Razz poker is similar to regular stud, with one difference — all the hands will rank opposite. In standard stud, you will get a total of seven cards if you manage to stay until the last round. Here, the case is the same, but you have to remember the ranking system in razz. Razz is a poker game with betting limitations, so you will have two betting limits lower and higher with a 1:2 ratio.
Basic Rules of Razz
Ante and Third Street
There are a total of seven rounds in razz, and they will start with a betting round where you have to pay for the cards that you are going to receive from the dealer. An ante is usually the fifth of the lower-increment bet.
After each player has paid the initial bet, they will get the three cards. Two of those cards are dealt facing down, while the last one is the door card that is exposed for everyone to see. When each player has received three cards, they will have to opt to either pay the bring-in, fold or raise to the full bet in the lower increment.
The best possible hand you can have at this point is an ace, followed by two and three. One of these cards is visible, and you will base the bet around it. If your door card is low, let’s say it’s three, you could try to win the pot even if two of your hidden cards are kings. The reason is that each player will be able to see only your door card.
But if you’re hoping to last to the end of the game, you might need something stronger. Any non-pair card that is eight or lower will increase your chances of winning the round.
Fourth and Fifth Street
In the course of these two rounds, each player will receive one card per round facing up. At this point, you will have five cards, and there is a chance that you’ll already have a winning combination. But fear not, there are still two more rounds before the showdown, where you’ll have the opportunity to create the best possible hand.
“The bicycle” or “the wheel” is the winning combination in the standard game of razz and it is five to the ace combination. Since flushes and straights won’t count against someone’s hand, you could collect ace, followed by 2, 3, 4, and 5, in any suit.
The second best hand is similar to the wheel, the only difference being 6 replacing 5. Interestingly, there is a European version of this game where straights will count. Naturally, this would be the strongest possible hand.
The only difference between the fourth and fifth street is that, from the fifth street forward, you’ll have the option of betting in higher increment.
Sixth and Seventh Street
Sixth street is the same as the previous round. The player will get an additional card, and a betting round will follow. In the seventh street, players will get their last card that will remain hidden until the showdown. This card is also known as the river.
Now, you will have to create the best five-card combination out of seven cards you have. If we don’t count the wheel, you will hope to have any non-pair cards and for them to be as low as possible.
For example, the player with eight as their highest card will win if another player has nine or higher. If the card is the same, you’ll compare the second highest and so on. Any non-pair card will beat pair, and every pair will triumph against three with equal value.
The last part of the game is the showdown where each remaining player will reveal their hand. The one with the strongest hand wins the entire pot. Of course, if two players happen to have the same cards, they will simply split the pot to two equal parts.
The trickiest part of the game is remembering that the lowest hand will bring you a win. Other rules are basically the same as with regular stud. Each of the rounds or streets are followed by bettings where each player will have to choose their next action. Unlike most other games, there is a chance that every street will start with a different player. Furthermore, the player to act is determined by the face-up cards and their combination.
Razz games are still one of the most popular types; Also, it is part of the H.O.R.S.E. mix games with razz being one of the five games available.