How Razz Poker Is Played

Razz poker is a variant of Seven Card Stud Hi Lo, but a major exception for razz poker is that there is no qualifier (such as an eight low) for the winning hand. Razz is sweeping the globe in both casino and online poker room play increasing steadily. Once you have learned the basics of razz poker, it can be a challenging and rewarding game, especially for those Seven Card enthusiasts. In razz poker, the best low hand is the winning hand.

Dealing Razz Poker
The maximum number of players at for the game of razz poker is eight. There are five rounds of betting in a game of razz poker. These rounds do not include the ante. In razz poker, dealing begins with the player seated to the left of the dealer button. Each player receives seven cards. Initially, each player is dealt two face down cards, also known as hole cards or pocket cards. Each player is also dealt four face up cards, which are called the porch cards. The last card is the river card. The river card in razz poker is dealt face down, or, as some poker enthusiasts call it, “down and dirty”. The ante in razz poker is required before the first three of the seven cards are dealt. The first round is two face down cards and one face up card. The first face up card or porch card is also known as the door card in razz poker.

Playing Razz Poker
Action is initiated in razz poker by the player who holds the highest door card (face up). If two players have an equally ranked door card, suit rank would determine who acts first. Suit rank from highest to lowest is spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. The first player must make a minimum bet of half of the razz poker game’s lower limit. For example, in a game of $2/$4, the minimum bet is ½ of the lower limit, or $1. This is called the bring-in in razz poker. The bring-in also has the option of betting the entire lower limit if desired. In a game of $2/$4, this would be $2. In subsequent rounds of betting following this initial round, action will begin with the player who holds the lowest hand on the board (based on the porch cards showing).

For the first two rounds of razz poker, betting and raising is at the lower limit. During the last three rounds, betting moves to the higher limit. In a $2/$4 razz poker game, the bet would be $4 in the last three rounds. The rounds in razz poker are named according to street. First round – Third Street; second round – Fourth Street; third round – Fifth Street; fourth round – Sixth Street; and the fifth and final round – Seventh Street.

Four bets is the maximum number of allowable bets per player during any round of razz poker, which includes the opening bet and up to three raises total. When the betting limit for the round has been reached, calling and folding are both options that are available for players. In all rounds except the first round in razz poker, check and raise is allowed. At the showdown, all active players will reveal their hands and the best five card hand is determined by the lowest out of the seven cards and will take the pot.

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