Razz Poker

Razz is basically a variant of stud poker. In Razz the objective is normally ace-to-five low (lowball poker), in other words, Razz is all about making the lowest possible five card hand from the seven cards available to you – kind of like 7 card stud in reverse! Additionally, in Razz, straights and flushes etc obviously do not beat your low hand, and the ace is usually played low. Therefore, the best possible hand in Razz poker is 5 high, or 5-4-3-2-A, also referred to as "the bicycle" or "the wheel". There is another variant called Deuce to seven Razz which is sometimes played where 7 high is the top hand and all 7 cards are used. Incidentally, Razz is the "R" game featured in H.O.R.S.E. multigame tournaments at the WSOP (World Series of Poker). It can sound complicated, but basically Razz is seven card stud where the lowest hand wins, for this reason, Razz is often referred to as "7 card stud low".

Generally, Razz is played with up to eight players, using limit betting (a fixed amount can be bet per player per round). Each player antes up and is dealt two hole cards and one card face up (the "door card"). The player with the highest (worst)door card has to place a mandatory first bet. Play continues in the same way as stud poker. After the first round of betting, another card is dealt face up. Then a further round of betting starting with the lowest hand showing (best hand). Play continues in this fashion, until the fifth card, when the betting increments double.

Razz owes most of its current popularity to the fact that it has been an event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) since 1971. Razz is definitely the most popular style of lowball poker but in the overall popularity stakes lags well behind Texas and Omaha hold'em. In 2004 the WSOP Razz event was televised live and created a real buzz amongst poker players worldwide, the worst hand winning was a revelation to many players and the game soared in popularity. This resulted in Razz being added to most of the online poker rooms as part of their selection of poker games.

If you enjoy H.O.R.S.E. tournaments and ring games, then you need to learn and become proficient at Razz poker. One of the best ways to gain experience in Razz is to play online for free at one of the bigger online poker websites. Experience is essential before entering tournaments and risking your own cash – Even pro poker players will tell you that Razz can be one of the most frustrating games of poker there is! One of the best places to play Razz Poker Online and gain that necessary experience without doubt is the Full Tilt Poker website.

Leave a Reply