Razz Poker | How To Play And Its Tips And Tricks

How to Play Razz Poker

Razz Poker is one of the famous poker games among poker fans. It is a variant of a seven-card stud poker which gained popularity in the 20th century. In simplified poker terms, Razz is a Seven Card Stud Low where the lowest hand wins instead of the highest hand, like in traditional poker. This game for poker fanatics uses a 52-card deck and is played in a group of two to eight players. The main aim of the game is to make the lowest hand possible by utilising five cards out of seven in hand. 

No matter how interesting this game is, it is still difficult to understand for players playing it for the first time. At the same time, players who are expert in it would do anything to know the strategies to win the game. Well, we have both scenarios sorted in this article by giving you a comprehensive guide on how to play Razz Poker, strategies to win the game, game rules and more! 

About Razz Poker

Razz is a poker game offering a traditional twist to the traditional poker game as here players aim to make the weakest hands in spite of the strongest. In Razz Poker, all players are given seven cards, and throughout the game, only the best five-card low hand from all players is taken into consideration to declare the winner. 

In Razz, the ranking of low hands follows the 'Ace to Five' or 'California' system. In this system, the presence of straights and flushes does not affect the hand's value, and Aces are considered low cards. Therefore, the strongest possible hand is called a 'wheel' and consists of the cards 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace. To better understand Razz poker hands ranking, the following list presents sample Razz poker hands ranked from the least powerful (#1, with a low chance of winning the pot) to the most powerful (#12, with the best possible hand).

3, 3, 3, 5, 5

K, K, 4, 3, 2

2, 2, 7, 6, 5

A, A, T, 9, 8

K, Q, J, T, 9

K, Q, J, T, 7

9, 8, 7, 6, 5

9, 7, 6, 5, 3

9, 7, 6, 5, A

6, 5, 4, 3, 2

6, 4, 3, 2, A

5, 4, 3, 2, A

It is important to note that the Razz Poker hand rankings of a low unpaired hand are determined by considering the highest card in hand that proceed downwards. For instance, hand #10 is called a 'Six-low' because its highest card is a Six. Similarly, hand #9 is a 'Nine-low', and hand #5 is a 'King-low'. In poker jargon, the comparison is extended to lower-ranked cards when distinguishing between low-close hands. Therefore, hand #11 would be called a 'Six-Four low', which beats hand #10, known as a 'Six-Five low'.

Also Read: How to play bluff card game

How to Play Razz Poker?

Playing Razz Poker is similar to playing Stud with some key differences. Here is how you can play Razz Poker online without any sigh of confusion:

  • Similar to Stud, the players in Razz Poker are required to make the first bet and determine the value of each player's door card. However, unlike Stud, in Razz, the player holding the door card with the highest value is the one required to bring the initial bet.
  • In the first two rounds of betting (third and fourth street), a smaller bet size, known as the small bet, is utilised. However, starting from the fifth street and continuing onwards, a larger bet size, referred to as the big bet, is used.
  • Before the cards are dealt, each player contributes a portion of the small bet as an ante. In a limit game with a $2/$4 betting structure, such as an example, the typical ante amount is $0.30.
  • Each player is dealt a total of three cards: two hole cards, which are placed face-down, and one door card, which is dealt face-up.
  • The player holding the highest Door Card takes the initiative in the betting by placing the Bring-In, which is typically larger than the ante. Alternatively, the player also has the option to complete the small bet size instead.
  • In cases where multiple players hold the same high card for the Door Card, then the player with the highest suit among them will be the one to Bring in. It's important to note that this suit ranking is only applied for determining the Bring-In and is not used to break ties during the showdown.
  • Aces are always taken as low in Razz poker, which makes a king the highest possible door card in the game.
  • Another round of betting begins with players who are left to bring in. They can call either call the current bet, fold or raise and then the whole betting operates in clockwise order. 
  • Each player receives an additional four cards, and there are rounds of betting in between:
  • Fourth Street- After each player is dealt an additional card face-up, a betting round follows. The player with the lowest value hand shown to everyone acts first, while a player with a hand like A♦-4♠ would act before someone with J♠-9♦. The first player can either bet the small bet size or choose to check unless any player reveals a pair. In that case, any player, including the one with the lowest hand, can raise the stakes by using the big bet size instead.
  • Fifth Street-After receiving an additional card face up, each player participates in another round of betting. Similar to the previous round, the player with the lowest visible hand takes the first action. In this round, the player can either place a larger limit bet or choose to check.
  • Sixth Street- This time again, an additional card is dealt face-up to each player. The player with the lowest hand exposed to everyone must take the first action, which can be either checking or placing a bet of the big bet size.
  • Seventh Street- During Seventh Street, every player receives a final card that remains face down, making three face-down cards and four exposed cards. The player who has the lowest hand visible to all participants takes the lead in the last round of betting, where they are required to either place a bet of the big bet size or choose to check.

Important Things to Remember about Razz Poker

While playing a Razz Poker game, there are some important things that you must remember in order to play and win this modern twist of poker.

  • Aces are always regarded as low.
  • There is no rule that a hand must be '8 or better'.
  • If all the other players at the table choose to fold, leaving only one player remaining, that player is declared the automatic winner of the pot when the hand concludes.
  • Flushes and straights are not countable as playable hands.

Top Tips for Devising your Razz Poker Strategy

Winning Razz Poker requires utilising the best strategies and tricks to turn the cards in your favour. To devise a game-winning Razz Poker strategy, you must follow these tips below:

  • Select your initial hands strategically 

In Razz Poker, any initial hands with a set of three cards to the wheel are regarded as the strong set to kickstart the game. But It is important to note that in order to complete a "wheel" hand, two more cards need to be drawn, so it may not always be necessary to continue betting until the very end of the hand. Therefore, starting hands with 7-low or better are taken as strong, while 8-low hands are taken as just 'good' starting hands. 

  • Grab Antes and Blinds

When you have the lowest visible cards and the action has been folded to you, then it is advised to raise! Generally, in Razz Poker, stealing antes and blinds is considered important. If your door card is an A, 2 or 3 (and your opponents have higher cards), there is a favourable possibility of intimidating them into folding their hands.

  • Always attack checks

If your opponent happens to have low-exposed cards but has chosen to check, then it indicates that their hidden cards are concerning them. In such a situation, if your own visible cards appear low, it may be a good opportunity to attempt to claim the pot immediately. However, if you are check-raised by your opponent, it provides valuable information as well.

Play Razz Poker Like Never Before in First Games!

Now that you are well-versed in how Razz Poker works, make sure to play it exclusively on First Games Poker. First Games is the leading gaming platform that has something for all poker fans! From traditional poker to Razz poker, you will get to experience a multitude of fantasy sports and rummy games for free! 

Download first games poker app now and take your online poker experience to the next level. The platform allows you to try the famous variants of its fantasy sports and rummy games and promises you a phenomenal gaming experience! Utilise all the strategies and tips and play Razz Poker like a pro!

FAQ’s

  • What is the best hand in Razz Poker? Arrow
    The best possible hand in Razz Poker is 5-4-3-2-A or five high, which is also called the 'wheel'.
  • Who goes first in Razz Poker? Arrow
    The player that displays the highest-ranking hand goes first in Razz Poker.
  • What is the goal of Razz Poker? Arrow
    The goal of Razz Poker is to make the lowest hand possible, unlike traditional poker.
  • How many cards are dealt in Razz Poker? Arrow
    In Razz Poker, every player receives a total of seven cards. Three of them are dealt face down (hole cards), and four are dealt face up (exposed cards).
  • Is there a limit to the number of betting rounds in Razz Poker? Arrow
    No, there is no limit to the number of betting rounds in Razz Poker. It solely depends on the players and the prevailing scenario of the game.

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