Poker School


If you hate your "bad" hands, you're going to love them with razz because it's a poker game in which the low poker hand wins the pot at showdown. Part lowball, part 7-card stud, the goal is to make the best five-card low hand from seven cards.

In razz poker, players are dealt seven cards throughout the course of the hand, but only the best five-card hand possible for each player is used to determine the winner.

Each player starts with two hole cards and one upcard; there are then three more rounds of upcards, with betting after each card, and a final downcard, just as in stud. Each player ends up with seven cards: four face up and three face down.

The game begins with a small ante from all players at the table and each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up.

The player with the highest up card begins the betting with forced bet (called the bring in) and play moves in a clockwise direction with players either calling the bring, completing the bet (raising to the lower limit) or folding. There is a limit of three re-raises in all betting rounds.

Next each player still in the hand is dealt another upcard, followed by another betting round that begins with the player whose upcards make the best hand.

Since there are less than 5 cards face up no straights flushes or full houses will count for this.

Next a third upcard is dealt followed by another betting round, then a fourth upcard is dealt again followed by a betting round.

Finally a downcard is dealt followed by the final betting round and then a showdown.

The player with the best five-card razz hand wins the pot. Remember that (unlike 7 card stud hi-lo and Omaha hi-lo), there is no "qualifier"; the hand with the best value in razz order wins the entire pot. After the pot is awarded to the best hand, a new game of razz is ready to be played.

Razz follows the 2 down, 4 up, 1 down pattern of seven card stud.

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