How to play?
Razz is thought to be one of the craziest poker games out there but if you know how to play Razz then it can be a lot of fun. Really Razz poker is just a 7 card stud hi/lo game. Razz is considered to be extremely volatile and is therefore normally played as a limit game. No limit Razz games do take place online but you better be ready for some serious swings if your planning on playing in them! The lowest or worst hand always wins at showdown when playing Razz.
Aces are considered to be low cards in Razz and unlike most other poker games flushes and straights don’t actually mean anything. When playing Razz your number 1 aim is always to make the lowest hand you possibly can. You read your hand from highest to lowest so the nuts is 5 4 3 2 A, which you will usually hear players refer to as the wheel.
Like many poker games Razz is played with an ante. This means all players at the table and dealt into the hand must place a forced bet before the cards are dealt. Razz becomes a bit more complicated when the betting rounds begin. Basically there are 5 rounds of betting and two different betting limits. The opening two rounds of betting are always limited to using the low bet amount. During the next three rounds the betting limits are raised based on what stakes your playing.
When the game starts each player is given three cards. Two face down and one face up for the rest of the table to see. At this point the player with the highest value card on show is forced to bring in the action. This player must then make another small forced bet to get the game going. If players have the same value card showing then suits are used to determine which player must bring in the action. From highest to lowest the suits are spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
Play then moves around the table in a clockwise direction from the player who was forced to bring in the action.
Once the first round of betting is over players who are still left in the hand are dealt another card. This is another face up card so the whole table can see. At this point you have 2 cards face down and 2 cards face up. The next betting round then starts with the player who has the lowest hand showing with A 2 being the lowest possible and K K the highest. Play again goes round the table in a clockwise direction.
Anyone who remains in the game is then dealt another card face up for the table to see. During this round of betting the max bet amount doubles. Again the player showing the lowest hand at this stage starts the action and play moves around the table in a clockwise direction.
Now the remaining players are dealt one more card which is again face up to the table. The play continues exactly the same as it did in the previous round.
The last round of betting now commences with the seventh and final card being dealt dace down. The lowest hand again starts the action and once betting is over a showdown occurs. Remember you are trying to make the lowest possible hand so A 2 3 4 5 is the stone cold nuts!