If you have ever played seven card stud poker then you know it can be a fun yet complicated game. Seven card stud poker games require a high degree of concentration and good memorization skills in order to be successful. If you like seven card stud but are looking for something different, you may want to try Razz Poker. Razz poker is a seven card stud variant that focuses exclusively on a low hand. That means rather than trying to make a hand like a flush or a straight, you are trying to make the best five card low hand. Razz poker is the most misunderstood game in H.O.R.S.E poker. This article covers the rules of Razz poker. if you are looking for Razz tips check out this Razz strategy article. Listed below is a complete list of mixed games that include Razz poker.
What is a low hand?
A low hand is any five cards all of different rank, including the ace which is the lowest card in the game. In a low hand, things like suit do not matter, nor does it matter if they are connected. The object is to simply get the five lowest ranking cards in your hand. Listed below are the five best hands in razz so that you can better visualize just what a good low hand is:
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The easiest way to figure out which player has the best low hand is to arrange the cards in order from lowest to highest, and then read them off like a five digit number. So taking from the above five hands, A2345 would read “twelve thousand three hundred and forty five” while A2456 would read “twelve thousand four hundred and fifty six”. Right away you can see that the first hand is the lower and ultimately better hand. Once you play a few hands you will quickly be able to figure out which low hands are better than others.
Set up, deal and third street
Razz poker is usually played for antes and the bets are in a structured limit. We will focus on an example game that has betting limits of $5/$10 and has an ante of one dollar. Players begin by placing an ante in the pot, once all players have placed the ante, the dealer gives each player two cards face down and one card face up. The player with the highest up card is then forced to make a bring in bet. This is not optional and the player must make the bet. Usually the bring in bet is larger than the ante but less than the small bet. Once the bring in bet has been made, players will either need to call the bring in bet, fold or raise to stay in the hand. Once all players have made their decisions, play continues on to fourth street
On fourth street the dealer gives each player another face up card and play commences. On fourth street, the player with the lowest hand showing goes first and then play continues in a clockwise motion from that player. Betting during fourth street is at the lower level, so in this game it would be $5. Once all players have made a decisions, the game moves onto fifth street.
Play on fifth street is identical to fourth street. The dealer gives each player another face up card and the betting continues at the $5 level. Once all players have acted, the game moves onto sixth street
During sixth street play the dealer gives each player one final face up card. Like usual, play begins with the player who has the lowest hand showing. During sixth street play, the betting increases, so in this example game all betting and raising would now be at the $10 level. Once all players have acted, the final round, called the river begins.
River and showdown
On the last round, the dealer gives each player one last card that is face down. Play will begin with whoever has the lowest hand showing and like sixth street, all bets and raises are in at the $10 level. Once all players have had a chance to act, there is a showdown to determine the best hand. The last player to bet or raise is required to show their hand first. If other players feel they can beat the hand, they may then reveal their hands as well. If a challenging player cannot beat the hand however, they may much the hand to the dealer. The dealer then gives the pot to the player with the best low hand.