Learn To Play Razz Poker - Razz Poker Rules

Razz is a poker variant based on 7 Card Stud, but with an interesting twist in the rules. Simply put, everyone is competing for the weakest possible hand, rather than the strongest.

If you’ve ever played 7 Card Stud, or 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, you’ll find learning how to play Razz extremely easy. Razz is essentially 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo without the “Hi” part, or the “Qualifying” Low Hand rules in place. The weakest hand wins, period.

Razz is a game for 2-8 players, using a standard deck of 52 cards.

How To Play Razz –Rules of Hand Development
As you learn how to play Razz, you’ll find that the basic rules of the game are quite different from most poker variants. Below are the invariable hand development rules of Razz.

- Straights and Flushes are not considered combinations
- Aces are the lowest possible card, not the highest.
- The best possible Razz hand is: A-2-3-4-5

Object of Razz
The object of Razz is simple – develop the weakest possible 5-card poker hand, according to the rules of hand development (see “How To Play Razz –Rules of Hand Development” above). The weakest hand wins the pot.

How To Play Razz - Limits
Razz can be played in any limit, but is traditionally played in a Fixed Limit betting structure. All Limits are defined below.

Fixed Limit: All Bets/Raises throughout the game are defined by the stakes. Razz has 5 betting rounds throughout the hand. During the first three betting rounds, all Bets/Raises must meet the low-end stakes, increasing to meet the high-end stakes for the final two rounds of betting. Example: Stakes of $2/$4 would require $2 Bets/Raises in the first three rounds; $4 Bets/Raises in the final two rounds.

No Limit: There is no limit to the maximum amount you can wager at any given time, but the stakes of the game define the minimum Bet/Raises throughout.

Pot Limit: Like No Limit, the minim wager is determined by the stakes, but the maximum wager is only limited to the current size of the pot. Example: If there is $20 in the pot, the max Bet/Raise is $20. If $20 is wagered, the pot rises to $40, as does the max Bet/Raise.

How To Play Razz – Forced Bets
Razz uses forced bets, just like most poker variants, but instead of Blind Bets (as found in Hold’em style games), Razz uses Antes and a Bring-In.

Ante: The Ante is a small wager that every player must place before the hand is dealt. The amount of the Ante can vary by where you play, but is usually 10-25% of the low-end stakes.

Bring-In: The Bring-In is a forced bet placed by the player with the highest Door Card after the initial deal. Each player will have 3 cards – 2 face down and 1 face up. The face up card is the Door Card. If two or more players tie for the highest Door Card, highest suit determines the Bring-In. Suits rank lowest to highest in alphabetical order (Club, Diamond, Heart, Spade). The Bring-In bet is equal to 50% of the low-end stakes.

How To Play Razz – Betting Options

Check: If no player has Bet in the current round, you can Check, choosing not to Bet, but not to Fold.

Bet: The first chips placed in the pot in a single betting round is called the Bet.

Call: To place chips in the pot equal to the current Bet.

Raise: To place more chips in the pot than the current Bet.

Fold: Throw in your cards and forfeit the hand.

All-In: To bet all remaining chips. Even if you don’t have enough chips to Call the current Bet, you go push All-In, but you can only win as much from each player as your All-In bet.