Razz is played with at least 2 and no more than 8 players. The dealer always has the dealer button in front of him and the game rotates clockwise on each new game round. He deals the cards and makes sure that the rules of the game are followed. If Razz is played online, he only deals the cards virtually. The dealer button is still passed from player to player in each new round. A deck of 52 playing cards is used for Razz Poker. If 8 players are playing and they are all still in the final stages of the game, the playing cards may run out. However, the rules of Razz provide a solution for this case.
The play money
Game chips are required for Razz Poker. The virtual currency has different colors and different values. In live games in real casinos there are special chips. When razz is played online, the game bet is usually called a stake, chips or game chips. The value is displayed via summation fields. In razz poker, virtual currency is essential to pay for bidding and raising. At the beginning of the game of Razz Poker, all players have the buy-in in front of them, an equal amount of game chips.
Before the card dealing in a game round begins, all players must deposit a predetermined amount. This is called ante. The ante goes directly into the pot, which, together with the other bets that have accrued, goes to the winner at the end of the round. In razz poker, the general stakes, called the limit, are also set beforehand. There is a Small Bet and a Big Bet. The ante is usually 1/5 of the small bet.
Razz has six game sections, five of which are called Streets and the final section is called Showdown. The game begins with Third Street, based on the three playing cards that are dealt at the beginning. This is followed by a betting round where the bidding takes place and various game actions can be played. Then another 4 cards are dealt one at a time in the following streets Four, Five and Six, until the last of the 7 cards is dealt on Seventh Street. In the subsequent showdown, the winner of the pot is determined if necessary. The deciding factor in the game is the best tactic for bidding in the rounds, poker or the lowest poker hand. In razz poker, each player can bid, call, raise, fold or pass the game on to the next player without action.
What makes Razz Poker different is the ranking of the poker hands. In contrast to the classic poker hands, this one needs to be rethought. In razz poker, the player with the lowest poker hand wins. He must make up that hand from five of his seven cards.
In razz poker, the Ace to Five rating applies. This is the most complicated part of the game. An ace is always the lowest card. There is no straight or flush. But there is the wheel, a card combination of ace, two, three, four and five. The poker hands in Razz are compared by looking first at the highest playing cards of each hand. If they are identical, the second highest playing card is considered and so on. Note that even the lowest pair counts more than a single king.
Game sections of Razz Poker:
Third Street – the first segment
Each player pays the ante. The dealer then puts away the Burncard (the top card of the deck) and deals each player two cards face down and one card face up (Show Card). He starts with the player to his left.
In Razz Poker, Third Street begins with a “Bring In” or “Bring”. This is a predetermined bet that each player must make. It is at least as high as the Ante and no higher than the Small Bet. The player with the highest exposed playing card pays the first Bring In. If the players have equal card values, the suit is called and it is decided who starts. The highest card is Clubs, followed by Diamonds, Hearts and Spades.
Each following player decides which play action to take. Players may fold if they have a bad razz poker hand or continue playing. As they continue playing, they can call the small bet, raise or check without playing any of the other actions. After the initial bid, subsequent raises are made at the size of the small bet. Subsequent players have the same playing options. However, the raises may not be more than twice the previous bet. On third street, you may only bid once and raise a maximum of three times. This means that after the third raise, the bidding is capped and only the Call or Fold play actions can be performed.
Third Street is completed when all remaining players have placed the same amount of bets or when only one player remains – he has won.
Call: Keep up / Call and make the same bet.
Raise: raise the previous bet
Fold: Put aside playing cards face down, leave the game.
Fourth Street – the second segment
All remaining players are now dealt another face-up card. You now have four playing cards in front of you. The player with the highest card is dealt the first playing card. Now, unlike in Third Street, the action starts with the player with the lowest exposed card values. He can bet the Small Bet amount or simply pass the game on and check. The next players in turn can also check, call, raise or fold. It could happen that the whole round of players checks. This is called “being checked around”. Because of the bring-in on Third Street, where the first action is forced, “being checked around” is not possible. Also, on Fourth Street, players may only bid once and may not raise more than three times. After that, the bidding is also capped again. Only call or fold actions are still possible. This round is complete when all bets or raises have been made and all players have contributed the same amount as bets or, if all but one player have folded, all players have folded.
Fifth Street – the third segment
The players receive another open playing card and now have five playing cards in front of them. Now the betting and raising changes: Only big bets can be made. However, the other game actions and rules are the same as on Fourth Street. If two players are still in the game at the end of the round, the game continues on Sixth Street.
Sixth Street – the fourth segment
Another face-up playing card is dealt to the players. All possible playing actions are again the same as in Fifth Street and just as limited with the Big Bet. If all but one player folds in this round, the winner is determined. The game continues on Seventh Street if two or more players are still in the game.
Seventh Street – the last segment
On Seventh Street, all players are dealt one final card. This seventh playing card is face down. The betting round begins and the same rules apply as before. When the betting round is over, the players reveal the playing cards with which they make up their lowest poker hand.
final round - showdown
The dealer now determines who will hold the lowest poker hand. That player wins the pot. In razz, the best poker hand is made up of the five lowest possible poker hands from a player’s seven playing cards. If there is a tie, the pot is split equally between the players with the lowest ranking poker hand. The suits of these players’ cards are not taken into account in the evaluation.
Rate Razz Poker Hand
- 5, 4, 3, 2, A
- 6, 4, 3, 2, A
- 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
- 9, 7, 6, 5, A
- 9, 7, 6, 5, 3
- 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
- K, Q, J, T, 7
- K, Q, J, T, 9
- A, A, T, 9, 8
- 2, 2, 7, 6, 5
- K, K, 4, 3, 2
- 3, 3, 3, 5, 5
In razz poker, a low hand that does not contain a pair is always called by the highest card down. Example: Hand number 6 is called a six low because the card with the highest card value is a 6. Hands 4, 5 and 6 are called Nine Low. Hands 7 and 8 are called King Low. Within these low hands there is a further distinction. These hands are called the next lowest card values in the hand: Hand number 2 is therefore called Six Four Low and is better than hand number 3, which is called Six Five Low. Once a pair is present, it falls in the ranking of the worst razz hands. Consequently, even the lowest ace triplet is less favorable. Hand #1 is the strongest razz poker hand and is called Wheel.
When Razz is played as a “full ring game” with eight poker players, it can sometimes happen that all eight players are still in the game after Sixth Street. Then the rest of the deck may not have enough cards left to deal on Seventh Street. The last card is therefore placed in the middle of the table as an open community card, and each player has a full deck of playing cards to finish the game.