Learn How To Play Razz
Razz is a popular variant of 7 Card Stud. The game looks very similar to 7 Card Stud, but the objective is to make the lowest possible hand. Razz is usually played with a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 8 players, and the purpose of the game is to make the best five-card hand out of seven cards. Let’s take a look at the exact rules and basic strategies for playing this poker variant.
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Rules For Playing Razz
Before the game of Razz begins, all players must contribute a small amount to the pot at the beginning of each hand called ante. The amount of the ante varies but usually around 10% the size of the lower betting limit. For instance, in a game with limits of $1/$2, the ante would be $0.15.
After the ante, each player is dealt with three cards — one face up and two hidden hole cards. In Razz, the player that has the highest exposed card starts the action and makes a bet. Other players may choose to bet or fold, and the action proceeds in a clockwise direction.
In the fourth street, each player gets another card that is dealt face up. Now, a player with the lowest hand showing starts this betting round. By rule, the first player to act may check, bet, or fold. Betting proceeds clockwise around the table.
The fifth street is the same as the previous street. The remaining players receive another exposed card, and the player who has the lowest hand showing starts a betting round. This betting round is played in the same manner, as the fourth street except all bets must now be made in increments.
As in the previous streets, each player receives another exposed card, and the player who has the lowest hand showing starts a betting round. Note that the minimum bet increments increase with each street.
Seventh Street (The River)
The remaining players receive the final card that is dealt face down. The first person to start is the player whose cards have the lowest hand showing. There is a final betting round if more than one player remains.
Should there be more than one player left after the final betting round, then the players may now flip over their cards. The player who has the lowest five-card hand wins the pot. Where two players have identical hands, they would share the pot.
Player Betting Options
The available actions in Razz are ‘bet,’ ‘fold,’ ‘check,’ ‘raise,’ or ‘call.’ The action taken by the previous players will determine the options available. If no player has yet made a bet, then a player may either check or bet. If a player has made a bet, then the next players can call, raise, or fold. To call is to match the bet amount of the previous player. To raise is to match the last bet player amount, as well as increase it.