No Limit 2-7 Lowball Strategy with Starting Hands
When it comes to 2-7 Lowball Strategy (NL Lowball Single Draw), the most important thing to remember is that this is a game of position. In live games, tells are an element. In 2-7 lowball online at PokerStars.com (which is the only site that spreads 2-7 lowball online) the only information we get is betting patterns and number of cards drawn. When in position, we’ll gain this information prior to making our own decision. This is a significant advantage when applied correctly.
When thinking NL Lowball strategy, what most players are thinking is, “what starting hands”. We’ll cover that below and assume you already know the nl 2-7 rules needed to play 2-7 lowball.
To come up with a good 2-7 Lowball strategy for starting hands, there are some basics a player needs to understand. We’ll break down these basics into section to make it easier for you to navigate.
The Jack High Rule
Jack-high hands are favored over one card draws, and queen-high hands are favored over two card draws. This is where position becomes important. Let’s say you’re holding a hand such as 2-3-5-8-J. When you raise in position and get action, you’ll be able to see your opponents’ actions first. If this player smooth calls and stands pat, this is generally an indication they are not very strong, as most players would have three bet a strong hand. With that said, the chances they’re standing pat with a hand we can beat are slim, so we’re going to need to draw one card, as our eight draw is nearly always live in this spot. Now, on the other hand, if that same player smooth calls and then draws one, this is a situation where we’ll want to stay pat as our 2-3-5-8-J is favored.
Starting Hand Requirements
Our advice for starting hands is to stick to pat ten hands, and one card draws to nine lows, with the exceptions being never draw to hands which can make a straight or a flush. The reason we choose ten high hands is that most NL 2-7 lowball games are soft enough that we’ll get paid off with these hands when we hit or when we complete our draw.
Position and Opponents
How to play these starting hands is determined by our opponent’s tendencies and our position. With so many variables involved in opponent’s tendencies, we’ll give some general advice regarding position.
We’re always going to open a pot with pat hands of ten or better, or one card draws to a nine or better. The question comes, what do we do when someone has already opened the pot? Well, in position we have two choices: 3-bet or smooth call. In a soft game, either option can be correct with weak pat hands. A lot can be said for controlling the size of pot and showing down cheap with a hand that might win. However, there is also a thin line between reducing pot size and missing out on value. This is one of those situations where feel and experience are more of a factor than optimal 2-7 lowball strategy as far as text book advice is concerned.
Now, when it comes to playing these same hands out of position, it is generally advisable to 3-bet against an average opponent and smooth call against a rock (tight opponent). The reason we 3-bet is we’re powerless the rest of the hand being out of position, and we want to force our opponent to draw. Remember a “smooth call then stand pat” indicates a level of weakness, where a “three bet stand pat” indicates strength.
For a close look at nl 2-7 single draw starting hands check out this article: NL 2-7 Single Draw Starting Hands
Final Betting Round
Perhaps the trickiest part of 2-7 lowball strategy is the final betting round. In 2-7 lowball more bluffing occurs than in any other game, as it is critical to bet when the only way you can win is to bet, and you feel there are favorable odds against the player folding. A basic understanding of poker theory goes a long way here it’s really just a simple case of the read you have on your opponent versus the strength of your own hand.
NL 2-7 Strategy
NL 2-7 strategy advise isn’t exactly in abundance online or offline. There are some key concepts though that will help you improve as a player. The first is position, it’s a fact that the hands you play in position will be more profitable than those that you play out of position. Position is extremely important when playing nl 2-7 single draw because you get to see how many cards your opponent draws before you act. You can then base your actions on the actions of your opponent.
Two important nl 2-7 single draw tips to remember:
– A Jack high hand is always a favorite over a player who draws 1 card.
– A Queen high hand is always a favorite over a player who draws 2 cards.
Using the 2-7 single draw tips above when in position you can play perfectly in certain situations. When out of position this just isn’t possible. Also remember that when playing nl 2-7 single draw that two card draws are pretty much trash, this is not the case when playing Triple Draw because you have more chances to improve your hand. Triple Draw is usually played as a fixed limit game where as Single Draw is played as a no limit game.
The advice we gave in this article is only a blanket introduction to 2-7 lowball strategy. This game is much more situational, and involves reads, tells, studying an opponent, and playing the meta-game more than any other variant of poker. This is perhaps the most brilliant thing about 2-7 lowball: that while the game appears simple, it is a game where the best players win the most often. This is because the fundamental theories and strategies of poker as a whole are much more relevant here than game specific strategy. This creates the illusion that more luck is involved than there actually is.
The only way to get good at 2-7 lowball is by a lot of practice. Reading 2-7 lowball strategy, such as the 20 page section in Doyle Brunson’s book Super Systems (the original version), will help in the learning process and give you an idea of some good 2-7 Triple Draw tips, but ultimately mastering the game is going to involve playing a lot of hands on your own.
As of the time of this article, the only online poker site offering 2-7 Lowball NL Single Draw is the World’s largest online poker site: PokerStars.com.