Those of you that are fully up to speed with the rules of Seven Card Stud will have a slight advantage here as Razz is essentially the same game but played with low hands rather than the more common high. What we mean by that is that aces are low in this game, and the lowest hand wins the pot. Other than that, the fundamentals are pretty much the same.
Of course, do not worry if you are unfamiliar with Seven Card Stud. We are merely highlighting that the only difference in rules between the two variants is in how hand strength is determined because in Seven Card Stud, the highest five-card hand wins.
Each player is dealt three cards, two face down that only they can see, plus another card face up and fully visible for everyone else at the table to see. As is common in poker, your two face-down cards are known as hole cards while the fully visible card is called a door card.
In Razz, the player that is showing the door card with the highest rank must post the first bet. This is known as the bring-in. They can, if they so choose, instead place a full-sized bet further into the hand.
Obviously, there is a strong possibility that players could show the same raking suits. In such cases, the order of suits determines the door. Suits ranking from the highest to the lowest order of spade, heart, diamond, and club.
Because aces are low in this game, the king becomes the highest card in play. Thus, it is the worst door card to hold because it will force you to pay about 1/3 of or 1/2 of the regular bet size. From there, the rest of the players can either call the bet or raise to a full-sized bet.
When each player has made their move, each of them receives another card facing up, referred to as Fourth Street. Again, the player that acts first is the person with the worst up card, i.e., strongest, thus the lowest.
This player may either check or bet. If they choose to bet, this is usually a minimal amount before another round of betting takes place.
As soon as this latest betting has been concluded, Fifth Street takes place. It works exactly the same as the last round only now the bet size doubles for the remainder of the hand. Play continues in the same way until the seventh and final street is dealt. The player that went first after Sixth Street will again go first after Seventh Street.
If there are multiple players left in the game after Seventh Street, the most recent bettor reveals their cards first. It is possible that there was no bet in the last round.
In that case, the player in the earliest seat along reveals their hand first followed, in clockwise order, by the rest of the players still in the hand. The player with the best five-card Ace through five low hand wins the pot.
Importantly, there is no qualifier in Razz, so the best low hand wins the entire pot. In the case of a tie, unlike with the starting bring-in bet, suits are not used to determine a winner, and the pot is split equally.
The only Razz hands that typically win are no pair hands with low numerical cards in them. In Razz, the highest valued card in each final five-card hand is used to determine which hand wins.
This is a poker game in which straights and flushes have no ranking. So, the best possible hand is five, four, three, two, Ace. Even suited, it will not lose to a hand holding as little as one pair. This is since suits are almost meaningless in Razz, save for their decisiveness in bring-in tie breakers.
Top Five Razz Poker Hand Rankings
|1.||Ace, Two, Three, Four and Five|
|2.||Ace, Two, Three, Four and Six|
|3.||Ace, Two, Three, Five and Six|
|4.||Ace, Two, Four, Five and Six|
|5.||Ace, Three, Four, Five and Six|
Remember that you can see one card from the hand of each other player and if it's one you are already holding or one that is high, that is a good thing for you. The best hand we could hope for in our first three dealt is Ace, two and three, although any that are lower than five, including the lower value ace, are useful.
It is also worth – most of the time, at least – raising if you are the door card holder at the bring-in, even if your hole cards are not great. This is because players with higher door cards will often fold, while others might show a tell.
While Razz might well be the most popular form of low ball poker, it still isn't as commonly found online as some of its more established poker game cousins. When you do happen across an online poker room offering Razz, try to play some free to play Razz games to get the hang of things as well as a feel for the game.
Also, one of the most important factors for you to consider when you are deciding where you play Razz poker online is safety. It really cannot be understated how imperative this point is.
Always play at a site that has been licensed by an official regulatory body and employs the latest in online encryption technology. After all, you will need to enter important and sensitive data, including potential financial information, into their systems if you want to play for real money.
Yes, you can play Razz at some rooms for no cost.
Razz takes a little getting used to, but overall it is easy to understand, especially if you have experience playing stud poker.
Aces are lower in this game.
Because it is a low ball version of poker where the poorest hand wins. In such games, Aces are typically devalued, and games run Ace through five low.
Of course, just make sure you play at a recommended site.
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