Winamax

Razz

The four key points about Razz:

  • Razz is a poker game derived from Razz where players must make the weakest five card hand from the seven they are dealt.
  • Razz is a poker game in the “open” family: this means that multiple cards that each player receives are dealt face up. However, unlike Texas Hold’em, there are no communal cards: the seven cards each player receives are their own.
  • In Razz, position (and therefore the order that players act) is not determined by the button (as if the case for the majority of poker games, like Texas Hold’em), but on the strength of the cards shown by each player. Therefore, the order in which players make their action during a hand often changes, according to the cards dealt.
  • Razz is played with Limit rules: this means that the maximum bet amount permitted depends on the size of the pot. This means that unlike in No Limit Hold’em, you won’t always have the possibility to bet all your chips.

How to make a hand

In Razz, the Ace is considered only as a low card. Additionally, straights and flushes are not counted as such (holding five clubs, for example, will not get in the way of holding a winning hand). As a result, the best possible hand in Razz, an unbeatable hand (the nuts) is:


Ace-2-3-4-5 also known as the wheel.


The second best possible Low hand is:


Ace-2-3-4-6


Then:


Ace-2-3-5-6


And so on.

How a hand is played


Ante

Before beginning a Razz hand, every player must pay a forced bet, known as an “Ante”. The ante amount varies depending on the game. It is the amount that must be paid in order to be dealt cards.


The deal and “Bring in”

Each player receives three cards: two hidden and one face up. The player with the highest face up card must act first, and place a bet called the “Bring in” or, if the player wishes, a full “small bet”.


Should two or more players hold the same value high card, they are separated according to the suit. The suits are ranked in this order: clubs (lowest), diamonds, hearts, spades (highest). The highest suit wins in this case: if the 2 of hearts and the 2 of clubs are face up at the start of the hand, it’s the 2 of hearts which will go first. (We should note that the suit hierarchy is only used in this exact situation and does not come into play at showdown. If, for example, one player shows Ace-10-8-5-2 of clubs and a second player shows Ace-10-8-5-2 of diamonds, their hands are considered identical and the pot is split.)


3rd street

After the player showing the highest card has paid the bring in or small bet, the round continues clockwise around the table: each player can either fold, call, or raise.


For each betting round, the number of raises is limited to 3 and progresses in small bets (for example, in a €2/€4 hand, they are made in €2 amounts).


If the bet or raise of a player is not equalled by another opponent, then the hand ends immediately and the player to bet last wins the pot. This rule applies throughout the hand.


4th street

Each player receives another face up card, called “Fourth Street”. The first player to act is the one with the weakest face up cards. Should it be a tie, once again the suit is used to determine the winner (see the paragraph above). The weakest suit takes precedence.


The first player to act may check (bet nothing) or bet (a small bet). If the following players decide to bet, the action goes back to the players who have checked. They will then have the choice to call, fold, or raise if the maximum number of raises has not yet been reached. If all the players check during a round of betting, we go straight to the next round.


Action moves clockwise around the table. Once all the bets and raises have been called, the next round will begin.


5th street

Each player receives another face up card, called “Fifth Street”. Once again, the first player to act is the one showing the weakest cards. Should it be a tie, the same rules as Fourth Street apply.


Action moves clockwise around the table, according to the rules previously explained.


Starting on Fifth Street and for the rest of the hand, all the bets progress in big bets, generally double the size of a small bet (Example: in a €2/€4 game, a big bet is €4).


6th street

Each player receives another face up card, called “Sixth Street”. Again, the first player to act is the one showing the weakest cards. Should it be a tie, the same rules as before apply.


Action moves clockwise around the table, according to the rules previously explained.


7th street

Each player receives a seventh and final card, this time face down (and therefore only known to the player in question). The first player to act is the one showing the weakest cards. Should it be a tie, the same rules as before apply.


Action moves clockwise around the table, according to the rules previously explained.


Showdown

Once all bets have been called in the final round of betting, the last player to have raised must show their cards first. If there was no bet on the last round of betting, the player who checked first must show their cards first. The hands are always then revealed in turn clockwise around the table.


The winner of the pot is the player who shows the weakest five card hand, according to the hierarchy listed earlier on this page. If one or multiple players reveal an identical hand, the pot is shared equally among them. Once the pot has been awarded to the winner(s), a new hand can begin.

Additional rules

  • Razz is played with a maximum of six players.
  • In a tournament, on 3rd street, if the player with the lowest card is all-in with the ante and therefore has no chips to make the bring-in, the bring-in is made by the player to their left, without taking into account the strength of the cards. Note that if the player possesses enough chips to pay the ante but not enough for the bring-in, the player is considered both all-in and the bring-in. The next player, if he wants to enter the pot or raise, must pay the full bring-in amount.
  • In a cash game, you must have enough chips to post both the ante and bring-in in order to play the hand.
  • 3rd street: if the player making the bring-in increases it to a small bet, this bet is not considered a raise. The number of remaining raises will therefore still be three.