Event #7: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz
Days:
123

How to Play Razz: A Quick Tutorial for the Uninitiated

[user153638] • Level 1: 50-100, 75 ante

Razz isn't the most popular of games, so there is a chance you don't know the rules. If you find yourself in that camp, fret not as we have dug back in the PokerNews archives to find a tutorial to catch you up in this game, which is sometimes called Seven-Card Stud Low.

Betting rounds

In razz every player starts with getting dealt three cards. Before receiving the cards, every player in the hand has to post an ante. In a $0.50/$1 razz game, the ante is usually $0.05, although this can vary. In all other examples in this article it will be also assumed that we're playing limits of $0.50/$1. After posting the ante, every player gets dealt three cards. The first two cards are dealt face down and can only be seen by you, while the third card, called the "door card" is dealt open for every player at the table to see.

The player with the highest door card is forced to pay the "bring-in." The bring-in in a $0.50/$1 game is half of the low-limit bet (in this case $0.25). However, the player also has the option to bring-in a complete bet, which is the full low-limit bet (in this case $0.50). All other bets and raises in the first round, also called third street, will be the size of the low-limit bet.

In all following rounds, the player with the lowest open cards starts the betting. If more than one player has the same combination of low cards, the player closest left of the dealer will start the betting. On fourth street, the next betting round, again all bets and raises will be the size of the low-limit bet. On fifth, sixth, and seventh streets, all bets and raises will be the size of the high-limit bet.

If the action continues all the way to seventh street, a player will have received seven cards at this point. Of these seven cards, the first two and the last one are face down, while four cards are facing up for everyone to see.

Hand Values

The lowest hand wins the pot at showdown. Aces count as the lowest cards in razz. The lowest possible combination of cards, the nuts, is A-2-3-4-5. Flushes and straights don't count. When deciding on who starts the betting on and after fourth street, the lowest hand is first to bet. On fourth street the lowest possible hand is X-X-A-2. A hand like X-X-A-K will also "win" here against a hand like X-X-2-2.

When deciding who has the best showdown hand, you start by looking at the third highest card in your hand (as you only play five of your seven cards and the two highest cards don't play) and start counting down. For example, a hand like 9-8-7-6-5 will win against a hand like 10-4-3-2-A, as the nine is lower than the ten. If the highest cards of two or more players have the same value, you look at the second highest cards and so on. So 8-7-5-3-A will win against 8-7-5-4-A, because one player has a 8-7-5-3 low against the other player with a 8-7-5-4 low. If two or more players have the exact same combination of cards, the pot is split.