Razz: Rules and Explanation
Razz is a seven-card stud game in which the low hand or worst hand wins the pot. Also known as seven-card stud low, Razz is a low ball game in which all players are must ante before the cards are dealt. In addition, flushes and straights do not play in Razz and the suits of your cards do not matter. It is also important to remember that aces are low, so the nut hand in Razz is A-2-3-4-5.
Razz is normally played with a max of eight players and is a limit game where bets are structured per round. In the case of a $3/$6 limit Razz game, normally the bets would be structured that the third and fourth streets would be the smaller betting increment ($3) and the later streets would be the larger increment ($6).
To begin each round of Razz, all players ante a fixed amount before the cards are dealt, in most cases antes are 1/5th to 1/10th the size of the small bet. Each player is dealt three cards, with the last one dealt face up.
This brings us to the “bring-in bet” or forced betting portion of Razz. The player with the highest door card showing must make the mandatory first bet, which in most cases will normally be one third to one half of the regular bet. This player can choose to just post the “bring-in bet” or “complete” to a normal bet size. As the action goes around the table clockwise from the bring in bettor, the other players have an option to just call the bet or complete the bet to make it a normal sized bet for that round.
If there is a tie among door cards, the bring in is determined by suits. In the event of a tie spades will be forced to bring in first, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs. If you happened to be dealt the King of spades as a door card, you will be posting the bring in, as this is the worst possible card in Razz. This is the only time that suits applicable when playing Razz.
Later Streets and Showdown
After the first round of betting players are dealt another card face up, Forth Street is now marked by another round of betting, with the betting beginning with the lowest hand showing. Fifth and Sixth Street are the exact same (cards are dealt facing up) as Fourth Street except the betting increment will now increase.
Finally, on Seventh Street each player remaining receives their last card which is dealt face down. The action begins with the lowest hand showing and another round of betting then occurs. After the betting round has ceased, the players remaining will have a showdown to determine the winner. At showdown, players must show their best five card low hand and whoever has the best low hand will take down the pot.