Razz Poker

the rules of razz

Razz Rules

 

Razz rules are similar to 7 card stud rules (7 Card Stud High), but with Razz Poker rules, the lowest hand at showdown wins. Razz Poker is also known as seven card stud lowball, just a fancy name for it.

 

The object of the game is to make the best lowest five card hand out of the seven cards dealt to you. Razz is usually, if not always, played as a limit game and played with two to eight players at a table using a single deck of 52 cards with no jokers or wild cards.

 

With Razz, aces are always low (the lowest card) and straights and flushes do not count against you, in other words, they have no value. The best Razz hand (the nuts) is 5 4 3 2 A, which is called a "wheel", "bicycle", or the "bike". Unlike some other lowball games, Razz does not use an "eight or better" hand requirement.

 

There are five betting rounds with two betting limits, the first two rounds of betting use the low bet amount and the remaining three rounds of betting, which starts on "5th street", use the higher bet amount. All bets and raises must be equal to the bet amount set for each round. Also, each player antes before the cards are dealt. The ante is usually 1/5 the amount of the lower bet size.

 

Razz Poker Rules

 

Ante - All the players ante. So in a $1/2 game the ante is usually 1/5 the small bet, so in this example, each player would ante about $0.20.

 

3rd Street - Each player is dealt three cards, the first two cards (the hole cards) are face down and the third card, the 'door card' is dealt face up.

 

The player showing the highest door card must "bring in". The bring in is a forced bet and is usually 1/3 to 1/2 of the low bet. So if the highest door card is a queen, then that player must put in the bring in bet. If one or more players have the same door card value then suits are used to determine the bring in. The rank of suits goes spades (the highest), hearts, diamonds, then clubs. For example, if one player has the queen of hearts and another player has the queen of clubs, then the queen of hearts would bring in. So in our example of a $1/2 game, the bring in would be between 30 and 50 cents. Remember, aces are always low, making the highest ranking (worst) cards in Razz the kings.

 

The player who brings in has two options, they can bring in the required minimum amount or they can complete to the full bet limit. The play continues clockwise from the bring in player and the next player to act can either fold, call the bring in player's bet or raise. Play continues through each player clockwise. Note that there is usually a maximum of three raises per betting round.

 

4th Street - The next round (4th street) is played for the players that haven't folded from the previous betting round. Every player is dealt one card face up and betting starts from the player who shows the lowest hand from their two exposed cards (ignoring flushes and straights). The lowest possible hand for this round to determine who bets first would be A 2 followed by A 3 and so on. The player with the lowest exposed hand can either check (pass) or bet. Play is then continued clockwise to the remaining active players who in turn can either check, bet or fold depending on what the player before them did.

 

5th Street - In this round, called 5th street, the bet amount is now doubled from the previous two betting rounds. So in a $1/2 game, the first two rounds of betting (3rd & 4th street) had a bet limit of $1 and starting here, from 5th street, bets are now doubled to $2. Every remaining player is dealt another card face up. Betting starts from the player who shows the lowest exposed cards, again, ignoring flushes and straights and play continues clockwise as in the previous round.

 

6th Street - Remaining players are dealt another card face up and play continues the same way as the previous round.

 

7th Street - The seventh and final card is dealt to the remaining players face down. Play continues as in the previous round.

 

In rare cases where there are eight remaining players to reach 7th street then a single card would be dealt in the middle of the table as a community card for all players to share. This must be done because there would not be enough cards in a 52 deck to deal out the final cards to all eight players.

 

Showdown - After all the betting is complete and to determine the winner, the player who bet last shows their hand. Then players starting clockwise can either show their hand if they have a better hand or they can optionally muck it (fold their hand face down to hide what they had) if they have a worse hand. The player with the best five card low hand wins the pot.

 

 

The Razz rules may seem a bit complicated at first, but once you start playing the game and gain experience then these Razz poker rules will come easy in no time at all. Playing Razz online takes a lot out of managing the rules as the software does most everything automatically.

 

Razz Hands

 

At first it may seem confusing to a new Razz player as to what a winning hand is. This is expected, because unlike most poker games such as Hold'em and stud high where the best hands are obvious, this is not the case in Razz for some new players. As you play the game it won't take long for you to recognize the strength vales of Razz poker hands.

 

A common mistake by new Razz players is reading their hand against other hands. Here is an example of this common misunderstanding; say you have this hand, A 2 4 6 J and your opponent has 2 4 5 7 8. Many new players think their A 2 4 6 J should beat the 2 4 5 7 8 hand. This is not the case. The problem here is that the cards are ordered ascending and that is where the confusion exists.

 

If you arrange your best five low cards in descending order then it starts to make sense. For example, your hand of A 2 4 6 J should be read as J 6 4 2 A giving you a jack high. Your opponent's cards are now 8 7 5 4 2 for an 8 high against your J 6 4 2 A. To determine the better hand we look at the first card of each player, in this case you have a jack and your opponent has an 8. The 8 is a lower card than the jack so it automatically wins without even comparing the next four cards. So to determine the strength of a Razz hand simply take your five best low cards and put them in descending order.

 

Examples:

 

8 7 6 5 4 beats 9 6 5 4 3

Q 9 7 5 4 beats K 4 3 2 A

6 5 4 3 A beats 6 5 4 3 2

 

Also note that pairs, trips (three of a kind), full houses, and four of a kinds in Razz work against you, in that they hinder you in making five unique low cards out of your dealt seven cards. (Remember, flushes and straights do not have any value and do not count against you.)

 

If say you went to showdown with these seven cards, 10 8 5 4 4 4 4 your best low five card hand would be 10 8 5 4 4. Your opponent can win by having ANY five unique cards in their hand, for example, they could hold K Q J 10 9 and still beat your 10 8 5 4 4! Remember, your looking to have five low cards that are unique, not paired. ANY five unique cards will beat four low cards with one paired up.

 

Another example is if you had a full house in your dealt seven cards, 9 9 9 7 7 3 A, your best five card hand would be 9 3 A 7 7. Again, ANY five unique cards would beat this hand, even a smaller full house like this hand would win, 8 8 8 7 7 3 A, giving them 8 3 A 7 7.

 

Some of the examples above are extreme and once you start playing the game you will not be finding yourself playing these hands very much, or at all. With Razz you are looking for the five lowest unique cards out of your seven dealt cards to make a hand with. "Babies" are the best cards to have, these are the cards between aces and fives. Sixes, sevens, and eights are also good.

 

Here are the best top 10 Razz poker hands and the ones you want to try and make:

 

#1 - 5 4 3 2 A (also known as the nuts, the wheel, the bicycle, the bike)

#2 - 6 4 3 2 A

#3 - 6 5 3 2 A

#4 - 6 5 4 2 A

#5 - 6 5 4 3 A

#6 - 6 5 4 3 2

#7 - 7 4 3 2 A

#8 - 7 5 3 2 A

#9 - 7 5 4 2 A

#10 - 7 5 4 3 A

 

 

Now that you learnt the Razz rules and hand strengths of Razz poker it's time to learn about Razz starting hand strategy and Razz fundamentals and tips. When you are ready for Razz tournament play be sure to read our Razz Tips for Tournaments.

 

Once you feel it's time to start playing the game of Razz for real then check out our online poker room reviews on the best places to play Razz poker online. We review the best online poker rooms that offer excellent Razz cash games (ring games), multi table tournaments (MTT's), and Razz sit n go's. Play online Razz for fun or for real money. We also have special cash bonuses for all real-money depositing players to help you build your bankroll!

 

 

 

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