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Introduction To Razz For Beginners

A fun and exciting version of 7-card stud, Razz poker is becoming more and more popular. In this variation, up to eight players can be seated at a table. Just like standard 7-card stud, players receive four cards face up and three facing down. From there the game gets interesting. What makes this game fun is it's the lowest hand that wins not the highest, so like all Stud games you will be able to read your opponents hands alot easier because the majority of the hand is in front of you. The best hand possible is A-2-3-4-5 which is also known as the "Wheel". Second best hand would be A-2-3-3-6 and so on. You must be using any five of the seven cards that you are dealt. Aces are never high, and only face value counts. Straights and flushes do not apply in this game.

Forced Bets

Ante

As in most 7-card stud games, players are required to post an ante before play begins. Usually this is a fifth of the low limit bet amount. All players must ante up and these bets do not count toward future betting rounds.

Bring in

After the first round of dealing, each player has one visible card. The person with the highest card must “bring in” the bet and bet the low limit for the pot. If more than one player has the same high card, the player seated closest to the left of the dealer will bring in. Should no one raise, this is considered the first bet of the player and they will stay in the game through the next round.

Betting Rounds

The game consists of five rounds of betting. During a fixed limit Razz game, all bets, including raises, must equal either the low or high limit size, dependant on the round that they are playing. The first two rounds of bets should equal the low table limit, while the remaining rounds must have high limit bet and raise amounts. As an example, in a 5-10 Razz game, the first and second round would see 5-dollar bets and raises, but the last three rounds would see 10-dollar increments. There can only be three raises per round of betting.

  1. Third Street – In this round, the initial cards are dealt. First, two cards face down, then one card facing up. The bring in follows the deal, with the player with the highest ranked card placing a bet for half the low limit. Should the player wish, raising to the full low limit bet is allowed. From here, players bet in clockwise order, around the table, with players choosing to call, raise, or fold. Remember that bets must be the low limit size.
  2. Fourth Street – Players now receive another card, face up, from the dealer. This time, the player with the lowest showing cards will bet first. At this stage, the lowest possible is an A2. They have the option to check, bet, or fold. In the case of a duplicate hand, play shifts to the player seated to the left of the dealer. As previous, play continues in a clockwise motion around the table. One difference at this stage from standard 7-card stud is that pairs do not change the betting limit. As in the first round, bets must be in increments of the low limit amount.
  3. Fifth Street – Players will receive another card, face up, in this round. As in the fourth street, the player with the lowest hand bets first and play continues around the table. However, now bets and raises are high limit amount.
  4. Sixth Street – Here players will receive their sixth card, again face up. Betting follows the format of the last round. Bets and raises stay at the high limit amount.
  5. Seventh Street – Players will now be dealt their final card, which this time is face down. Though this is rare, if eight players are still seated in the seventh street, one community card is dealt, as there are not enough cards for each remaining player. Betting commences as in the previous rounds, with the best low hand going first and high limit amounts for bets and raises.

The Showdown

Anyone who remains in the game after the seventh street can now reveal their hand to determine who takes the pot. The last person to bet shows first and the showdown continues clockwise from that point, with players having the choice to show or muck their own hands. Many players choose to muck when they know they have no chance to win and they want to keep their play to themselves.

 
 
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