Razz Poker Rules – How To Play Razz Poker



In Razz poker, the object is to end up with the lowest hand possible. You may think that makes it more difficult to determine which player has the winning hand, but it is actually a bit simpler that other poker variations like Texas Holdem or Seven Card Stud Hi. This is because pairs or anything higher very rarely win any pots.  I have only seen a pair win a handful of hands in any Razz game I have played in.

Before you can start playing, you need to know the Razz Poker rules.  Straights and flushes do not count in Razz, so there are two less hand types to worry about.  That means that you essentially only have to know how to rank unpaired hands.  Here is how you do it.

Razz Poker Hand Rankings… What Beats What?

Before I get to the explanation of how to determine the best hand in Razz, you must remember that in this game Aces are played low only.  That means that an Ace is the lowest possible card in Razz.  It’s numerical value is one (1).

Hand Explanation
Lowest High Card Of the five lowest cards in your hand, the highest of those is the first factor.  In the lowest possible hand A-2-3-4-5 (also known as a “Wheel”), The five is the 1st card to look at.  If that card is lower that your opponents’ fifth lowest card, you win the hand.  If hers is the same as yours, then you must go to the next step.
Second Lowest High Card If your high card is a tie, then you must look at the second highest card in your hand.  If your hand is A-2-3-4-6, then you must now compare your four with your opponents next lowest card.  Let’s say your opponent holds A-2-3-5-6, then you would win.  You both have a six, but your next lowest card (four) beats her next lowest card (five).  You win!  If that card is a tie, then you keep going down the line until you break the tie.
One Pair Rarely, a pair will win a Razz hand.  Whomever has the lowest pair wins if no one has an unpaired hand to showdown.  Congratulations!  You just got real lucky to win with a pair.

How To Play Razz Poker

Now that you know what beats what in Razz, I will explain the basic game mechanics and how to deal and bet in Razz poker.

  1. A dealer is chosen to shuffle and deal the cards.  Generally the dealer is rotated clockwise after every hand dealt.
  2. Each player must place an ante into the pot.  (Determine what the ante is before beginning play.  This amount should be the same every hand dealt.)
  3. Everyone gets dealt two cards face down and one card face up.  These are called your “hole cards” and the “door card” respectively.
  4. After everyone is dealt their first three cards, the highest door card must “bring in” a forced blind, usually the same amount as the ante.
  5. Each player, in turn clockwise, can either call the bring-in, raise, or fold.
  6. After this first round of betting, another card is dealt face up to each player, and another round of betting ensues. A total of four face up cards are dealt with a round of betting following each.
  7. After six cards have been dealt to each player, a seventh card is dealt to each player face down. A final round of betting takes place.
  8. After all betting has been concluded, all of the remaining players turn their cards face up and sort each one into their lowest five card hand, not using two of the highest cards (or cards which would give you a pair).
  9. The player with the lowest five card hand wins the pot.
  10. Rinse, wash and repeat.

That is how you play Razz Poker.  Razz can be a very fun game to pay with friend or online.  If you would like to try a hand or two for free or real money online, read my review of the best online Razz Poker rooms.