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Razz Poker Rules

Razz Poker Rules
2009/09/28

Razz Poker

Razz had recently became a very popular variations of poker among the high stakes players especially after the 2004 World Series of Poker. It is a rather simple game to learn, however, a very interesting one. There are five betting rounds in Razz poker including the antes and the game is played by up to eight players. Each of the participants starting with the one on the dealer's left receives two hole cards being dealt face-down along with four open ones and the last card (the River) also being dealt face-down to every player at the table.

Razz poker is very similar to 7 Card Stud with the only difference being that in Razz the lowest hand wins the game. The aces are considered to be the lowest card in Razz, therefore the best-possible hand is A-2-3-4-5 (a.k.a. the “wheel”) followed by A-2-3-4-6 and so on. Straights and flushed have no influence on the strength of the hand. Just like in Seven Card Stud poker the best five-card combination determines the winner of the game. However, unlike in the 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo or Omaha Hi-Lo, in Razz the “8 or better” rule is absent.

First Betting Round (Preflop)

When all of the players have posted their antes they each receive three cards – one face-up and two face-down. The betting round begins with the compulsory bring-in bet made by the player with the highest open card. They may also make a full bet (bring-in consists of only 1/3 of a full bet) if they want. Should there be two equally high open cards, the bring-in is determined  according to the suit. The player with the higher suit posts the bring-in. The suit strength in Razz poker is the same as in the most poker games: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. Therefore if the King of Spades and the King of Clubs both come as the open cards and appear to be the highest, the King of Spades posts the bring-in. The following bets are made by all of the players at the table clockwise finishing with the one who had posted the first bet. During this round every player can either fold, call or make a raise. In an online game of $15-$30 Limit Razz the bring-in would be $5, the full bet - $15 and as much as three raises can be made preflop.

Round 1

X X 3d

The Second Round (Fourth Street)

Each of the players receive one open card. The weakest hand begins the betting with a check, bring-in or the full bet. Should they check, the next player has all the same options. Again as much as three raises on the first bet are allowed during the round.

Round 2

X X 3d 8d

The Third Round (Fifth Street)

Every player receives one more face-up card. The same betting structure as in the second round follows with the exception of bring-in being raised to $15 and the full bet to $30. Three raises equal to full bet are allowed during the betting round.

Round 3

X X 3d 8d as

The Fourth Round (Sixth Street)

All of the remaining players receive another open card. The betting round similar to the one on the Fifth Street takes place.

Round 4

X X 3d 8d as 6h

The Fifth Round (River)

The seventh and the last card is dealt to each player at the table face-down. The betting takes place in the same way as it did in the previous round.

Round 5

X X 3d 8d as 6h X

The Showdown

Those who have remained in the game now have to show two of their closed cards starting with either the one who had made the bet or the final raiser. The lowest five-card combination wins the game. Should two players have the same best combination, the pot is split between them equally.

Razz poker hands from the weakest (#1 is the least likely to collect the pot and should be folded) to the strongest (#12 is the best-possible hand):

1. 3, 3, 3, 5, 5
2. K, K, 4, 3, 2
3. 2, 2, 7, 6, 5
4. A, A, T, 9, 8
5. K, Q, J, T, 9
6. K, Q, J, T, 7
7. 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
8. 9, 7, 6, 5, 3
9. 9, 7, 6, 5, A
10. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
11. 6, 4, 3, 2, A
12. 5, 4, 3, 2, A

Players who are already familiar with Stud poker should have no difficulties learning Razz as it is one of the easiest poker games. The only thing that might seem a little bit complicated is that very often the whole combinations and sets have to be folded.

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