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Razz Poker – Basic Game Rules

By Mel Judah on October 4th, 2009.

Razz Poker has the same structure as Seven Card Stud Poker except in Razz, the lowest five-card hand wins the pot. The best hand is the low straight A2345, also known as ‘the wheel’ or ‘the bike’.

Razz is usually played with a maximum of eight players, and is played as a limit game. Each player is dealt two cards face down (the hole cards), and one card face up. This card is known as the ‘door card’. The highest door card showing has to ‘bring it in‘, (place the mandatory first bet). In a case where two people have a door card of the same rank, the bring in can be determined by suit.

Premium starting hands in Razz are any three card combination from an A to 6 (no pairs). Straights and flushes do not count in Razz. As Razz is a positional game in betting, there could generally be a lot of bluffing. When playing your hand, your board and your opponents board dictates how you bet. Do not get out of line as you will pay dearly for it in Razz.

When not to play an 8. When there is a raise and a caller and your board is showing an 8, it is advisable not to play the hand, especially when 2 of your hole cards are either a 5, a 6 or a 7.

Playing with a 7 or less, is always correct in this situation. As the hand develops, it becomes clearer how you go forward with your hand. There are times when you can play a 9, depending on your position and your opponents board, and what cards are out.

When you have a premium starting hand, and cards showing on the board are the same as what you hold, this is the best situation for you because it would be more unlikely for you to pair up and more likely for you to make a winning hand.