For several years now Razz has been the game of choice among players who like “low” poker games. The point of Razz is not to get the best possible hand, but to get the worst.  There is another low game that is rapidly gaining in popularity. While Razz is still top dog, Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball is gaining ground and is definitely second dog as far as low poker games go.

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There are several main points that are true of both “low” games:

  • You want the worst hand, not the best.  The lowest hand wins the entire pot.
  • A pair will almost NEVER win a hand—so even a pair of twos you should throw away
  • Conservative play is much better than aggressive because there are always mediocre players to pay you off
  • There’s almost someone at the table who doesn’t know how to play

Low games can be among the most profitable because it’s one of the very few games you can afford to play ultra-conservative and people will always call you, or even raise you, with mediocre decent hands even when you hold the nuts.  But make sure you know the difference between games.  There are some huge differences between Razz and Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball.

Here are some specifics to remember for Razz:

  • 5-4-3-2-A is the lowest possible hand.  The worst possible outcome of this hand is to split the pot.  You can’t be beat.
  • It’s played like 7 card stud, so two cards are “thrown away.”  So like stud, sometimes using the strength you’re showing is worth a bluff.
  • Any hand where your highest card is above an 8 should be considered a busted hand.
  • Straights and flushes don’t count
  • Aces are low

Here are the major differences that you’ll find in Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball:

  • You get your cards all at once, but you also have three rounds of betting and three chances to draw a better hand.
  • Aces are high
  • Straights and flushes count—you don’t want either
  • 7-5-4-3-2 is the lowest possible hand.
  • Any 8 high hand is strong, any 7 high is almost a guarantee to win

Keep these differences in mind, and you won’t make the common mistakes that usually derail first time Triple Draw 2-7 players. These are some of the best games for conservative players now, because people are always chasing, so if you have a strong hand early—make ‘em pay!