Razz Poker Rules
Razz poker has been around for a long time, and it is still a mainstay in many casinos and in most large tournament series. As a part of the H.O.R.S.E. lineup, Razz is worth learning for anyone who wants to take on mixed-format poker games.
Poker players aspiring to play in high stakes poker would also be well served by learning Razz because it’s commonly found in the high stakes section at major poker rooms. On top of that, learning a new poker variant is a great way to sharpen your skills in all forms of poker.
The setup and structure of Razz is identical to that of Seven Card Stud. The only difference in the two games is the hand rankings. In Razz, you want to get the lowest hand possible.
Aces always count as low in Razz, and straights and flushes have no meaning. This means that the best possible Razz hand is A-2-3-4-5. Razz hands are ranked starting with the highest card and then working down. This means that a hand like A-2-3-4-9 would lose to 3-4-6-7-8 even though the first hand appears to have more low cards.
Unlike 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, there are no requirements for a Razz hand to be considered low. A player with a pair of Tens can win the pot if everyone else is stuck with pairs of Aces and Kings. It won’t happen often, but it’s still worth noting.
Every player who wishes to be dealt in must pay an ante at the beginning of each hand. The ante is just a small bet that’s equal in amount to 10% or 20% the size of the small bet.
Three cards are dealt to each player, one card face up and two cards face down.
The player with the highest card showing must start the betting by paying the bring-in. The bring-in is a mandatory bet equal to half the lower betting amount. If any players tie for the highest card, the player closest to the dealer’s left pays the bring-in.
Once the bring-in has been paid, that player may choose to leave it as it is and allow the other players at the table to get in for cheap or he may raise the bring-in up to the full minimum betting amount.
After the bring-in player has made his choice, the betting action moves clockwise around the table. Any bets or raises after the bring-in are made in increments of the lower betting limit.
The dealer now gives each player one card face up. Another round of betting begins but this time the player with the lowest hand showing starts the betting. The player who starts the betting may check, bet or fold.
Next, each player is dealt one card face up. Another round of betting begins but from here on out, all bets are made in the upper betting limit.
Each player is dealt one card face up. This is followed by another round of betting that is played just like the last round.
One last card is dealt face down to each player and another round of betting takes place.
At the showdown, the remaining players use 5 of their 7 cards to create the best 5 card Razz hand possible. The hands are then revealed and the player with the lowest hand wins the pot.
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