Razz Poker Rules
Razz poker is a seven-card game where the weakest hand wins. It is a great poker format, but even the best poker players in the world find it frustrating at times, as it’s a very strategic game.
Each player is dealt 7 cards, 5 of which should be the lowest ones since they will be considered as winning in this game. In contrast to a traditional card ranking, a combination with unsuited cards of A-2-3-4-5 is considered the best hand in razz poker rules.
This format has its own characteristics that distinguish it from other types of poker. In this article we will talk about the basic rules of the game and combinations of this discipline.
Basic Razz Poker Rules
There are a large number of different types of poker that you can play. If it suddenly happens that you got bored with Texas Holdem, Short deck poker and Omaha, you can move on to more exotic disciplines.
The main difference between Poker Razz and Texas Holdem is that there are only pocket cards, and there are no community cards on the board. Each poker player receives 7 pocket cards: some of them are open, and others are closed. So razz is a type of 7 Card Stud poker discipline in which the player with the weakest combination wins.
The main task is to collect the most successful combination of five cards. The poker player with the lowest low-combination made up of five cards wins.
Before starting the game, you should learn the razz rules. Here are the main ones:
- The pot is formed from the mandatory ante. Each new hand begins with an ante.
- This is a limit discipline, so the amount of bets is limited during the game. Preflop and flop raises are allowed with a step equal to the BB, on the turn and river the step is doubled. Up to 4 bets can be placed in each round of betting.
- The first round of betting is called third street because each player receives exactly three cards.
- Bring-in is a mandatory contribution made by the participant with the weakest open card. The seniority of suits plays a role in the following hierarchy: spades>hearts>diamonds>clubs.
- Poker players take turns clockwise. All participants decide on their own whether to fold, call or raise.
- Fourth street is called a round in which the fourth card (open) is dealt. The poker player with the most profitable set of cards gets the first move.
- Players get another card on 5th and 6th street.
- On 7th street, the last card is dealt. After the last betting round, the showdown begins.
If all 8 poker players have reached the last street, there will not be enough cards in the deck for everyone. Therefore, one common card is used on the board.
Combinations in Poker Razz
There is an important question: What is the ranking of the Razz hands? When playing razz, you will often hear the term “low”. This combination represents a hand of 5 cards. To understand the ranking, we will give examples of combinations in ascending order.
The first combination is the weakest, and the last one is the strongest:
- 3, 3, 3, 5, 5
- K, K, 4, 3, 2
- 2, 2, 7, 6, 5
- A, A, T, 9, 8
- K, Q, J, T, 9
- K, Q, J, T, 7
- 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
- 9, 7, 6, 5, 3
- 9, 7, 6, 5, A
- 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
- 6, 4, 3, 2, A
- 5, 4, 3, 2, A
The seniority of combinations is determined from the highest card to the lowest. The 10th combination is called “six low”, since the highest card in it is a six. Similarly, the ninth combo is a “nine low” and the fifth is a “king low”.
So how to play razz poker? To determine the winner of the hand, you need to compare the highest low card of each participant. An example of determining the winner:
- A-3-4-5-8. The player has 8-low, he wins.
- 3-5-7-8-9. The player has a 9-low, he loses.
If the players' highest cards match in rank, the next one is compared. Participants split the pot in half if they could not find different cards.
Any cards that are repeated can only be counted once. With them there is a big risk of being left without a low hand.
For example, a player has 7 cards: K-K-K-6-6-J-2. Kings and sixes are repeated, so it is possible to make a combination of only four cards.
Strategy Tips for Beginners
If you have a goal to achieve serious success in razz poker, you need to be prepared for the fact that this will not be easy (the discipline is more difficult than 3 card poker). Also, it will not be superfluous to track the behavior of your opponents, their tells and be able to quickly calculate potential combinations of opponents.
Examine your cards and your opponents' open cards before the first round of betting.
Check if your opponents have cards that match yours. If there are, then your advantage increases.
Remember the cards that the players throw off during the deal.
With good cards, don't get too confident and don't bet too big. This can frighten off opponents, and you will not earn anything in this hand.
It can’t be guaranteed but any combination of unsuited cards lower than seven (7 inclusively), which don’t include pairs, is considered to be a good starting hand. Look at the opponent’s cards that are visible to you. If you see that many cards are lower than yours, then make a fold. If your cards are lower but they are not perfect, then remember that you can still improve it.
Where to play poker razz
Learning all razz poker rules is too little for future victories. To become a real professional, you need to feel the progress of the game. This comes with experience, so try to play more often to get it.
In some poker rooms you can play razz for play money. To do this, in the client lobby, you need to switch from real to play money.For example, at PokerStars you can participate in razz tournaments for free, without risking your bankroll. Keep in mind that this is a limit discipline, and there is no way to make too big raises to frighten off opponents.
Razz is a rather unusual poker discipline that not every poker player chooses. You have a great chance to become one of the best at it, since far fewer people play this type of poker than Texas Holdem.
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💡 What wins in Razz?
To win in this discipline, you need to collect the best five-card low combination. The strongest combination is considered to be 5, 4, 3, 2, A. Also, to win, you can force all other participants to fold their cards. The player can then take the pot without a showdown.
🎯 How do you play Razz poker?
To play razz, a usual deck of 52 cards without jokers is used. The game is played with an ante, each player receives three cards at the beginning. Then there are several rounds of betting and more cards are dealt. At showdown, the best low combination wins. The game process and combinations are described in more detail in our material.
🎲 Is Razz a poker game?
Yes, this is one of the popular types of poker. This format is played both online and offline. This is a poker variant where you need to collect five-card low combinations to win.
💎 Do straights and flushes count in Razz?
No, these combinations do not matter when determining the winner in Razz poker. Here the main thing is to collect a low combination that will be stronger than a similar hand from opponents. The suits only matter in determining which player should bet a bring-in.