Razz: The Definitive Guide

Razz Poker

Razz is a form of stud poker known for its unique objective of making the lowest possible hand. This guide explores Razz in depth, from its historical background to the specific rules that define the game.

The Rules of Razz

Razz is similar to 7 Card Stud but with a major twist: the lowest hand wins. The game usually involves up to 8 players.

The Setup

Like 7 Card Stud, Razz involves an ante instead of blinds.

Dealing the Cards

Players are dealt seven cards in total, but the goal is to make the best five-card low hand. The game proceeds through several betting rounds with a mix of face-up and face-down cards.

Betting Rounds

Razz includes multiple betting rounds:

  1. Third Street: Initial betting round after dealing three cards.
  2. Fourth Street to Seventh Street: Additional cards are dealt with betting rounds following each.

The Showdown

The player with the lowest five-card hand wins the pot at the showdown.

Origins of Razz

Razz became popular in the early 20th century and is a variant of Stud Poker. It gained more popularity with its inclusion in the World Series of Poker.

Where Razz is Played

Razz is commonly found in larger poker tournaments and is available in many online poker rooms. It’s particularly popular among players who enjoy a different kind of challenge from traditional high-hand poker games.

Specific Tips for Razz

  1. Hand Selection: Focus on starting hands that have the potential to make low hands.
  2. Remember Folded Cards: Tracking folded cards is crucial in Razz to assess your hand’s strength.
  3. Bluffing: Effective in certain situations, but should be used judiciously.
  4. Patience is Key: Razz games can involve a lot of folding and waiting for optimal hands.

Glossary of Razz Terms

  • Ante: The initial, small bet all players make before a hand.
  • Low Hand: In Razz, the best hand is the lowest hand possible.
  • Bring-In: A forced bet made by the player with the highest face-up card in the initial rounds.
  • Ace to Five Low: Aces are low in Razz, and straights/flushes don’t count against the low hand.