Similarities Between NL Hold’em and NL 2-7 Lowball
Often, NL Hold’em players will start playing NL 2-7 Single Draw because the game has a lot of similarities to Hold’em. For some players looking to get into other forms of poker, NL 2-7 is appealing due to the similarities. Let’s take a look at some of these similarities.
One key concept that’s similar to both Texas Hold’em and NL 2-7 is aggression. NL 2-7 is a single draw variant of the lowball. As such, that adds extra pressure. If you put an opponent all-in and they don’t have a strong hand or a strong one card draw, they really cannot call.
You have more potential fold equity in this game as opposed to limit lowball, and against tight or weak players, aggression is going to build more pots. In Limit Lowball, you’re going to call more pots because there is a cap on losses. You don’t have this in NL Lowball.
In limit lowball, position is not as powerful a tool as in NL lowball. In NL lowball, if you are in late position, you are able to raise with a wider array of hands than even the limit version. The reason is that in limit, it is half a big bet extra to call to draw, and you can draw three times.
You don’t have that same pot control in NL. This allows you to open up your hand selection a bit more in late position with less risk of getting looked up than in Limit. Obviously, it is helpful when you are drawing to see where you are at in the hand just in case someone tries to get cute with a two-card draw or worse.
Can you bluff in limit lowball? Sure. The follow-up question should be, how often does that work? Nowhere near as often as in NL. Again, the combination of the betting limits and the single draw greatly increases your fold equity for players. The tighter the table, the more you are going to bluff. Against solid players, you will need to pick your bluffing spots more carefully.
Bluffing is often referred to as snowing in Lowball and the ability to snow in NL 2-7 is just as important as NL Hold’em. You can base many of your bluffs on how your opponent draws, and even how they bet. It is correct to continuation bet in NL Lowball as it is in NL Hold’em. If you know this, sometimes you can make a raise as a bluff and force someone out that missed their draw or has a weak hand like a king.
Should You Try NL 2-7 Lowball?
Clearly, NL 2-7 Lowball and NL hold’em are totally different games. However, if you are a hold’em player, especially one that is good with the three concepts listed above, then you may want to consider picking up the game.
Most players find that the game is simple to pick up. It is basically Five Card Draw played for low. However, straights and flushes count against you and aces play high. 7-5-4-3-2 unsuited is the best possible hand.
It is not uncommon to hear of players learning the basic rules of lowball prior to playing the game and then using the above NL Hold’em concepts to win at the game. Granted, we don’t recommend that you do this. It is always better to try and perfect your strategy at any game before risking any serious money at it.
However, if you are looking to learn a new poker variant that takes advantage of concepts learned in NL Hold’em, then NL 2-7 is the game for you. While Omaha poker games may be similar in game play, NL 2-7 is conceptually similar and a game you will likely find greater success in.