Razz poker, a variant of stud poker, is an interesting poker game, in which the lowest five-card hand, not the highest, wins. The game is played with a deck of 52 cards and can be played by a minimum of 2 and maximum of 8 players. The concept of the "8 or better" qualifying hand is also absent in this game, which means that any hand with the lowest value is qualified to win. The betting structure in razz poker is almost always fixed. Although, some casinos may have pot limit and no limit razz games.
Here are a few points to remember before you start playing razz poker. In lowball poker variants, like razz, aces are counted as 1. Straights and flushes are not accepted combinations in razz. Suits are ranked according to alphabetical order, club, diamond, heart and spade, in the ascending order. The lowest hand happens to be A-2-3-4-5. Instead of the blind bets, razz poker is played with Antes and bring-ins. King of Spades is the highest value card.
Betting options for razz players include fold, raise, call, check, and bet. The bet refers to the amount of chips that are first placed in a betting round. To call is to match a bet placed by the earlier player, and to raise is to increase it. Fold refers to giving up and moving out of the current razz game. Check refers to neither betting nor folding, and is only allowed when no other player has placed a bet in that particular round.
The game of razz begins with a single ante bet, which is a small percentage of the minimum bet. Considering that it’s a $2/4 table with a fixed betting limit, the ante can be 25%, which would be $0.50. After all the players place the ante bet into the pot, they are dealt with three cards each, with two facing down and one facing up.
The showdown is when the players expose their cards and the winner is determined. The player who placed the last bet or raise has to show the cards first. The remaining players, in the clockwise direction, also show their cards for evaluation. In case there is only one player left at the river, the player at the starting position has to show the their cards first, followed by the other players. If there is no qualifying hand, the lowest possible hand is awarded the pot. If there are two winners, the pot is divided equally among them, as the rank of the suits is not considered to determine the winner.
In case of an 8 player razz table, there is a possibility of not having enough cards in the deck towards the end of the game, particularly the 7th street. If no player has folded, a single seventh card is dealt face up, and all the players have to treat it as their 7th card.
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