Razz poker is the exciting lowball game which can be played online for free or real money. Discover how to play Razz with our expert guide, learn Razz poker strategy and sign up to one of the very best online Razz poker sites.
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Only the best online Razz poker sites make it into our list. All of our expert picks offer safe games in a legal online environment. You can make easy deposits and enjoy tested random number generators on every deal of the cards.
Spread of Razz Games: From micro-stakes cash games to high roller Sit & Go and tournaments, our reviewers check the games offering at all sites.
Safe & Legal Poker Online: All of our top-rated Razz poker sites are fully legal in your state and licensed by the appropriate gaming commission.
Reliable Software: Glitchy software is a big pain point for fans of online poker sites. That’s why we test and rate all poker rooms to ensure their apps and clients work perfectly.
Good Player Pools: Nothing is more frustrating than sitting at a Razz poker table with no players on it. We only recommend the best online Razz poker sites with healthy traffic 24/7.
Lots of Guarantees: As well as good traffic, you need access to good prizes. Our recommended poker sites offer Razz tournaments with weekly guaranteed prizepools.
Customer Service: Every top Razz poker site should have comprehensive Help Centers and offer instant access to live chat, phone, and email support.
Razz is a version of seven card stud poker where the aim is to have the lowest possible hand, not the highest. So, in Razz poker games, the best hand is A-2-3-4-5, where no cards are paired.
To start a hand, every Razz player receives two cards each face down, plus one card face up. There are several rounds of betting, during which players receive further cards face up. The final card is dealt face down.
You can play games at the best online Razz poker sites for free or make a deposit and play for real money. Typically, Razz is played as a cash game, but it’s also played in tournaments and as the middle round in H.O.R.S.E.
Before you play Razz poker, you’ll need to open a gambling account. You can register from anywhere in the US. However, you will need to be physically located within a regulated state to log on and play. Online Razz is legally available in half a dozen states, and you’ll have to be 21 or over to play.
1. Download the desktop software, if available. You can also install mobile poker apps with some operators.
2. Create a unique username and password. Ensure your password is strong and hard to guess.
3. Enter personal details, such as your name, home address and email address. You’ll also need to provide the last four digits of your Social Security number to prove your age.
4. Click on the verification email to complete the registration process. You can now make a deposit using the Razz poker site cashier.
5. Under state gambling laws, you will have to supply a copy of a recent utility bill, plus a scan of your US passport or driver’s license. Once these have been verified, you will be able to continue making deposits and withdrawals.
You can now play Razz poker online in a handful of US states. These states offer legal, regulated online poker games where your funds are totally protected.
New Jersey: The Garden State has enjoyed an online poker boom since it legalized online poker. You can now gamble for real money at top New Jersey poker sites. You can even enter exclusive tournament series aimed at NJ players.
Pennsylvania: The state passed blanket legislation in 2019 covering online poker, sports betting and casinos. There are still few Razz poker rooms to play at, but the number is growing in 2021.
Delaware: Though the poker market is small in Delaware, the state still enjoys an interstate player compact with New Jersey and Nevada. That means if a poker player lives in Delaware and plays Razz poker online, he or she can join fellow players in other legal states.
West Virginia: The state is a recent member of the regulated online poker club in the US. You can now gamble online in West Virginia, and the first online poker rooms should open in 2021.
Michigan: Like WV, Michigan also offers fully-legal online poker and gambling to players 21 or over. Some major online Razz poker operators are positioning themselves to launch Michigan poker sites in 2021.
Nevada: The state was one of the first to pass online poker laws back in 2013. Play online whenever you’re in Las Vegas, or travel to your nearest partner casino to make a real-cash deposit.
Understanding lowball strategy is important if you want to know how to play Razz. The “best” hand is the lowest possible hand, i.e. A-2-3-4-5. If you’ve come to Razz via Texas Hold'em or Stud poker, where the highest hand wins, this can be a tricky concept to grasp.
However, once you’ve played a few hands you will better understand Razz poker strategy, and then you can start building up a bankroll and moving up the levels.
Deal: Before the cards are dealt, each Razz player pays an “ante bet” This is a tiny percentage of the small bet that everyone must pay. A card is discarded (“burnt”), then each player receives two down cards and one card face up.
Bring-In Bet: The player showing the highest card showing (up-card) is the “bring-in.” They must start the action by placing a small bring-in bet, or a full bet. The next player can call, raise or fold their hand. Betting in Razz poker online is normally Limit. For the first two rounds of betting, a “small” bet amount is used. All raises are limited to the size of the small bet.
For the final three rounds of betting, a “big” bet is employed. So, in a game of $3/$6 Razz, the first rounds would be played with limits of $3, and the final rounds with bets and raises worth $6.
Betting Rounds: Each remaining player receives three further up cards (Fourth Street, Fifth Street and Sixth Street). Seventh Street is dealt face down. Again, the highest up card is the bring-in for the final betting round.
Showdown: After Seventh Street betting, any remaining players reveal their hands. The lowest winning hand scoops the pot.
The lowest hands in Razz poker are the best. The strongest hand is A-2-3-4-5 (the straight doesn’t count), followed by A-2-3-4-6, A-2-3-5-6, and so on. When comparing hands, start with the highest-ranked card in the hand, then work down. For instance, 2-3-4-7-J would beat 2-3-4-5-K.
Here are the 10 best 5-card Razz hands:
It’s easy to get started playing Razz poker online. But before you make a deposit and hit the tables, make sure you understand the main basics.
Just as in Hold’em, it’s vital to get a grasp of good Razz starting hands when you play. The key is to play hands that have a chance of making a wheel (A-2-3-4-5).
So, a great starting hand would be (A 2) 3 or (A 3) 5. If you have two high cards, just fold your hand. You’re already in a bad position before you even put chips in.
These are good Razz starting hands to concentrate on:
Razz is a game with partial information. Your opponents know some of your cards but can’t see your hole cards. And if you have a hand with low up cards (e.g. (K J) 2-3-4, it can be a good position to bluff.
Your opponents can’t see how bad your hole cards are, but they may be scared out of a pot if you convey strength with a big bet.
In Razz poker games, you have a lot of information on what other players are holding. Remember, four of the seven cards are face up. This can give you a guide as to how strong your hand is.
Always look for dead cards. These are the opponents’ up cards that pair your own up cards. Pairs are bad in Razz as you are always trying to get as close to the wheel as possible. So, if an opponent has paired your up cards, it makes it harder for you to make pairs. That’s a great position for you as the hand goes on.
Razz is a poker game similar in rules to seven card stud poker, but the lowest ranked hand wins the pot, not the highest. No straights and flushes. Razz poker can be played at an online poker site or in a live poker room with up to eight players at the table. There are no flop or community cards in Razz poker.
It’s a remote possibility in an eight-player Razz poker game that the deck will be exhausted. If no player folds, it would take more than 52 cards to complete seventh street. If that happens, a single seventh card is dealt face up, which all players would adopt as a community card.
Ace-2-3-4-5, also known as the wheel, is the best hand possible. The best starting hands in a Razz game are three cards that have the potential to make a wheel, such as Ace-2-3 and Ace-2-4.
A Razz game will last as long as there are players at the table. Individual hands may take a minute or two to complete. A Razz tournament can take many hours, depending on the number of players.
Razz can be a harder game to play than Texas Hold’em as most of the cards are visible. It takes a lot of bluffing to force opponents off of their drawing hands.
The best online Razz poker sites do offer real-money tournaments and Sit & Gos. These poker rooms aren’t available in all regulated US states, however.
"A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade."