Razz Poker Rules

Razz or Seven Card Stud Low is an exciting variation of 7 Card Stud where instead of playing to try and make a high hand, the aim of the game is to have the best low hand. The rules of Razz are therefore exactly the same as 7 Card Stud with the only difference being that the lowest hand wins at showdown. Razz cash games and tournaments can be found at most online poker rooms.

Razz History

Razz is made popular by the story of Archie Karas who in 1992 travelled to Las Vegas with only $50. Karas, also known as “The Greek”, turned his $50 into over $30,000 mainly playing Razz. He sat down in the big game at the time which was at Binions Horseshoe and had blinds of $200 and $400. From there he grew his bankroll to over seven million dollars! The Greek then challenged the whole world to come and play him heads up. Stu Ungar accepted this challenge entering into the most famous Razz battle of all time. This lasted nearly a week and ended with The Greek destroying Ungar and taking nearly half a million dollars from him. Bearing in mind this was in 1992, it was a very considerable amount of cash. The Greek continued his winning steak turning his total bankroll into over $40 million by 1995. Instead of sticking to poker, Karas turned to table games and lost all of his bankroll by the end of the year mainly playing baccarat and dice.

Basic Razz Poker Rules

The rules for Razz are the same as 7 Card Stud but as follows:

1)      The high hand does not win the pot. Instead, at showdown the pot is awarded to the player with the lowest hand.

2)      The ranking for low hands in Razz is the same as in 7 Card Stud Hi Lo. Both games use the “Ace to Five” system for ranking low hands. Flushes and straights do not count so a suited 10-9-8-7-6 is not a straight or a flush but 10 high. Aces are low and the best possible or “nuts” hand is 5-4-3-3-A.

3)      The key difference between Razz and 7 Card Stud Hi Lo and 7 Card Stud is that there is no minimum qualifying low hand. In those games a player can only make a low hand if they hold 8-7-6-5-4 or lower. In Razz, the best low hand wins the entire pot.

4)      The suit of the cards is not taken into account when determining who wins the pot. In the unlikely event that two players have two equal flushes of different suits, the pot is split.

Razz Poker Strategy

Stealing antes are very important in Razz and in Seven Card Stud. By stealing the ante, you can win the pot without having the best hand at showdown. Good times to attempt to steal are listed below:

1)      When you have the lowest face up card.

2)      When the “bring in” is immediately to your left you should always raise and try to steal.

Remember to fold if your steal attempt is attacked by another player re raising. You don’t want to dig yourself into a hole.

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