In the no-limit Deuce-to-Seven lowball version of five-card draw, most of the hands you play on the first betting street will be one-card draws. The reason for this is pretty simple in that it’s hard to be dealt a good pat hand. In light of this, it’s extremely important to learn how to play these draws profitably before you learn how to do anything else in the game. There are a number of things to take into consideration in drawing situations, and here we’re going to look at the four most important items.
Tip 1: Position is more important in no-limit Deuce-to-Seven lowball than in most other poker games. While in most variations of poker, position can be the difference between a winning hand or a break even hand, in no-limit Deuce-to-Seven lowball, position is almost always the difference between a winning hand or a losing hand. This means that you should usually only be betting and raising on the first betting street with your marginal draws if you’re in position, and that you should still only be calling down with your excellent draws if you happen to be out of position.
Tip 2: Big draws want big pots, and small draws want small pots. In most no-limit Deuce-to-Seven lowball games you’re not allowed to open limp, and instead must open the action with at least the minimum raise of twice the big blind. If your draw is likely to be the best draw, like draws to a smooth Eight or a good draw to a Seven, then you’ll probably want to make an open-raise that’s larger than the minimum. On the other hand, if you have a draw to a rough Eight or a smooth Nine, then you’ll probably want to just open raise to twice the big blind in most instances.
Tip 3: Not all draws to a Seven are the same. This cannot be stressed enough and is something new players do to make big mistakes over and over with their drawing hands. If your hand is 2357K and you’re planning on discarding the King, then that is a much better draw than if your hand is 4567K and you’re planning to discard the King. In the first hand, any Four or Six gives you Seven-high, but in the second hand, any Three gives you a straight which will almost never be the best hand in lowball. In addition, you can’t even draw to Eight-high because any Eight gives you a straight as well.
Tip 4: Never raise the first street planning to draw to more than one card. Two-card draws are absolutely horrible hands in no-limit Deuce-to-Seven lowball. The odds of making a pair are huge, which is terrible for you in this game. The one exception to this rule is that if you have three cards Seven or under and you’re on the button and both of the blinds are tight, it’s usually profitable to put in a small raise to try to steal the blinds.
If you play according to these four guidelines, you’ll start making a profit with your drawing hands right away against all but the toughest no-limit Deuce-to-Seven lowball competition. Since draws are the most likely first street hand by far, this means that you should practice these tips over and over to make sure you’re getting the edge you need to win.