Razz Poker Rules
Razz is becoming wildly popular but there are still many people who don't know the rules on how to play razz poker. Many of the well known poker sites are now offering razz poker such as PokerStars and Full Tilt. You can easily practice the rules for free at these sites against thousands of players. This game uses a lowball style of poker where the lowest hand wins. Unlike Hi/Lo stud games, the entire pot goes to a single player much like Texas Holdem. After you have a good understanding of the rules, check out our strategy guides or continue reading about other the other card games.
Learning How to Play Razz Poker
If you have ever played 7 card stud hi/lo, then you know that the pot gets split up to the person who has the highest hand and the lowest hand. Razz poker is exactly like 7 card stud Lo. There is only a lowest hand that you are concerned about and a single pot is awarded. This game is designed for 2 to 8 players.
Rule 1 - A few of the basic rules of razz poker declare that all ace cards are low. These are the best cards you can get because you are trying to get the lowest hand possible. Kings, for example, are the worst ranked cards for razz.
Rule 2 - Straights and flushes are not too important and they don't count for combinations. Also, all hands qualify for opening bets unlike some games that require 8 or better cards.
Rule 3 - Betting isn't too complicated either, but it is different than the popular Holdem style. First, all players must pay a small ante bet before the cards are bet. This is different than paying a small and big blind that rotates around the table. The size of the ante depends on how high the stakes are and this will only be a portion of the stakes.
Rule 4 - The next rule is that the dealer will deal out 3 cards to each player. After the ante has been placed and the cards have been dealt, the player with the highest door card must pay the forced "bring-in" bet. The size of the bring-in bet is only half of the low-end (small blind) stakes. The rules require that 2 of the cards be face down and the other one is facing up. The face up card is known as the door card.
Rule 5 - Another rule applies when two or more players have the same ranked door card. Then the person who has to pay the bring-in bet is determined by what suit the door card is. The rank of the suit is alphabetical from lowest to highest. So the lowest ranked suit is clubs, then diamonds, hearts and the highest ranked suit is spades.
Rule 6 - The most powerful hand in razz poker is actually the lowest ace-low straight: A-2-3-4-5, known as the absolute nuts or wheel.
Rule 7 - A flush or straight does not count against you, nor does it count for anything special. Just ignore these and ignore pairs and three of a kinds as well.
Rule 8 - Razz poker is usually a fixed limit game, so the rules require that players will use the lower limit of betting (small blinds) for the first 4 rounds. Then during 5th street or after the fifth card is dealt, players may then wager the higher limit (big blind) bet.
Rule 9 - Betting usually takes place clockwise around the table. During the showdown, the player who made the last bet will show their cards first. When playing online or for real in person, you can always muck or do not show your hand if you know you lost.
Really, these rules for razz poker are not too hard to learn. View some of the articles on the right side to learn how to play the game. You can also go through a tutorial and walkthrough in order to apply these rules. Also check out the articles on strategy and other valuable information such as card rankings as well. You might find this very helpful when you practice the game.