Reading the Board: Basic Low Board situations
Your best low is determined as the two lowest cards in your hand that do not pair the board. In most cases, it's easiest to first determine what the nut low is, and then determine how far way your hand is from that.
Here are some examples to practice determining what your best low hand is. For each question, answer it quickly like you would at the table before reading the answer.
Question 1: You have A2TK, the board is 678. What is your low?
Answer 1: The two lowest cards in your hand that don't pair the board are A2, which combine with 678 on the board to make A2678. Your A2 is the nut low, or best possible. This is the simplest, most-straightforward example of a low hand.
Question 2: You have A23K, the board is 278QK. What is your low?
Answer 2: The two lowest cards in your hand that don't pair the board are A3, so combined with 278 your low is A2378, which is also the nut low. When the 2 came on the board, it counterfeited your A2 low or made it worthless, but fortunately you had your 3 as a backup card.
Question 3: You have A45K, the board is 2467Q. What is your low?
Answer 3: Your two lowest non-pairing cards in hand are A5, which combine with the three lowest cards on board of 246 to make a A2456 low. This is the second nuts, as only someone with A3 beats you.
Question 4: You have A235, the board is A26QK. What is your low?
Answer 4: Your two lowest non-pairing cards are 35 as the A2 on the board counterfeited your A2. Combined with the A26 on the board, your low hand is now A2356, which is the second nut low. Only someone with 34 beats you.