Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Low hand (poker)
Some forms of poker, often called lowball or "low poker", reward poor poker hands (in the traditional sense). There are three common variations on this idea, differing in whether aces are treated as high cards or low cards, and whether or not straights and flushes are used. The methods are:
- Ace-to-five low: The most common method. Aces are low and straights and flushes are ignored, so the best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A, called a wheel.
- Ace-to-six low: Aces are low and straights and flushes do count (as high), so the best possible hand is 6-4-3-2-A.
- Deuce-to-seven low: Almost the direct inverse of traditional high hand poker. Aces are high and straights and flushes do count, so the best possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2. A wheel is not considered a straight, so A-5-4-3-2 is just ace-high no pair.
Some games are played high-low split, where the player with the best traditional poker hand (called the high hand) splits the pot with the best low hand (by one of the methods above). Low hands tie more frequently than high hands, especially in community card games, so it is not uncommon for such a hand to win a small fraction of a poker pot. For example, if one player has the high hand on showdown, and two other players tie for the best low hand, the high hand wins half of the pot and each low hand wins only a quarter of the pot.
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