Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Mar 3 22:50:33 UTC 2002

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Laurence Horn
Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2002 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: highball

>Curiously, there are no canonical poker games called "highball" that
>I know of, but low poker (in which essentially* the "worst"
>conventional hand wins) is often called "lo-ball" (i.e. straight low,
>as distinct from hi-lo split).   I think I've usually seen it with
>the "lo-ball" spelling, but it's not listed with either spelling in

I've usually seen it spelled "lowball." Googling on "lowball poker" yields
about 3,200 hits. "Loball poker" and "lo-ball poker" yield only around 40-55
hits. "Highball poker" yields about 500 hits. "Hi lo poker" yields 9,800

The printed manual accompanying the "Hoyle Casino" computer game by Sierra
On-Line spells it "loball," but the electronic help in the game itself
spells it "lowball."

>*"essentially" because in the dialects I'm familiar with, straights
>and flushes don't count against the low hand in either lo-ball or
>hi-lo poker; the best hand is 5-4-3-2-A, called a wheel.

There are different variants. Some invariably count straights and flushes
and aces against the low hand, making a 7-5-4-3-2 combination the best
possible low. Others allow aces, making a 6-4-3-2-A the best low. In others,
straights don't count against the low, 5-4-3-2-A being the best. House rules

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