Poker Rules

Razz

Razz is a poker game that is a Must to anyone thinking about being a poker pro but even playing to have fun, Razz is also very popular. It is a variation of 7 Card Stud however the main difference here is that you play for the weakest hand combination. If you know nothing about poker, check out our Seven Card Stud Rules for better understanding. So, let's learn how to play Razz Poker.

Rules of Razz

A quick glance at the structure of Razz shows that it is very similar to 7 Card Stud. Firstly, you get three cards: two facing up, another facing down. After this betting round players get 4 more cards facing up and lastly one card, facing down. Each dealing is separated by a betting round. There are no straights or flushes, but there can be full houses – be attentive! Here is how it goes from the beginning.
To sit down at a table, you need to choose your stakes. But $1/$2 in Razz is not the same as in Omaha or Holdem. Remember, in Razz and Stud every player pays an Ante while in Omaha and Holdem there are blinds: Big Blind and Small Blind.
Once you sit down and pay the ante (usually, 10%-20% of the minimum bet), you get dealt your cards. Two of them are facing up. They are called Hole Cards. The third card is facing up and is called Door Card. It will look like this:

Above you can see that four players have four different Door cards: 2, 6, 10 and Queen. Player that has the biggest card starts the betting and every player clockwise makes their moves as well. Once the betting round is over, players are dealt 4th street.

From this point, 4th street, 5th street and 6th streets are dealt facing up, while the 7th street is dealt facing down. It goes like this:

Note, that from 4th street onwards the player that has the best Razz (the weaker the hand, the better) combination showing starts each round.

Showdown in Razz Poker

Once the players have 7 cards each, the last betting round takes place and players go to showdown. As we mentioned earlier, there are no flushes and straights in Razz. There are pairs, though. To make the best combination in this poker game you take five of your seven cards to make the weakest combination from highest to lowest. Ace always counts as 1.

Let's see Razz in action:

One thing to remember is that the winner is the player who has the lowest card in the end. The best hand in Razz or The Nuts is 5-4-3-2-A. For example, below there are two hands. Both of them are quite good in Razz. The winner in this situation is the hand above as the player's 8 beats the 9 (despite the fact that the hand below is only one card away from the Nuts).

Razz Strategy

If you want to play Razz, you must learn to recognize the best starting hands and learn a few more tricks. Mastering the game takes time but we can give you a few hints and tips on how to have a better start at Razz.

  • It's best to open when all your three cards at the beginning are lower than 8. This is extremely important for a beginner.
  • Always keep alert. As in Stud games, there is a lot of cards facing up. This means valuable information. By noticing which cards were dealt and folded at the beginning and middle stages of the game, you will make better reads on your opponents at the showdown
  • Stealing Blinds. In Razz as in any other poker game, being the aggressor is always better because it it pays off. So, if several players folded before you, make your decisions a bit looser – bet and raise to draw the remaining one or two players out by implying you have a very good starting combination.
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