Razz Poker Rules
Remember, the purpose of Razz poker is to secure the lowest possible five-card hand. As such, the best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A, which is known as the “wheel” or “bicycle”.
The Deal, Ante & Third Street
As mentioned above, each hand of Razz poker begins with each player anteing. The exact value may vary by casino, table, and game variation, but typically the ante is 10% of the big bet. If you’re playing at a $5/$10 table, for example, the ante would be $1.
Once each player has placed their ante, the cards will be dealt.
Each player will receive two face-down “hole” cards, and one face-up “door” card. This stage in the game is known as “third street.”
The player with the highest-value face-up card is known as the “bring in”, and action begins with them. The “bring in” player must fold or choose to place either a partial bet or a full bet (the smaller increment; exact values will vary based on game & table).
If there is a tie in determining the “bring in”, ties will be broken by suit. Highest to lowest: spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs, and the highest suit brings in.
Betting action continues clockwise around the table until the round is complete.
Once the initial betting round is complete, each active player will be dealt another face-up card. This is known as “fourth street”.
Unlike the first betting round, this round’s betting action now begins with the player with the lowest face-up hand. This player can choose to fold, check, or bet, and betting action again continues clockwise around the table.
On fourth street, betting increments are still the small bet (e.g. $5 in a $5/$10 game).
Fifth & Sixth Street
Each active player is now dealt another face-up card. This is known as “fifth street”. Action again begins with the lowest face-up hand, and on fifth street, betting increments are now the larger bet size (e.g. $10 in a $5/$10 game.)
Action continues clockwise around the circle.
This process – an additional card, followed by betting action – continues on sixth street.
By this point, each player now has two face-down cards and four face-up cards.
Each player now receives their seventh and final card, which is again face-down. This phase of the game is known as seventh street, or the river.
Again, action begins with the player who is showing the lowest face-up hand and proceeds clockwise around the circle for a final betting round.
At the end of this round of betting, assuming there is more than one remaining player, the game moves into the showdown phase.
In this phase of the game, all remaining players reveal their face-down cards to determine the winner – again, the player with the lowest hand. More on hand rankings in a minute.
The reveal begins with the last bettor, and then moves clockwise around the circle.
In the event of a tie, the pot will be split equally between the tied players.