Razz Poker Rules

Razz Poker Rules

Razz - Card Stud Low

Razz has become a very popular game among high-stakes poker players, especially since the 2004 World Series of Poker. This is a very simple game to master, and it can be a lot of fun to play. It's fundamentally the same as 7-Card Stud, with one crucial difference - the lowest hand wins. Aces always count as low in Razz, so the best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5 (a "wheel"), followed by A-2-3-4-6, etc. Straights and flushes have no effect on hand values. As in 7-Card Stud, the best five-card hand possible for each player is used to determine the winner. Unlike 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo or Omaha Hi-Lo, there is no "eight or better" condition to win the pot in Razz.

Here is a condensed instructional on how to play:

1. Round One (Pre-Flop)

With the antes in place, each player is dealt three cards - one up, and two down. The opening bets begin with a forced bet from the player with the highest card showing. Naturally, this player can also open for a full bet if he so chooses. If there is a ties in card rank, the bring in falls to the player with the highest suit, with the order being spades, hearts, diamonds, and then clubs. So if the king of spades and king of clubs are visible at the onset of the hand, and a king is the highest card, then the king of spades has the bring-in. The action then moves to the left of the opener, and continues clockwise around the table, with each player having the option of folding, calling, or completing the bet. If you are playing $15-$30 limit Razz for example, the opening bet would be $5, the completion bet $15, and three raises allowed in at that amount before the flop.

Round 1

2. Round Two (Fourth Street)

Each player now receives one card - face up. The low hand showing opens the action with a check, a bring-in bet, or a full bet. If the opening player checks, each subsequent player has the same betting options that available to the original low hand showing. Once again three raises would be allowed in increments of the initial raise.

Round 2

3. Round Three (Fifth Street)

Each player is now dealt another card - face up. The same betting arrangement as Round Two applies, except that the bring-in bet has risen now to $15, and the completion bet, $30. As before, three raises are allowed in this betting round, restricted to the amount of the completion bet.

Round 3

4. Round Four (Sixth Street)

As before, each player remaining in the hand is dealt another card - face up. The same betting format as Round Three is followed.

Round 4

5. Round Five (The River)

The seventh and final card is dealt to all remaining players - face down. The same betting format as Round Four is followed.

Round 5

Winning the Hand (The Showdown)

Those players that have remained in the hand until the river must now flip over their down cards for the table to see, with he bettor or last raiser showing first. The lowest five-card poker hand wins the pot. When two players have the same hand, the pot is divided evenly between them.

The following Razz hands are ranked from least powerful (1 = will rarely win the pot - gotta fold this), to most powerful (12 = the stone cold nuts):

1.     3, 3, 3, 5, 5
2.    K, K, 4, 3, 2
3.    2, 2, 7, 6, 5
4.    A, A, T, 9, 8
5.    K, Q, J, T, 9
6.    K, Q, J, T, 7
7.    9, 8, 7, 6, 5
8.    9, 7, 6, 5, 3
9.    9, 7, 6, 5, A
10.    6, 5, 4, 3, 2
11.    6, 4, 3, 2, A
12.    5, 4, 3, 2, A

If you are familiar with stud poker at all, you should be able to master Razz without too much trouble this is an easy poker game. The initial disconcerting feeling of tossing away full boats and sets is the hardest part to get used to.

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