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Low Poker Hand Rankings

Low Hand Rankings for Poker

There are a number of games where the low poker hand wins all of the pot (eg Razz, Lowball) or a portion of the pot (eg Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or better).

Low hands are ranked in the reverse order of the Standard Poker Hand Rankings with some slight modifications. There are three common types of low poker hand rankings: ace to five, ace to six, and deuce to seven. Additionally, in some games like Omaha Hi/Lo there is a rule that the hand must also qualify to win the low portion of the pot.

In all versions of low poker, when breaking ties the highest cards are compared first, followed by the second highest cards and so on. A hand containing 7Spade 6Diamond 5Heart 4Club 2Diamond will rank higher than 8Club 5Club 4Diamond 3Diamond 2Heart because the highest card in the first hand (7) is lower than the highest card (8) in the second hand.

Ace to Five

In this form of ranking low hands both straights and flushes are ignored and an Ace counts as the lowest ranked card. The best possible hand is Ace 2 3 4 5 of any suit, even if a flush. Note also that a pair of aces beats a pair of 2s.

Ace to Six

Ace to six low hand rankings DO count straights and flushes, but the Ace still counts as the lowest ranked card. The best possible hand contains cards of rank Ace 2 3 4 6 not all of the same suit.

Deuce to Seven

Deuce to seven low hand rankings counts straights and flushes, and the Ace is the highest card. This form of low poker hand ranking is the exact reverse of the traditional Standard Poker Hand Ranking system. The best possible hand contains cards of rank 2 3 4 5 7 not all of the same suit. Note also that a pair of 2s beat a pair of Aces.

Qualifiers

In games like Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or better to qualify, to win the low portion of the pot a player must not have a pair and must not have a card higher than an 8. For example, 7Diamond 6Diamond 4Diamond 2Diamond ADiamond qualifies for the low portion of the pot under these rules, while 9Spade 4Spade 3Spade 2Spade ASpade and 5Club 3Diamond 3Heart 2Club ADiamond do not. If no player qualifies at the showdown for the low portion of the pot, the whole pot is distributed to the high hand winner.