What is Razz

If you’ve tried a few different poker games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha and are ready for a new challenge that can stymie even the most focused of poker players, you may care to challenge your poker skills with the game of Razz.

What is Razz? - A form of poker - Razz is the seven card stud version of lowball. In a lowball game, it is the “worst” or lowest hand that wins the pot. Unlike traditional lowball games which are played in a draw format, in Razz the players get seven cards and use their lowest five cards to make their best Razz hand.

How is Razz Played?

Just as in seven card stud, players ante and receive three cards, two down (“in the hole”) and one up. The player with the highest card showing must make a forced bet called a “bring-in” which is less than a full bet. Subsequent players may either call the bring-in, complete the bring-in to a full bet or fold. Once the bring-in has been completed, subsequent players may either call, raise or fold. Once the betting has been completed, a fourth, fifth and sixth card are dealt up, with a betting round after each exposed card, starting with the player with the worst hand showing. Finally a seventh card is dealt face down, there is a final round of betting, and players who stay in show down their cards. The lowest five card hand takes the pot.

The basics of poker games are the same in most variations but Razz is a little different. In Razz, aces are low and straights and flushes do not count, so the lowest hand possible would be A 2 3 4 5, or a wheel. Hand strength is determined by your highest cards, so a hand like 4 5 6 7 8 would beat A 2 3 4 9 even though only the 9 is higher than anything in the opponent’s hand.

What is Basic Strategy for Razz?

Just as in seven card stud high, you are looking to start with three quality cards. Any time you catch “paint,” meaning you are dealt a face card, you should be looking to fold unless all your other cards are extremely low or all opponents are showing much worse boards than yours. Similarly, you should put pressure on your opponents when they catch paint or a pair. Unlike in seven card stud, it is possible to tell what a Razz opponent’s best possible hand is from his upcards, so be very aware of what your opponent is showing and what you are showing your opponent.



Last Updated 19 October 2013
What is Razz?