If you’re looking for a competitive and intriguing game of poker, a session of Razz is what you need. Whether you’ve never played the game before or you want to improve your strategies, this short brief will be your guide. We’ll explain and showcase the ins and outs of the casino game with two identities – Razz Poker.
What Is Razz Poker?
Razz is also known as 7 Card Stud Low due to the many similarities shared between the two game. Although the rules of Razz incorporate some features of 7 Card Stud, such as the number of betting rounds, the difference is that in Razz the player with the lowest value hand wins the game.
Razz Poker UK and worldwide comes in three variations including No Limit, Pot Limit, and Fixed Limit. However, players usually choose fixed limit Razz.
Razz Poker Rules
The aim of Razz Poker players is to use 5 of the 7 cards they get dealt to form the lowest value 5 card hand. Just like in Stud Poker, players receive 3 face-down cards and 4 face-up cards. And, what’s better is that every hand is eligible to qualify as the lowest ranking hand. There are no fixed standards. However, considering that the Ace reflects the low 1 value, the optimum lowest ranking hand is comprised of A, 2, 3, 4, 5. And, no it’s not a Straight. In Razz, combinations such as Straights or Flushes are completely ignored.
How To Play Razz Poker
In Fixed Limit Razz players should wager proportionally with the stakes of the game, for example, £4/£8. Because its Fixed Limit, the bets should be placed in pre-established amounts relating to the stakes.
During the 3rd and 4th Street betting rounds (the first 2 rounds), bets must be placed in rises of the low-end stake, £4. So, the bet would be £4, the raise would be £8 and the re-raise would be £12.
During the 5th, 6th, and 7th Street betting rounds (the last three rounds), the bets should be placed in additions of the high-end stakes of £8. So, the bet would be £8, the raise would be £16 and the re-raise would be £24.
You should know that you’re only allowed to raise 4 times during a round.
Who Begins The Betting Round?
The betting round begins with the next player who is on the left of the dealer. The dealer is indicated by the dealer button and turns for the role are taken by each player.
Before each round, players must bet the Ante so that every round has a pot guaranteed. The Ante usually ranges between 10%-25% of the low-end stake.
After players place the Ante they receive two hole cards (face-down) and a third facing-up card called the door card. The player who has the lowest value door card places the bring-in bet which is about half of the low-stake’s value.
If two players have the same lowest card of different suits, then the player with the lowest value suit starts betting.
Suits are ranked alphabetically from low to high such as Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades. With Clubs being the lowest and Spades, the highest.
The Betting Rounds
The 3rd Street
In Razz, every card which is dealt is named a Street. Upon placing the bring-in bet, players start betting clockwise around the table. You can choose to either call, raise, fold orgo all-in. When the round reaches the bring-in player, he could re-raise or fold.
The 4th Street
Players receive another face-up card and the 2nd round begins with the player who has the highest face-up cards. During this round, the highest value hand is comprised of 2 Aces. If no player has placed any bet, you can check. However, the other options are to bet or fold.
The final 3 rounds: Streets 5, 6 and 7
After players receive the 5th face-up card and the betting round begins with the player who has the highest value exposed cards, raises should be placed in increments of the high-end table stake.
The 6th street round is carried out in the same way as the previous round. However, during the 7th Street round, players receive a face-down card.
The Showdown Begins
Sometimes after the 7th round, only one player is left. In this case, the pot is won without a showdown. However, if at least two players are still in the game, the showdown will decide who wins. By choosing the 5 lowest cards, players will try to form the lowest valued hands to win the pot. In case of a tie, the pot is split equally between the players.
Razz Poker Tips
Now that you know the rules of Razz Poker, you should learn some Razz poker tips which will improve your game considerably. By understanding the tricks, you can determine which Razz Poker strategy will guarantee greater opportunities to win the pot.
Choose Your Starting Hands Carefully
The best hands you can achieve in the beginning comprise of variations of three cards including A, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Anything higher than 8 is considered a bad hand. However, you shouldn’t forget that this is the beginning hand so don’t max out on it just yet.
Ignore the Auto Fold Button and Get Your Hands On The Antes
Observe what the other players are doing and if you have the lowest value door card and others have folded before you, you should raise to scare off the other players.
Battle the Checks
If a player has low face-up cards but still checks, there’s a high chance that their face-down cards are not spectacular. If your face-up cards are low, then grab the pot as fast as you can by raising.
Don’t Gear Up Past 5th Street
When you’ve reached the 5th street betting round, you probably have a good idea about where you stand. If you get dealt a high card, then the best option is to fold. Running after low cards from this round onwards is a clear steer away from any wins.
Keep an Eye on the Cards Facing Up
It’s crucial that you focus on the cards facing up on the table. If the card you need to complete your low-value hand has already been dealt or folded, there’s a small chance of you hitting it.
A Few Final Words
Due to the nature of the game, Razz Poker can seem confusing even to professional poker players. In some way, it goes against the normal course of any poker game. However, that’s what makes Razz so exciting. The lower your hand’s value is the higher chances you have to take the pot home.