Are you on a journey of discovering more poker variants? Have Texas Hold’em and Omaha stopped being enough for you? If your answer is “Yes” to both, then congratulations — you’ve found the right article for you. It will introduce you to a new poker type which isn’t played by many. And it’s not because it isn’t worthy of your attention — it just isn’t as prominent in poker rooms as some others. What a shame that is!
So if you want to surprise people with your knowledge, flaunt this poker type in front of them. You could do so by organizing a home game. Invite those who might appreciate Four-before and try making it a standard part of your get-togethers. Trust us; you won’t regret your decision!
This is especially true because Four-before is not your run-of-the-mill game; it’s also a rule variation that you could add to an already known poker type. For instance, you might use it while playing Kansas City Lowball. See? This already makes for an interesting experience. Additionally, you might start your evening by acquainting others with Four-before and then adding it as a twist to some of their favorite card games. We’re sure your guests would respect your efforts.
So without further ado, let’s see what Four-before entails.
Most perceive Four-before as a rule variation since they only encounter it in some draw poker games. And according to them, you’d particularly enjoy it during a game of lowball poker. But it can also be played independently — you don’t need another game to enjoy it.
So let’s say that you approach a table that offers Four-before. You’re waiting patiently to get your cards and see whether you can land the winning poker hand or not. If you’re playing at a table that uses blinds, then two forced bets need to be made first. A player to the dealer’s left places a small blind, and a person next to them posts the big one.
After this, all of the players are dealt four concealed cards. You have a short amount of time to examine your hand before placing a bet. And after every player at the poker table makes a wager, it’s time to think about what you should do with your cards.
Which ones do you want to keep? Are there any with which you might be one step closer to victory? If there are, then make sure to retain them. And you can discard the ones you’re not satisfied with. As per the rule of Four-before, you can dispose of your selected cards and always draw one more. Let’s say that you’re not particularly happy with two of your cards. This means that you could draw three, as you’re trying to form the best hand.
After this stage, you’ll have five cards in front of you. Following this, you can make the last wager, depending on whether your cards are worth the effort or not. If they are, then you’ll go against the remaining player (or players) at showdown. And in the end, the person with the best five-card hand wins and takes the pot.
Four-before is also applicable to many other poker games, as it can serve as a poker rule. The point is to make them more interesting and keep people craving for more. We’ll discuss one of them now.
Kansas City Lowball
Kansas City Lowball has many similarities to Five Card Draw. However, the difference is that players look for the weakest combination of cards here. Sometimes, people refer to this game as Deuce-to-Seven Lowball. Also, you’ll have better chances of finding it in a land-based casino than at an online one.
This game requires two players to post a small and big blind. For instance, one participant can place $5 and the other $10. After this part has been done, every player receives five cards face down. And then, a player to the left of the big blind has an opportunity to place the first bet. Following this, all players can draw.
During the course of the first draw, participants decide on the number of cards they’ll discard. In turn, they get new ones. And if a player is confident that they have a good hand, then they can keep all of their cards and refuse to participate. And in case a player wants to get rid of their whole hand, then they’ll receive four cards first. They’ll need to wait for everyone to receive their cards in order to get the fifth one.
After the cards are dealt, players can place a wager. Ultimately, the game has three drawing rounds. And in the end, the players can face off at showdown. The person who’ll win the pot is the one who has the worst hand ranking. However, bear in mind that aces have a high value in this variant. Thus, the strongest hand is 7-5-4-3-2 — which is why it’s called Deuces to Seven.
Logically speaking, flushes and straights work against you in Kansas City Lowball. This is because they increase the value of your hand. After all, don’t forget, you’re aiming for the lowest cards. Aside from this, a pair can negatively impact your hand as well. Also, the highest card is vital in that it influences the winner.
Let’s say that you and your opponent have the same high card. You’re at showdown, and everyone is waiting for the winner. Well, that would be the person whose next top card is lower of the two (e.g., 4 of hearts would prevail over 5 of diamonds).
In conclusion, you can apply four-before rules to many of your favorite poker games. It’ll improve your experience and make you realize why poker is still so dominant in the gambling world. So buckle up, and try this rule variation now.