Razz Rules

Razz poker game is similar with 7 card Stud with few differences. For a good understanding of this type of poker we will describe detailed the rules even if this kind of poker game is very very similar with 7 Card Stud. See also the 7 Card Stud rules.

Razz is usually played by four or eight players. In contrast with Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker games, Razz has only a fixed limit structure. Also Razz hasn’t community cards. Each player receive 7 cards in a session of the game: three down cards (face down) and four open cards (face up). What is different from 7 Card Stud is that the player with the lowest hand is the winner.  So the player with the lowest hand win the entire pot of a hand. Razz has five betting rounds which are also known as streets, from 3rd street to 7th street.

Starting the game

Each player from the table must put an ante in the pot before the game can start. The value of the ante depends on the limits from that table. Usually the ante value represent 1/3 of the small bet. The dealer deals out 3 cards to each player starting from his left  in this way: two face down cards and one face up card.

First betting round – 3rd street

Now the player with the highest up card must begin the betting round with a “bring in”. In our case the player with queen of diamond will put the “bring in” The "bring in" is a bet equal to around 1/3 to 1/2 of the smallest bet. If there are many players with the same highest up card then suits are used to determine who will place the “bring in”. Clubs is the strongest, then diamonds, hearts and then last are spades. Aces are the lowests cards in Razz. In this case king card is the highest card. So the king of clubs is the strongest card.

Next, the player from the left of “bring in” has the option to fold (lay down his cards and take no further  action), call (put in the pot the amount equal to the “bring on”) or complete (take the “bring in” value up to the value of the small bet).  The next player has the option to raise (put in the pot an extra small bet in addition to the previous bet) instead of complete.

The betting round is finished when all players have matched the current bet or folded. There is a rule that say that only 3 raises can be done on any betting round.

Razz 3rd street example

Second betting round – 4th street

When the previous betting round is finished another card is dealt face up to each player. The betting round is started by the player with the lowest hand. The maximum bet that he can make is the lower limit. This player has the option to check or bet. Play continues in a clockwise until all players have matched the required bet or folded.

Razz 4th street example

Third betting round – 5th street

Each player receive another face up card an there is another betting round. The minimum bet at this stage is the value of the higher limit. Also the betting round is started by the player with lowest hand. Play continues in a clockwise until all players have matched the required bet or folded.

Razz 5th street example

Fourth betting round – 6th street

Each player receive another face up card an there is another betting round. The minimum bet at this stage is the value of the higher limit. Also the betting round is started by the player with lowest hand. Play continues in a clockwise until all players have matched the required bet or folded.

Razz 6th street example

Five betting round – 7th street

In the last round of betting the dealer gives to all remaining players one final card face down. Each player should have now 7 cards: first two down cards, the next four up cards and the last card face down. The betting round is started by the player with the lowest hand. Play continues in a clockwise until all players have matched the required bet or folded.

Razz 7th street example

Showdown

When the last betting round is finished there is a showdown. Each player can use any combination of their seven cards in his hand to make the lowest possible five card combination. If two or more players has the same valued hand then the pot is splited up in equal parts.  In our example the winner is Player 1 Ace (clubs), 2, 4 (hearts), 8,9.

Razz showdown example

How to evaluate a hand:

- the worst hand won the pot.

- the lowest hand that you can made is the lowest straight : A,2,3,4,5.

- if a player has two pairs or three of a kind or anything else, if he has the lowest hand on the table then he is the winner.

- hands are evaluated from the highest card down in this case this hand: A,2,5,6,9, is worst than 2,4,5,6,7.

- if two players have the same winning hand then the pot is splited between them. Suits are not used to evaluating the winning hand.

 

As a conclusion the major differences between Razz and 7 Card Stud poker games are in the rules of the following factors:

1. How to decide the winning hand (the lowest hand)

2. The player who must "bring in" at the start of the first betting round (player with the highest card)

3. The player who must start the action on any given street (player with the worst hand).