Razz Poker

Razz rules are the same as 7 Card Stud rules (7 Card Stud High) only with Razz (Seven Card Stud Lowball), the player with the worst (lowest) hand at the showdown wins. The goal of the game is to make the best low combination of five cards , out of the seven cards that each player gets dealt. Razz is usually, well basically always, played as a limit game with two to eight players at the table. It is played with a single deck of 52 cards without Jokers or ‘wild cards’.

In Razz aces are always regarded as low (the lowest card) and straights and flushes do not count. In other words, they have no value. The best Razz hand (the nuts) is: 5-4-3-2-A. This hand is called a ‘wheel’, ‘bicycle’ or ‘bike’. Unlike other games Lowball Razz has no “eight or better” hand requirement.

Betting rounds in Razz Poker

There are five betting rounds with two betting limits. The first two betting rounds use the low bet and the remaining three betting rounds, starting at the “fifth street”, use the higher betting amount. All bets and raises should be equal to the betting amount made for that round. Also, each player places an ante before the cards are dealt. The height of the ante is usually 1/5th of the lower betting amount.

Ante

Each player places an ante. In a $1/$2 game, the ante is normally 1/5th of the low bets. In this case, each player needs to bet an ante of $ 0.20.

3rd Street

Each player gets three cards, the first two cards (hole cards) are dealt face down and the third card (the “door card”) is dealt face-up. The player showing the highest ‘door card’ needs to place the “bring-in. The bring-in is a forced bet and is usually 1/3rd to 1/2 of the low stakes. So if the highest card is a queen, then that player must place the bring-in. If one or more players have the same value of the door card, then the card type is used in order to determine who needs to place the bring-in.

The value of the cards is as follows: spades (highest), hearts, diamonds and clubs. For example, if one player has a Queen of Hearts and the other player Queen of Spades, then the player with the Queen of Hearts pays the bring-in. In the $1/$2 game example above, the bring-in will be about 30 to 50 cent. Remember that aces are always low, making the Kings the highest card (with the worst value) in Razz.
The player placing the bring-in has two options: he can deposit the required amount of the bring-in or he can put in the full betting amount. The game itself goes on in clockwise direction from the bring-in player and the players have the options to bring-in, call, raise the cards or throw away the cards. There is usually a limit of three raises (raises) per betting round.

4th Street

The next round (the 4th street) is played by the players who did not put away their cards during the previous round. Each player gets one card dealt face up and the game continues with the player who has the lowest visible hand (straights and flushes are ignored). The lowest hand possible for this round, in order to determine who firstly may place his bet, is A-2, followed by A-3, and so on. The player with the lowest hand has the option of either checking or betting. The game is then played in a clockwise order, all players have the same opportunities again.

5th Street

In this round, which is called the 5th street, the betting amount from the previous two rounds is doubled. So in a $ 1/$2 game, in the first two betting rounds (the 3rd and 4th street) had a bet limit of $1, doubling the bet limit $2 starting from the 5th street. A new card is dealt to each remaining player. The betting starts again with the player with the lowest cards and thereafter is played again in clockwise order.

6th Street

Remaining players get another card face up and continue playing in the same manner as in the previous rounds.

7th Street

The seventh and also the final card is dealt face down for the remaining players. The game continues in the same way as in the previous rounds. In some rare cases, where the eight remaining players reach the 7th street, a community card is dealt in the middle of the table which can be used by all players. This is done because there are not enough cards to deal all the 8 remaining players in a game with 52 cards.

Showdown

After all of the betting has taken place and in order to determine the winner, the last player betting needs to show his or her hand. Then, players, in clockwise order, show their hand when they have a better hand, or muck the hand (folding the hand face down in order to keep the hand a secret) when they have a worse hand. The player with the best five card low hand wins the pot.

At first sight, these Razz rules may seem a bit complicated, but when you start playing you will quickly see that you have mastered these rules in no time. It requires a good command of Razz rules when you want to play the game online. Unlike many other poker games the software many things are not provided automatically.