Razz Poker can be classified as a “Low” variant of Seven Card Stud Poker. Sometimes, this game is also referred as Seven Card Razz. The game play of this game Involves creating the lowest possible combination by using five cards from the hand of seven cards dealt to the player. Razz Poker can also be defined as a form of lowball poker with ace to five as the lowest denomination cards. This game is played with a normal 52 card deck by a group of players consisting of two to eight players.
The main difference between Seven Card Stud and Razz Poker is the absence of “Flop” and community cards. This variant of Stud Poker was quite prevalent till 90s but saw a downfall during the start of 2000. Now with the introduction of mixed game competitions such as H.O.R.S.E, Razz Poker has gained a new lease of life. The main difference in the rules of this game as compared to other variants of poker include the following
- Aces are the lowest value cards.
- “8 or better rule” does not apply in this game.
- Straights and Flushes are not payable hands.
Game Play of Razz Poker
At the start of the game, each player is dealt with two face-down cards and one face-up card. The first deal is followed by a round of betting. The face-down cards are called “Hole Cards” and the face-up card is known as “Door Card”. On the basis of the quality of these three cards, a player makes the decision whether or not to participate further in the game.
Each player who remains in the game up to the “Seventh Street” ends up with a total of seven cards. This final hand consists of first two Hole Cards, one Door Card, three of the face-up cards and the last card dealt as face-down card. From this group of cards, a player is required to form a best five card combination with the lowest possible hand.
As mentioned above, flushes and straights are not permitted in this game. The best combinations which one can come up with are
- Hand containing 5, 4, 3, 2 and an Ace as the best hand.
- Hand containing 6, 4, 3, 2 and an Ace as the second best hand.
- Hand containing 6, 5, 3, 2 and an Ace as the third best hand.
Concept of Antes, Bring-In and Betting
Just like any other variants of Poker, Antes and Bring-In bets are there in order to put some action into the game. Razz poker is generally played with a limit betting that ensures a fixed amount of bet by each player in all the rounds. When players are dealt with two hole cards and one door card, the one with the highest valued door card is required to “Bring it in” which means to make the first mandatory bet with value of one third or half of the normal bet. If the player wishes he can also make complete amount as bet. In case of two players having the same valued door cards, the Bring-in is decided by suit with ♠ (Spades) as highest possible suit followed by ♥ (Hearts), ♦ (Diamonds) and ♣ (Clubs). K♠ is considered as the worst possible door card ensuring a bring-in.