Razz Poker Tutorial and Walkthrough
This page will serve as a tutorial of razz poker and acts sort of like a walkthrough of how to play this game. Before reading this, you should review the basic rules of razz and how to play razz poker. Also view some of the other articles on the right since this page just explains how to apply the rules as you play the game. First of all, it may be a good idea to be playing Razz poker at one of the poker sites like Full Tilt while reading this walkthrough. The best practice comes from actually playing the game with free-play chips. This article will just go through a rundown of some of the phases used in Razz and bets.
When you view through the list of Razz poker rooms, you will see betting limits or stakes set up like $1/$2 or $100/$200. We'll just use $1/$2 stakes for this tutorial. The low-end stake is $1 and the ante is usually between 10% and 25% depending on what room you're in. So this would be a 25 cent ante bet that everyone pays before the cards come out. After the cards are dealt, the person with the highest door card pays the forced bring-in bet of half the low-end stake or 50 cents as described earlier.
After the bring-in, the first round of betting starts at the low-end $2 minimum stakes bet. Players can then call or check without betting. If someone bets, then there will be a $2 bet or multiples of $2 from then on and players can fold their cards (end their hand and stop betting) or they can call or raise the bet.
Note that razz poker is usually played using fixed limit (FL) rules. Although it can be played using pot limit (PL) rules and even no limit (NL) rules. Fixed limit means you can only bet and raise in increments of the stake value. During the first two rounds of betting, the bets and raises can only be in increments of the low-end stake, which is $2 in this case. After the first 2 rounds, then the bets and raises can be in increments of the high-end stakes of $4 during. In no limit razz poker, players can go "all in" and bet everything they have on a single bet, which tends to be very risky and not for the faint hearted. All of these games are available at online poker rooms.
Now after the first bet has been placed, the 4th card (fourth street) is dealt face up and the second round of betting. For the rest of the current hand, the person who has the weakest open hand will be the one who has to start the rounds of betting. This hand is made up of all the face up cards that can be seen by everyone at the table.
After betting is done, the 5th card (fifth street) is dealt face up and the third round of betting begins. Note that players will now be allowed to bet and raise the high-end stakes of $4 for the rest of the hand. Again, the 6th card (sixth street) is dealt facing up followed by another round of betting and finally the 7th card (seventh street) is dealt facing down. There will be one last round of betting before the showdown.
Showdown only happens if there are still competitors left at the end of a hand of razz who haven't folded yet. Then everyone shows their cards and the person with the lowest hand will win the pot for themselves. Now there can be some problems if there are 8 people playing a game of razz and no one has folded. Remember that every player has 7 cards so 8 players times 7 cards equals 56 cards. There are only 52 cards in the deck. The problem is resolved by dealing the 7th street card facing up instead of down in the center of the table. Then this card is known as a community card that everyone uses for their own hand. That means if the card is an ace of spades, then everyone assumes an ace of spades in their hand.
This is pretty much the whole "rules of razz poker" tutorial. The best way to learn the game is to actually practice it. Also, now you need to learn the strategy of the game and you can continue on with our razz poker strategy page to learn how to become good at the game and what hands are best in this game.