Razz (7 Card Stud Low) is one of the forms of poker that has been around for a long time. It is not nearly as popular as Texas Holdem, or Omaha but it is certainly worth learning. In this page we will try to lay out razz rules as simple as possible:
Razz, is a 7 card stud low game. It means that it is played like 7 card stud, however the lowest wins. Straight, flushes and such don’t matter anymore, however they don’t hurt either.
In this game every player gets 7 cards where they only use 5 cards as their final hand. Also unlike Texas Holdem, there are no flops or community cards.
Razz Rules Basics
Objective: To make the best five card low hand, using any combination of the 7 cards a player is dealt. Aces are always low and as mentioned above, straights and flushes do not have any effect on the low value of a hand.
Razz is dealt just like 7 card stud. Following is a brief overview of dealing cards and action in Razz:
- Ante: Every player must ante up before the hand begins (before the cards are dealt). Ante is approximately 1/5 of the low limit bet size. Also, the ante does not count toward any future bets or calls.
- Dealing Cards: Three cards are dealt to each player. Two face down and one face up.
- Bring in: One player (the player with the highest card showing) has to make the first bet. This is called “bringing in” and it is mandatory.
- If there are two or more players with the same high card (suit doesn’t matter), the player closest to the dealer has to bring it in.
- The player with the highest card has to bring in a bet 1/5 of the low limit bet size in the pot.
- This does count toward the betting and calling in the game. So if you don’t get raised, you don’t have to place any more bets in the pot.
Betting Rounds: There are 5 betting rounds in this game.
- In the first two rounds the bets are equal to the low limit bet size.
- In the last 3 rounds the bets are equal to the high limit bet size.
- For example in a $3/$6 Limit game, during the first 3 betting rounds, the bets are $3 and during the last 3 rounds the bets are $6.
- A maximum of 3 raises are allowed per each betting round.
- All bets and raises are done clockwise around the table.
The first betting round: is after players get their first 3 cards. That is two face down and one face up. All bets and raises are in small bet amount.
Second, third betting rounds: 3 more cards will be dealt face up to players (one at each round) and there is a betting round after each card is dealt. All bets are still in small bet amount.
Fourth betting round: One more card is dealt face up to each player. There is a betting round just like the previous ones after the card is dealt. However, the bets are in large amount this time.
Fifth betting round: The last card is dealt to players face down. Then, there is the final betting round.
Showdown: Anyone who has not folded until after the last betting round will have to show their cards to win the pot. Usually, the person who made the last bet has to show his hand first and it proceeds clockwise from him. The person with the lowest hand wins (See Hand Evaluation below)
Razz Hand Evaluation
As mentioned above, in Razz the lowest hand wins. It is similar to the low in Omaha High/Low. However, there are no requirements for a low hand. In other words, a low hand can be 2-8-9-10-Q. It doesn’t happen often that someone would win with that hand, but it is still qualified for one.
In a Razz game to evaluate the lowest hand, one must look at the highest card in each player hand (keep in mind every player gets to only play 5 cards from his hand and can not contain a pair). The player with the lowest high card wins. So 5-6-9-10 is better than 1-2-3-5-Q
Following are the top 5 hands in Razz: (suits do not matter)
Where to play Razz
Fulltilt and PokerStars are some of the online websites offering the game. There are not that many full table games of Razz (if any at all) in Las Vegas. However, there are mixed games (mostly high limit) that Razz is one of the games.