Razz can be a complicated game to a beginner. There is a lot to pay attention to. Some cards are dealt up, some are dealt down and figuring out what the winning razz hands are can be confusing. But don’t worry — this page will clear that up for you.
Note: If you already know how to play 7-card stud then razz will be easy enough for you to pick up. The game play and rules are the opposite.
A Hand of Razz
Here is an example hand of razz so that you can see what it looks like from start to finish.
3rd street is actually the beginning of the hand. Before the cards are dealt each player will post an ante. Antes are kind of like blinds, except that each player posts them and they’re smaller. They’re usually 10% of the big bet. In a 1/2 game the ante would be .20.
Once the antes have been posted each player will be dealt 3 cards. The first two cards are dealt faced down, and the third card is dealt face up. The face up card is also known as the door card.
The next step is to post the bring in. The player to post this will be the player who has the highest (door) card showing. If two or more players share the same door card then the tie will be broken by suit (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs). The bring in is about half the small bet. In a 1/2 game the bring in would be .50.
That player (the bring in) will be the first to act. He can complete to the small bet or raise. Each player moving clockwise around the table will have the option to raise, call or fold, depending on the action in front of them. Only the small bet will be used during this round.
On 4th street another card is dealt to each player. This card is dealt face up.
Once each player is dealt their 4th card another betting round begins. The betting action begins with the player who has the best razz hand showing. The small bet is used during this round. Each player can bet, raise, call or fold.
5th street is identical to 4th street. The betting action starts with the player who has the best razz hand showing.
The only difference during this round is that the big bet is used instead.
6th street is identical to 5th street.
7th street is identical to 6th street. The exception is that the last card is dealt faced down.
Once the betting action is finished then there will be a showdown. Players will flip over their hand and the player with the best low hand will win the pot. In the case of a tie players will split the pot.
Razz Poker Rules
There are a few rules to be aware:
- Razz poker uses the fixed betting format.
- Betting is capped at one bet and 3 raises per round.
- Raises must be in the small or big bet.
Fixed betting can be confusing at first. But once you play a few hands you’ll get it.
What Hands Win in Razz Poker
The most confusing aspect of razz is determining what hands win.
The best hands are the lowest hands. The best razz hand is a wheel: A-2-3-4-5. Flushes and straights do not affect the value of a hand. The top 10 razz hands are (from best to worst):
- 5 4 3 2 A
- 6 4 3 2 A
- 6 5 3 2 A
- 6 5 4 2 A
- 6 5 4 3 A
- 6 5 4 3 2
- 7 4 3 2 A
- 7 5 3 2 A
- 7 5 4 2 A
- 7 5 4 3 A
When you run into other hands, the way you tell which hand is the (lowest) best, is to look at the highest card in each hand. The lowest of the two would have the best hand. If the two cards are the same, you look at the 2nd highest card and so on.