Like all Stud poker variations Razz has been growing in popularity at online poker rooms in the last several years. Texas Holdem and both Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo are still the most played card games online but with the advent of “poker assistant” software that basically plays games like Texas Holdem for you, less understood games like Razz poker seem to be where the easy money is found these days. Two down, four up and one down is likely a familiar dealing format for most poker players since Stud poker variants are common at home games.

There are three main Stud poker variants online; 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo and Razz. The least played of the three games is Razz but if you are playing at a solid poker room the Razz traffic is more than sufficient to find an active table at the stakes you desire. As a lowball poker game the rules of Razz poker might seem a little unnatural to most players but its that aspect that makes Razz so profitable to players that understand the concepts and winning strategies of the game. You will know how to play Razz poker by the time you finish reading this article but this is just the first step on the long road of mastering Razz.

The Ante’s & The Deal In Razz

Like all Stud games Razz uses the ante system. Each player will put in a pre-determined ante at the start of every hand. The ante amount is determined by the table stakes but this is by no means uniform in the online arena. Typically though it is between 10-15% of the small bet. After the blinds are posted the dealer will deal each player two down cards and one up card. Whoever has the highest up card will be forced to complete the ante which usually will equal 40-50% of the small bet. Just to clear up any confusion here is an example.

Stakes – $10/20

  • Initial ante – $1
  • Amount to complete ante – $3 ($4 total)

Apart from the player with the highest up card the other players can either fold, call or raise. If they raise the amount will be the amount of the small bet so in the example above it would be $10.

The Rest Of The Game

After the initial 3 cards are dealt and the players make their bets the dealer will deal another up card and there will be another bet. The max bet is still $10, or whatever the small bet is at the table you are playing at. Once the betting is complete another up card will be dealt and from now on the max bet will be $20, based on the example above. One more up card will be dealt for a total of 4 and then another bet. Finally one last down card will be dealt and there will be one last chance to bet and players will show their cards.

The Goal In Razz Poker

The goal in Razz is to have the lowest hand. Unlike some other lowball card games, straights and flushes do not count in Razz. The lowest possible hand is A-2-3-4-5. One other thing to keep in mind is that there is no minimum low hand requirement like Omaha H/L and 7 Card Stud H/L have.