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An Introduction to Razz Poker

Razz poker is one of the most confusing styles of play but is well worth learning for the serious poker enthusiast. It is a subversive take on the traditional goal of stud games, aiming to reward the lowest, rather than highest hand possible.

Razz poker is a stud style poker game that is heavily reminiscent of Seven-card Stud. The style focuses on making the ‘worst’ (or lowest) hand possible in order to win however and is thus likely to confuse many novices to the style.

By the end of the game every player that doesn’t fold will hold seven cards and the potential to show their five ‘best’ cards. Razz poker differs again from other stud games in that, contrary to expectations, a flush or straight does not negatively affect the hand ranking. Low cards are good but having a run in numbers or same suits (as demonstrated below) is not a bad thing in Razz poker.

Aces are always the lowest card in Razz poker and the best possible hand to hold is A-2-3-4-5. The easiest way to read and understand low hands can be found in taking the face values literally as a whole number. The five cards above (A2345) can be read as “twelve thousand, three hundred and forty five” and a similar straight such as A-3-4-5-6 would be read as “thirteen thousand, four hundred and fifty six). The lowest numerical amount is the best hand to hold.

The next article will detail the table action that constitutes the rules of a Razz poker game.

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