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Lowball Draw Poker Strategy

Lowball Draw Poker Strategy - Position and Standing Pat

Lowball draw is a game where the best low hand wins although there are multiple versions to this game. In this article we’ll mainly discuss the draw version of lowball along with a number of key strategies that should help you become a better player. The two more common forms of Lowball Draw poker are 2-7 and A-5
In 2-7 Lowball Draw the overall structure of the game is similar to its counterpart, five card draw. Each player receives a total of five down cards with the option to discard and draw. Discarding can range from 1 to all five cards or you can choose to not discard at all which is technically called standing pat. Primarily this game is very straightforward however there may be some bluffing in draw. Although the concept is easy, there are still a few strategies players can use to increase their winnings if you remember the essential points below

Using Position in Draw Poker

Position is critical in draw poker and in no other game will it give you the opportunities to read your opponent’s hands like you’ll receive in lowball draw. Your opponents betting actions combined with their actions on the draw can tell you right off the bat whether they are representing a strong hand. Using position will enable you to see how many cards they draw to before your turn to act.

Lowball Draw Tip #1 – Standing Pat When In Position

Lowball draw position gives you a few slight advantages. First off if you in early position you more apt to tighten up your starting hand requirements and play aggressively since you don’t know what your opponent may be holding or whether they plan on drawing or standing pat. Ideally you’d like to enter into the hand with a one card draw to a 7 or 8 or better. A one card draw gives you the ability to break and draw if the need is there with the possibility to draw to a better hand. (An example of a one card draw is 8-5-4-3-2). You want to distance yourself from suited one card draws as these can quickly turn into flushes and potentially cost you money. If your opponents are drawing to two cards you should stand pat with a Jx or better as these hands tend to win over a one card draw. This rule does not apply to other forms of lowball draw such as 2-7 triple draw

Similar to Holdem you need to have a better hand to call a raise than the person who made the raise and this is why position is critical. Players who check call raises and end up drawing to two cards are wasting their money.

Lowball Draw Tip #2 Don’t Break a Pat Hand If Your Hand Improvement is Marginal

If you’re able to stand pat never break off your hand unless you’re absolutely sure it’s going to be to your advantage. There’s no sense in breaking off a 9-low just to make an 8-low and rarely will making this call justify itself.  Statically, a J-low often ends up winning the hand over any other one card draw. An all in situation won’t give you any advantage to breaking your hand, but in cash games it may be justifiable if you can draw to a significantly stronger hand and taking the pot after the draw. These one card draw hands can be used to your advantage during situations where you’re able to use early position to stand pat in hopes of gaining information from your opponent. Hands where you can bet for value include 9 low however just remember that more times than not it will lose, so don’t bet your entire stack on it.