been posted, every player receives five cards dealt face down, to be kept private from all other players during the hand. Then, beginning with the person sitting to the big blind’s immediate left, the first of two total betting rounds will ensue. This first player has an option of either calling (or matching) the same amount as the big blind, raising up to a higher amount, or forfeiting their hand by folding. Play continues clockwise around the table until all players have acted on their hands. If there was no raise during this first round, the player who is seated in the big blind position (who will be last to act in this first betting round) can either check (meaning to pass and not put in a raise) or raise to a higher amount.
When the first round of betting is complete, each player is given an opportunity to exchange any of their cards in an attempt to improve their holding. If a player chooses to exchange no cards, they are “standing pat.” In contrast to Triple Draw Lowball, 2-7 Single Draw only gives the players one opportunity to draw. Once the draw is over, another final betting round occurs, beginning with the first active player sitting on the left side of the button.
Once the final betting round is complete, any remaining players will compare hands in what is called a Showdown. A winner is determined and the pot is pushed to the appropriate player. The button will be moved one seat clockwise so that the next hand can begin.
During the play of the hand, a lone player may often remain due to their opponents all folding their hands. In this case, the remaining player will receive the pot and the hand will be concluded without a Showdown.
Now that you have a good understanding of how to play 2-7 Single Draw Lowball, it is suggested that you read our Single Draw Strategy article for tips on how to outsmart your opponents at the tables. Once you feel comfortable, playing this poker variation online for small stakes is a great way to learn, as well as experiment with new strategies.