Razz poker, a form of stud poker, is an intriguing poker game in which the lowest five-card hand, as opposed to the highest, is the winner. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards and between two and eight players. Not as popular as Omaha Poker or Texas Hold’em online, but nonetheless a popular version.
Also absent from this game is the concept of “8 or better” qualifying hands, meaning that any hand with the lowest value qualifies to win. Almost always, the betting structure in razz poker is fixed. Some casinos may provide both pot-limit and no-limit razz games.
Before You Start
Here are a few things to keep in mind before beginning to play razz poker. In razz and other lowball poker variants, aces are counted as 1. In razz, straights and flushes are not valid combinations. The suits are ranked in ascending alphabetical order as follows: club, diamond, heart, and spade.
The worst possible hand in razz is A-2-3-4-5. Instead of blind bets, ante and bring-in wagers are used in razz poker. The King of Spades has the greatest value in razz.
Razz players have the choice to fold, raise, call, check, and wager. The wager refers to the initial amount of chips placed during a betting round. To call is to match an earlier player’s wager, whereas to raise is to increase it.
Fold refers to surrendering and leaving the current razz game. Check refers to neither betting nor folding, and is only permitted when no other player has bet in the current round.
The game of razz begins with a single ante wager that represents a small fraction of the minimum wager. The ante can be 25%, or $0.50, for a $2/4 table with a set betting limit. After all players have placed their ante wagers into the pot, they are each given three cards, two face down and one face up.
Streets Third Street or Bring-Ins | The first round is often referred to as Third Street or Bring-Ins, since each player already has three cards. The exposed card is known as the door card, and the player with the highest door card must initiate the first betting round by placing a “bring-in” wager. Continuing in a clockwise pattern, players may call, raise, or fold. Minimum investment in this round is £2.
Fourth Street | During the initial round of betting, the fourth card, or “Fourth Street,” is dealt face up to each player. The player with the highest (lowest in value for razz) open card must initiate betting in this and subsequent rounds. Razz is a lowball game in which the hand with the lowest value wins. The greatest potential hand in this game is the ace. Active players may either bet or check in this round, with a £2 minimum stake.
Fifth Street | After the fourth street, or the second round of betting, the fifth card is dealt. The fifth street also consists of face-up cards, and participants wager similarly to the fourth street. This is also a betting round, and participants may either check or wager. This round’s betting increment would be £4.
Sixth Street | Following the fifth street, all active players receive a sixth open card, also known as the sixth street. This betting round is similar to the fourth and fifth, but the betting increment is £4 rather than £2.
Seventh Street Yet, this card is handed face-down, and only the player is privy to its identity. This round is known as the river in other poker variations. After the cards have been dealt, there will be a last round of betting that will lead to the showdown.
At the showdown, participants reveal their cards and the winner is selected. The last player to bet or raise must reveal their cards first. The remaining players reveal their cards for examination in a clockwise order. In the event that there is only one player remaining at the river, the beginning position player must reveal their cards first, followed by the other players.
If there is no qualifying hand, the pot is awarded to the lowest feasible hand. If there are two winners, the prize is split evenly between them, as suit ranking is not used to identify the winner.
Out of the Deck
In the case of an eight-player razz table, there may not be enough cards in the deck near the end of the game, especially on the seventh street. If no player has folded, a single face-up seventh card is dealt, and all players must use it as their seventh card.
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