The object of the game is simply to create the lowest valued hand of five cards and this does require some opposite thinking. People who love Razz poker can find it in many good poker rooms online but they should try to figure out which will offer the greatest traffic to ensure active tables.
Creating the Worst Hand
Unlike so many other forms of poker Razz poker is won by the worst hand. In many ways the game play is similar to Seven Card Stud Poker but there are a few important differences. In Razz the Ace is always counted as low and straights and flushes are not ranked at all, they simply don’t count. This makes Razz very suitable to beginner players and they could even have a bit of advantage as more experienced players could get confused when the ranking is so different. Many players find this version of poker a fresh breeze and great fun as it demands of the player to create a very bad hand which somewhat relaxes the game.
The Basic Game Plot
- A Razz game begins with every player putting in an ante. Size varies depending on what poker room you choose to play in and you should check this up before joining the table.
- Each player is dealt three cards. Two of the cards are face down and one is face up for all to see.
- The player with the highest face up card will begin. Should there be a tie between players the ranking of cards works as following (highest to lowest): Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs.
- The one who starts can either, act, fold or place Bring-In amount which is a forced bet.
- All players act and then a fourth card is dealt. This card is face up and it is followed by a second round of betting. The first one to act in this round is the player who has the lowest hand in his exposed cards.
- A fifth card is dealt to the players, face up. The player to start the betting round after this is again the one with the lowest hand exposed on the table. This is followed by another round of betting.
- A sixth card is dealt to the players after this there is another round of betting and then the final seventh card is dealt this time face down.
- With all players having three hidden cards and four exposed ones a final round of betting takes place.
- After the final betting round the player with the lowest ranking hand wins the pot. Should there be a tie the pot is shared.
Good Razz Hands
So good Razz hands are what would normally be considered really bad ones. The best Razz hand is called the Bike or the Wheel. A ranking list of Razz looks as follows:
- The Bike/Wheel A-2-3-4-5
The beginner Razz player might find it useful to keep a list like the one above at hand in order to stay reminded of what hands to try and create. Even an experienced player that normally plays other variants of poker could get confused as to the object of the game and find it necessary to use some kind of reminder to stay focused.
Important to Remember
Many players make the mistake of forgetting that straights and flushes aren’t useful in Razz. This is truly one of the very important details to remember. Another specific point to this game is when it has to be decided who is the winner of a pot and suit rankings do not apply.
Where to Play Razz Poker
Online is probably the best place to play Razz poker since it offers so many different poker rooms that are all within easy reach. To determine just which poker room to use for this game it helps to check what other players are recommending in a poker forum online. A poker room with large traffic will most likely provide the best environment for good Razz poker tables and therefore it is useful to read up on poker room reviews before actually joining one.