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How to Play Razz Poker – Rules and Strategy

Razz PokerRazz poker also known as 7-card stud low is a lowball poker variation. For some time, this stud poker game was limited to people’s backyards but now you can play online. If you’re not yet familiar with how the game works, we will be explaining how to play it. We will also list the poker hands hierarchy for this game. Additionally, we have listed the best online poker sites where you can enjoy a real money razz poker game online.

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What is Razz Poker?

Razz Poker is a “low” poker game.What this means is you win by having the lowest possible hand. The  hand hierarchy is inverted for razz poker games. Therefore, the best hand is five high hand that is a 5-4-3-2-A hand. Card suits are not of importance in 7-card stud low poker.

Razz Poker Online

Razz Poker Rules

  • Razz poker is a lowball poker game meaning the rank of the poker hands is inverted. Therefore, the highest-ranking hand is 5 4 3 2 A.
  • Straights and flushes do not count in razz poker; therefore, card suits are completely disregarded in what makes the best hand.
  • The dealer button moves after each round to the player on the left in a clockwise motion.
  • All Razz poker games have a fixed limit betting structure. That is the first rounds are played with a fixed smaller bet while the last rounds are played with the larger fixed-bet which is usually double the smaller bet.
  • Each player has to put in an ante before the game starts.
  • Three initial cards are given to each player two-hole cards and one exposed.
  • The player with the worst exposed card makes the first mov. The worst cards in razz poker are the face cards which in other standard poker games are the best or highest-ranking cards.
  • Because it’s a fixed limit game, players can only raise or call within the limits after the first play is made.
  • If the first player makes a move with just the minimum bring in then the next player has the option to call and place the same as the bring in or raise it to the lower bet in the fixed betting limit structure.

Hand Hierarchy in Razz Poker

The winning hand in razz poker is a 5-high hand. Straights and flusshes are irrelevant. Other hands are ranked from the highest value hand and counted backwards. The lowest consecutive high to low hand is the next best hand. Suits are irrelevant unless it’s a tiebreaker at the bring-in.

5-4-3-2-A

6-5-4-3-2

7-6-5-4-3

If there are two hands with four similar cards in consecutive order as in the example below, which hand wins?

9-5-4-3-2 Or 7-5-4-3-2

The 7-5-4-3-2 hand wins because the highest card in the hand 7, is lower than 9. The highest card in the hand should be the lowest out of all hands to win.

How to Bet in Razz Poker

Each player begins the game with an ante which is the compulsory bet to participate in the game. Three cards are handed out to each player two face down and one face up. The game plays out in six rounds, five with active betting and the final show down.

First Round of Betting – Third Street

  • This first round of betting is known as the third street because each player has three cards. The player with the lowest ranking card in this case the face cards are the lowest-ranking cards makes the first play. The next player can call, that is to match the previous bet made or raise to the lower fixed limit bet.

Second Round of Betting – Fourth Street

  • In the next round fourth Street, an additional card is given to each player and now each player has two exposed cards into hidden cards.
  • The player with the best two hand combination of exposed cards makes the first bet in this round. Again, this is a lowball poker game so what you would generally consider to be a band hand is the best pair.
  • In 4th Street the raises are made in increments of the smaller bets in the fixed-limit bearing structure. Let’s illustrate with an example:

If the game is a $2 $4 limit game it means that in 4th set erase will be made in increments of $2. If the previous player made a $4 bet and you like to raise your next bet should be $6.

Fifth and Sixth Street

  • Two more rounds follow where players are given each two more face up cards. In these two following rounds the higher debt limit is used period and raises are made in increments of that high bet. Going back to example if the player before you makes a $6 bet and you would like to raise you can only raise by $4 each which means your place a bet of $10 and the next player after you can only raise by $4 and so on until the final round which is known as the seventh street.

Seventh Street

In 7th Street each player gets the final card face down. The players still in the game now use those seven cards to form their best five-card poker hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

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