How to play Razz
Razz is a variant of the popular Seven Card Stud poker. The main difference between Razz and Seven Card Stud poker is that in Razz, the winning hand is also the lowest hand. In fact, Razz is sometimes known as “7 Card Stud Low”. Players are in Razz are also dealt with seven cards like in Seven Card Stud poker with first two and last card faced down and the rest face up. The players will then use five cards to form their best hand.
As opposed to Seven Card Stud Hi Lo poker, the “eight or better" rule does not apply for Razz poker. Instead, the “Ace to Five” rule applies when ranking hands in Razz. Flushes and straight also do not count against a player's hand and the Ace is the lowest rank for a card. Thus, this mean that the best possible hand in Razz is A-2-3-4-5 or what is known as the “Wheel”. It is important to note that when ranking low hands, you always count from the highest rank down to the lowest rank.
Before play begins in Razz, players are required to put up a bet known as the Ante. This is just a nominal bet that is mutually agreed upon by all the players so that there is something to aim for in the beginning of the game. After the Ante has been placed, each player is dealt with three cards with one card facing up for all to see. In Razz, this is also known as the “third street”. After all the players have received their cards, the player whose face up card has the highest rank will “bring in” the first bet to the first round of betting. In the event there is a tie for the “door card” rank, the suit of the cards can also be used to determine the ranking. The highest suit rank is the spades ? followed by the hearts ?, the diamonds ? and the clubs ?.
Upon completion of the betting round, the Fourth Street cards will be deal to each player. From this round onwards, the player with the lowest hand will be the first player to act in the betting rounds. This will carry on until the “Seventh Street”. However, it must be noted in Razz that for the “Seventh Street”, the card is dealt faced down. Thus, the first player to act is also the player for the “Sixth Street”. Only after the betting round has been completed for the “Seventh Street” does the “Showdown” begin in Razz poker. In Razz, the last person who places the bet or raise is required to expose all his cards.
In Razz poker, there is no qualifying low hand. The player with the strongest hand (lowest hand) wins the pot. In the event that there is more than one winning hand with the same value, then these players will share the pot. In Razz, for the purpose of deciding who wins the pot, the suit of the hand in not taken into consideration.