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Learn and Play Razz Poker

This guide on razz poker, sometimes known as just 7 Card Razz, will provide you with information about how to play the game and to help teach the rules. View the links in the box to the right to read all the guides related to razz and learn about different strategies. This game was relatively unknown just a few years ago but is really starting to become more popular and has even become available at many online poker rooms and sites where players can play with real money.

What is razz poker and how do you play?

First of all, Razz is a variation of stud poker while uses lowball rules, meaning aces are low and players are trying to make the most powerful 5 card hand out of the seven cards dealt to them. The goal is to get the strongest possible hand in the game which is A-2-3-4-5. Basically, this is an ace low straight known as the wheel or bicycle. This game is sort of the same thing as traditional 7 card stud, played for low.

The rules of razz poker are not too hard to learn, especially if you have already played other card games. You can find the detailed rules guide by one of the links just to the right. Basically, players start off by being dealt 3 cards after making small and big blind payments with a possible ante. Two of these cards are face down and one card is facing up so everyone can see, also known as the door card.

The person who has the highest door card will earn the right to make the first bet, also known as bring it in. This bet is usually a portion of a normal bet, or similar to a small blind. Just like 7 stud poker, after every player makes an initial bet, the dealer deals another card face up. Then there are the usual rounds of betting with a new face up card dealt after each round. Finally, the last and 7th card will be dealt facing down and a final round of wagering takes place before the showdown. If you have ever played Texas Holdem, then razz poker works very similar except for the stud rules and number of cards.

Another thing to note is that different suits have varying power. Ranking from lowest to highest strength suit: clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.

The history and origins of razz poker

As I mentioned earlier, this game originated from 7 card stud where players are trying to create the lowest hand possible, which is the most powerful hand in razz. It is not really known who invented it, but it was most likely a game that was played but had no formal name to it yet. Some people say this game was developed in the 1950s and other say probably earlier. It did start to become more popular in the 1970s though in the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Razz was one of the games featured in the WSOP when Jimmy Casella won the very first razz event for a $10,000 grand prize jackpot in 1971. The popularity of razz shot up exponentially after the 2004 WSOP razz even when professional player T.J. Cloutier won another bracelet, which was televised on ESPN. After that time, we saw this game start to pop up in online poker rooms like Carbon and Pokerstars even later in 2006.

Play razz online with other people on the internet

One great place to play razz poker is at Carbon. They are extremely reputable and were the first online poker site to offer razz. Pokerstars is the most famous place to play this game and a huge benefit of playing there is that there are even more people playing, meaning more open tables and more money, although Carbon Poker sometimes has more people playing.

Both places offer various razz tournaments and other neat challenges such as sit-n-go's, heads up and much more. Check out both of these places to see what the new promotions and specials are. They are always changing so we don't bother trying to list them here in case some of the promos expire too quickly. Also view their impressive VIP and rewards program for regular players.

Play poker online at Pokerstars.