Razz is a game where your aim is to get the lowest poker hand, not the highest one. You get seven cards and constructs your poker hand using five of them. Razz is normally played as fixed limit, not pot limit or no limit, and the number of seats at the table varies from 2 to 8.
In the mixed-game tournament format named H.O.R.S.E the R stands for Razz. (The other letters represents Texas Holde’m, Omaha Eight or better, Seven card stud and Seven card stud Eight or better.)
How to play Razz
In Razz, all players must place an ante at the start of each hand. The size of the ante is determined by the smallest possible bet. Let’s say we’re playing $2/$4 Razz. The smallest bet is then $2, while the largest bet is $4. The ante is $0,4 and the “bring in” will be be 1/3-1/5 of $2.
The dealer gives each player three cards. Two of them are hole cards (viewed by the player only) while the third is placed face up on the table in front of the player.
The player with the highest table-card must post the “bring in”. Once the bring in has been posted, an additional face up card is dealt to each player. The player with the lowest face up hand starts the first betting round.
After the first betting round, each player who is still in the hand receives a new face up card. Each player now have two hole cards and three face up cards.
A new betting round takes place, before each player still in the hand gets another face up card. This is followed by another betting round.
Another card is dealt to each player, and this time the card is a hole card, not a face up card. (If there are eight players in the hand there will be a shortage of cards in the deck. Instead of giving each player a hole card, the dealer will place one community card on the table.)
A final betting round is carried out. (As you can see, Razz has a total of five betting rounds. During each round, you can raise no more than three times.)
If there are at least two players left in the hand after the final betting round, the players will unveil their hands and the pot will go to the player with the lowest hand. (You can opt to simply discard a losing hand without showing it if you wish to.)
If you have played Omaha Hi/Lo, you will recognize how the value of a hand is calculated in Razz. The lowest hand can not include any pair. When two hands are compared, the highest card is considered first. The hand 4-6-7-8-9 will thus be lower then A-2-3-4-Kn. Straights and flush are not considered high combinations in Razz, and the ace is always low.
The lowest, i.e. bets, hand in Razz is A-2-3-4-5. This hand has several nicknames, including The Wheel, Bicycle and 5 High.