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Razz: Becoming a Card Player in the Know

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Razz: Becoming a Card Player in the Know

When playing the poker game of Razz, every player is dealt seven cards. The object of the game is to attain the lowest hand of five cards, and straights and flushes have no value in this game. The best possible hand to have is A-2-3-4-6. This card combination is followed in ranking by A-2-3-5-6, A-2-4-5-6, A-3-4-5-6 and 2-3-4-5-6, and these hands are referred to as “a six” or “six-low.” The following lowest attainable hand is a seven or seven low, A-2-3-4-7.

In a game of $5 to $10 there is a sole ante (50 cents). After the dealer distributes three cards face-down and one face-up, the King card must “bring it in” for a single dollar. In the event a tie occurs for the high card, suits are considered next. The ranking hierarchy of cards after the King is: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. If any player desires to raise, he or she is required to bring the bet up to $5.

Afterwards, another card is dealt and placed face-up (“Fourth Street”) with the bet at $5. From this point to the end of the game, the low hand will lead the action. The Fifth and Sixth Street rounds are with the bet at $10, beginning after every card has been dealt and with face-up placement. The last round dealt (the river) gives one card to every player which is placed face-down. The majority of Razz games permit a raise limit of three to four each round. Following the last betting round, every card is placed face-up so the dealer can determine each player’s best low hand of five cards. If a tie should occur between two Razz players for the lowest hand, the winner’s take is usually divided between them.1

In this exciting card game, it is extremely important to understand how to read hands well. This is especially true since four cards of each player’s hand of cards are placed face-up and are visible to everyone. Although it seems logical to assume that following Fifth and Sixth Streets you can pretty well figure out your opponents’ hands of cards, remember that there may be some startling surprises awaiting you at the river following the Seventh Street dealing of three face-down cards per player.