October, 2014 - If you want to learn how to play Razz Poker, there's no better time to get in on the action. In the last few years, Razz Poker has become very popular, and continues to gain favor at a rapid pace. From online poker rooms to live casino card rooms, Razz Poker has become a staple in the poker world, especially at Bovada.lv. The Razz poker articles posted on this web site were written by a respected Razz player that has won several major tournaments. This article covers the Razz Poker rules and information on game play. For information on Razz poker strategy please visit some of the articles listed below.
Razz Poker is a reverse mirror of 7 Card Stud. Instead of competing for the traditional highest hand rank, players endeavor to develop the weakest possible hand. Razz is somewhat akin to the Low Hand in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, except that there are no 'qualifying' requirements to win. The lowest hand wins, period.
Razz Poker can be played by 2 to 8 players, needing a single, standard deck of 52 cards.
There are a few distinct rules of hand development that are observed in Razz Poker.
Razz Poker can be played in any betting structure - Fixed Limit, No Limit or Pot Limit. However, all but Fixed Limit forms are very rare, so we'll be detailing a Fixed Limit Razz Poker game in this 'How to play razz Poker guide'. Fixed Limit defines the exact amounts a player may bet or raise at any given time, according to the stakes of the game.
There are 5 betting rounds in Razz Poker. For the first two betting rounds, all bets and raises are made equal to the small bet, doubling to match the high bet in the final three rounds. So, for example, with $2/$4 stakes, players will bet/raise $2 in the first two rounds, then $4 in the final three.
Rather than the standard Blind Bets seen in poker games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha, Razz Poker uses the less traditional Ante and Bring-In bets.
Ante: This is a very small bet placed by every player before receiving cards. The Ante can vary from one card room to another, but is generally 10-25% of the small bet.
Bring-In: After the initial deal, each player has 3 cards - two face down and the third face up, The face up card is called the Door Card. The player with the highest Door Card after the deal is forced to place the Bring-In bet, equal to 50% of the small bet. Note that if two players tie for highest Door Card, highest suit takes precedence. Suits are ranked alphabetically, lowest to highest (Club, Diamond, Heart, Spade).
Now that we've covered all of the rules of Razz, we're going to go one step further to give you a complete understanding of how to play Razz Poker. Below is a walk-through of a hand, including the deal, all streets, showdown and possible problems.
The dealer or dealer position (if live/computer dealer is present) is chosen by high card draw. All players will then place an Ante Bet, followed by the deal. In clockwise fashion, each player is dealt a card until all players have three cards. The first two cards are dealt face down as Hole Cards, then the third face up, called the Door Card.
The player with the highest door card places the Bring-In Bet to start off the first round of betting. Once all players have acted, the game proceeds. Note that the Bring-In bettor will only need to add enough chips to his Bring-In bet to call any subsequent bets in the first betting round.
All active players will use the 7 cards available to them to develop the lowest possible 5-card Razz hand. The lowest hand wins the entire pot.
Since there are only 52 cards, if a full table of 8 players stays active for the duration of a hand, there will not be enough cards to deal the 7th Street (8 x 7 = 56). Though very rare, should this occur, the 7th Street is dealt as a community Card - a single card dealt face up to the center of the table for all players to use as their own 7th Street.
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