Understanding Razz Poker

Razz poker, which is also called five or seven-card-stud-low, is one of the dozens of poker games available today. To understand Razz poker it is a good idea to understand the basic rules and terminology used in all poker games. The other names for Razz poker, five-card-stud-low and seven-card-stud-low, refer to a game in which each player is initially dealt two cards face down and one card face up.

The player with the lowest face card must begin the betting. Players dispose of unused "burn" cards and are dealt an additional face card to make up for the card placed in the discard pile. Cards are dealt in such a manner until they total either five or seven face cards. The object of the game is to obtain the best set of either five or seven face cards with the lowest ranking. In this game aces are played as the number "1" so that they can be played "low" and built off of with a subsequent 2, 3, etc. The best hand in five-card-stud-low is 5, 4, 3, 2, ace and in seven-card-stud low Razz poker the best hand is 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, ace.

It is also important to know basic poker terminology, although "hand" terminology is not relevant in Razz poker. Straights, flushes, full houses, et cetera mean nothing in five and seven-card-stud-low. Terms that are important include: "rank," or the number of the card: 2, 3.4,5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace; "suits," which can be spade, heart, club, or diamond; "all-in," which is betting all your chips; "ante," which is a forced bet where players must bet equal amounts; and "hand," which can be straight flush, four of a kind, full house, straight, three of a kind, two of a kind, two pair, one pair, or high card hand.