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Razz

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Razz, also known as Seven Card Razz, is a variant of Seven Card Stud and, like Seven Card Stud, does not involve any community cards. However, unlike Seven Card Stud, Razz is a ‘lowball’ game, in which the object is make the lowest possible five-card hand from the seven cards dealt to each player.

Before each hand is dealt, each player is required to make a small, compulsory bet, known as an ‘ante’, to seed the pot. Thereafter, each player is dealt two cards, known as ‘hole’ cards, face down and one card, known as a ‘door’ card, face up. Aces are low and spades is the highest suit, followed hearts, diamonds and clubs, in that order. The player with the highest door card is required to make another compulsory bet, known as the ‘bring-in’, in the first betting round, a.k.a. ‘third street’.

Each player is subsequently dealt a fourth, fifth and sixth card, face up, accompanied by betting rounds known as ‘fourth street’, ‘fifth street’ and ‘sixth street’, respectively. Each player is dealt a seventh and final card, face down - so that its value is known only to the player - and a final round of betting, unsurprisingly known as ‘seventh street’, follows. In all betting rounds, except third street, betting commences with the player with the lowest exposed cards. In the event of a tie for the lowest exposed cards, betting commences with the first player to the left of the dealer. Following seventh street, if two or more players remain in the game, a ‘showdown’ takes place, during which the remaining players reveal their hands.

Razz differs from Seven Card Stud insofar that straights and flushes are discounted and have no effect, plus or minus, on the value of a hand. The so-called ‘California’ system, but which hands are ranked, dictates that the best - that is, the lowest - possible hand is A, 2, 3, 4, 5 of any suit, a.k.a. a ‘wheel’. Generally speaking, though, the player who makes the lowest, unpaired hand using five of their seven cards, wins the pot.

Thanks

Gareth the Gambler



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