Razz poker is one of the poker variants you can try out if you are looking for a breath of fresh air. This is because the game entails unique game rules and thus offers a new and exciting game experience.
You also first have to master Razz Poker in order to be able to play the H.O.R.SE poker variant.
Here we look at how the game is played, the rules, and the basic strategy to give you an edge over other players.
Razz poker is a lowball poker variant, which means the objective is to make the lowest-ranking hand to beat your opponents. In other words, the lowest hand wins. This game of poker is also called a Seven-Card Razz because it is almost similar to Seven-Card Stud poker.
If you have played Seven-Card Stud poker, you would know this poker variant does not use community cards. Razz poker is similar to Seven-Card Stud poker in that respect.
Razz poker is often played as a fixed-limit betting game but can also be played as a pot limit. Here is how to play Razz poker online or at land based casinos:
Each player must make an ante bet before the cards are dealt.
The dealer then deals three cards, two face down and one card dealt face up, to all the players.
The two face-down cards are called hole cards, and the face-up card is called a door card.
The player with the highest door card must place the bring-in bet.
If two or more players have a door card of the same value, the suits are used to determine who should place the bring-in bet. Suits are ordered alphabetically from clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades.
This player can either fold, call, or raise.
The betting round then continues clockwise.
Once the betting round ends, the dealer deals another card face-up to each remaining player. This card is referred to as fifth street. The betting ensues following the same rules as stated above.
The dealer then deals the fourth card to each player, face-up. This card is referred to as the fourth street. The player with the best low hand will begin the betting round.
Once the betting round ends, the dealer deals another card face-up to each remaining player. This card is referred to as the fifth street. The betting ensues following the same rules as stated above.
The dealer then deals the sixth street, and another betting round goes on.
Once the betting round has ended, the dealer will deal the seventh card to each player face down. This card is referred to as the seventh street or the river. The player with the best showing hand will start the action.
Once the betting round ends, the remaining players will reveal their hole cards. The player with the best low hand wins the pot.
Razz Poker Rules
You probably have now established how Razz poker is played. There are, however, some key rules you should also keep in mind when playing this poker game. Here are the basic rules for RAZZ poker:
Aces are regarded as lows, meaning they bear the value of one.
Straights and Flushes do not count.
If two or more players have the same hand ranking in the showdown, such players will share the pot.
Players have to place ante bets before they are dealt.
If you run out of cards before the seventh street, the seventh street becomes a community card.
Pairs count; a hand with a pair is thus an undesirable hand since pairs rank higher.
Razz Poker Hand Rankings
Unlike in other lowball poker variants such as 2-7 Triple Draw poker, where straights count against you, in Razz poker, they do not count. Cards are also valued from the highest card down, so any hand with a 5 as the highest card is stronger than a hand with the highest 6 or upwards.
The Wheel, Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5 make the best Razz poker hand
Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 6 is the second-best Razz poker hand
Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 7 is the third-best Razz poker hand
Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 8 is the fourth-best Razz poker hand
Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 9 is the fifth-best Razz poker hand
The best way to remember this is by understanding that you aim to collect the lowest cards.
Razz Poker Strategy
Now that you know every important aspect of this game, it is time to look at the game strategy.
If a player shows the lowest-ranking hand but checks, that is a weak poker player. This could mean that even though this player is showing good cards, they may hold higher-ranking hands. This type of player is supposed to be attacked. You should always raise if you are showing a low-ranking card or hand.
Play Based on the Street Cards
Since you can access both your street cards and your opponents’, you should use that to your advantage. These cards should help you in making your betting decisions.
Fold a Starting Hand with Higher Ranking Cards
If you are dealt a starting hand with anything above 8 or higher, you might want to consider folding. Even if you decide to stay in the game, you should fold on the fourth or fifth street if your hand isn’t improving.
Players are dealt a total of seven cards each, three of these cards (two-hole cards and one-seventh street) are dealt face down, and four (third street to sixth street) are dealt face up.
The object of this game is to make the lowest-ranking hand. There are no community cards, and players have to place ante bets before the cards are dealt.
Suits only matter when two or more players are dealt a door card with the highest value. In this case, the suits are used to determine which one will start the betting hand. Suits are valued alphabetically from the lowest to the lowest. `