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Play Razz Poker Online – Best Sites, Rules & Strategy

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Razz poker is a form of stud poker and more specifically 7 card stud. The game differs in that it takes the best low poker hand at showdown, which creates an incredibly exciting dynamic.

Throughout this article, we’re going to look at everything you need to know about razz poker, including the best razz poker sites, strategy, hand rankings and the process of a hand.

Best Razz Poker Sites
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The Best Razz Poker Sites to Play for Real Money

Razz has been around since the start of the 20th century, making it one of the oldest forms of poker. Over the last 20 years, the game has made a bit of a revival and now is accessible on a range of online poker sites.

Below we’ve included a list of what we think are the best online poker sites on the market and some of the best options to play razz for real money.

  1. BetOnline – Best overall online poker room for playing razz
  2. Bovada – Best for online poker bonuses for new and existing players
  3. Ignition – Best Rakeback deals for online poker players
  4. Sportsbetting.ag – Huge range of tournaments and freerolls
  5. Everygame Poker – 200% poker welcome bonus

Comparison of the Best Razz Poker Sites

Razz poker

Part of the goal of this article is to look and see what online poker sites currently offer razz as a game variant. If we’re being honest, it’s not the most accessible game, especially when you compare it to the likes of Omaha and Texas Hold’em.

The table below shows what we think are the best razz poker sites on the market right now. It’s been designed so you can compare what games the poker site has on offer, the stakes that you can access and the welcome bonus that is available for all new accounts.

Poker Room Poker Welcome Bonus Razz Texas Hold’em Omaha Freerolls Min/Max Stakes
BetOnline 100% deposit match up to $1,000 $0.01/ $100NL
Bovada 100% deposit match up to $500 $0.01/ $100NL
Ignition Poker 200% deposit match up to $2,000 $0.01/ $100NL
Sportsbetting.ag 100% deposit match up to $1,000 $0.01/ $100NL
Everygame Poker 200% deposit match up to $2,000 $0.01/ $100NL

How to Play Razz Poker Online

We’re going to use this section to walk you through the rules and the processes that are needed to play razz poker online. As we mentioned earlier, this is a stud game and it’s very similar to that of 7 card stud, so if you’re familiar with that, then you’ll likely take to razz pretty quickly.

The biggest difference between the two games is the hand rankings. Razz plays as the “low” part of a high/low game. This means that you take the lowest nominated hand as the winner at the end, which adds a totally different dimension to the strategy involved.

1)   Pick the Stakes

One of the first things that you need to do with razz poker is choosing the limits that you play. This is a fixed limit game, meaning that you can only raise the amount of the small or big blind, depending on what point of the hand you are at.

There are variations of the game that include pot limit, meaning you can bet the pot, but it’s very rare to see no-limit forms of razz.

Stakes are decided before the game and come with a small and big blind. The big blind is usually double that of the small blind and these stakes remain the same throughout the game for cash games.

Tournaments for razz poker are rare, but if you do manage to find them the stakes will increase as the tournament progresses. It won’t change from the bet type though, meaning that if it starts with fixed limit stakes, it will carry these through to the end.

2)   Enter the Hand with an Ante

To signify that you want to play in the hand you need to place an ante bet. This bet is made before any of the cards are dealt and is a fee that is pre-determined before the start of the game.

The amount of the ante can range between tables and stakes. It’s usually around 10% of the small blind, but as stated, there are no set rules for the ante amount.

3)   First Round of Cards are Dealt

The first round of cards that are dealt is called “third street” and this is because each player gets dealt three cards in total. Two of these cards are dealt face down and the other is face up for all players to see.

It’s at this point the player needs to start assessing their hand based on the two cards face down (which they can look at) and the one card face up.

4)   The “Bring In” and First Betting Round

Once the cards have been dealt it’s time to start betting. The first person to act is the player with the highest exposed card. It’s worth noting that suits don’t play a role here as they do with other stud games, and instead, if two or more players have the same value hand, it’s the player closest to the dealer that goes first.

This player needs to place a bet that’s called the “bring in”. The minimum amount for the bring-in is decided before the start of the game, a little like how the ante would work.

Most games have this set at around 50% of the small blind, but as mentioned, it can vary. It’s possible for the player to place a full bet here if they wish, which would be the full value of the small blind.

Players are then able to call, raise or fold to the bring-in bet. The action takes place in a clockwise direction from the first player to act.

It’s worth noting at this point that only the nominations of the small blind can be bet or raised. It’s only when you get to fifth street is the bet then raised to that of increments of the big blind.

5)   Fourth Street (Second Round of Betting)

Another card is dealt face up to each player that is still in the hand. This is known as fourth street.

The first player to act is the player with the strongest (lowest) exposed hand. Given that for razz poker the strongest hands start from Ace upward, then rankings are based on this.

This player can either check or bet. If they check it means that they don’t need to put money into the pot and instead the action moves to the next player. If they bet, players need to either call or raise to stay in the hand, or they can fold to come out of the hand.

6)   Fifth Street (Third Round of Betting)

Fifth street follows much of the same pattern as fourth street in that each player gets another exposed card then the player with the strongest (lowest) hand acts first before a round of betting takes place.

The one key element to note here is that the minimum bet is now the price of the big blind. For example, in a $5/$10 game, the min bet for fifth street would be $10, whereas it would have been just $5 for the previous streets.

7)   Sixth Street

On sixth street, the last of the face-up cards are dealt. Each player will now have 6 cards, four that are face up and two that are face down.

A round of betting takes place as per fifth street and the player to act first is once again the player with the strongest hand on show.

8)   Seventh Street (The River)

The final card of the hand is dealt and this one is face down. The players now have their final 7 cards and from this must make the best possible razz poker hands.

A round of betting will take place before we then get to the showdown.

The showdown will only occur if there are two or more players left in the hand. It’s possible that some hands will not get this far as players will fold earlier in the hand.

As a slight caveat to how seventh street plays out, there may be times when there are more players than the number of cards in the deck. It’s possible to play razz poker with up to 8 players, which means that would need 56 cards if all players were to get to showdown.

This is very rare, but if this does happen, a single final card is dealt face-up on the table and this is used as a community card instead of each player getting a final face-down card.

9)   Showdown

Once the betting has finished and the hand is complete, the person who is left of the dealer will show their hand first. This then follows around in a clockwise direction.

The winner of razz poker is the player with the lowest hand. The best possible hand in razz is A,2,3,4,5, which is also known as the wheel.

Unlike other hi/lo stud hands there is no low hand nor are there qualifiers. As we’ve mentioned, this works in the same way that 7 card stud would in that, there is one hand and there is always a result.

It’s also worth noting that straight and flushes do not quality as hands and suits have no value to the outcome of any showdown.

Play Free Razz Poker Online

razz poker free

One of the best ways to learn Razz is to play the game for free. The game is relatively simple to grasp but to get good at it, you need to put the time into practice.

There are several ways that you can do this, but one of the best is with freerolls or playing money cash games. These are basically games that you can get into for nothing and play the games as they would with real money.

The only negative when you play free razz poker online is that the games aren’t all that easy to find. Razz is a pretty niche game for most online poker sites, which means that free games can be hard to come by.

We would also advise that you proceed with caution in these games if you do find one. As they are free, players will be much looser than if they were playing for real money.

Razz Poker Hand Ranking

Razz is unique in that the hand rankings are based on the lowest possible hand. Ace is deemed the lowest card and then you get 5 cards working up from that to highlight your hand.

For example, the best hand in the game is 5, 4, 3, 2, A which is referred to as the wheel. It’s then a case of making the lowest possible hands from here working upwards.

It’s worth noting that classic poker hands such as pairs, flushes and straight have no power in Razz. The game is all about making the lowest five-card hand possible.

Below we’ve listed the five possible hands in Razz and then ranked them in terms of strength.

  1. 5, 4, 3, 2, A (The Wheel = The strongest possible hand)
  2. 6, 4, 3, 2, A
  3. 8, 5, 4, 2, A
  4. 8, 5, 5, 2, A
  5. J, T, 9, 8, 7

The easiest way to work out the winning hand is to run from high to low. Hands 3 and 4 (above) are good examples of how close they can be. They have the same first and second card, but then hand 3 has a 4 over hand 5’s 5, which means that hand is the winner (lowest).

What are the Razz Poker Odds?

Razz is a poker game, not a casino game, which means that there is no house edge. There are no odds that are applied to the game other than those created when bets are made to determine the price of a call.

Being able to work out the odds for bets is a strong attribute to have with razz. This would work in scenarios where someone was to bet and then you would be able to work out the odds to call that bet based on the amount of money that is in the pot.

This gets quite technical and is something that we would consider to be an advanced strategy, but if you’re looking to make money long-term from the game, is imperative that you learn.

The Best Razz Poker Strategy

Razz is a game that a lot of players play incorrectly. Its rules are very much different from mainstream poker games like Texas Hold’em, even though there are some similarities.

We wanted to include a strategy section to allow you to win more money when playing razz poker. If you incorporate these into your game, you’re going to massively improve your chances of becoming a profitable razz poker player.

Note Folded Hands

At the start of every game, you get the opportunity to see a one-up card from each player at the table. This is the first chance to see cards that may be dealt that will improve your hand.

For example, if you get dealt a hand like A, 3, 4, which would be a great starting hand, then to improve further you need a 2. If two players have a 2 showing and fold, you know that there is only a maximum of two deuces left in the deck.

It’s important that you know this for later streets as it allows you to have a better understanding of pot odds. So, if you got to a point where you needed that deuce card to make a wheel or improve your hand, you know that 50% of the cards you need have gone, meaning the likelihood of the chance of hitting one is massively reduced.

You need to keep noting this on later streets as well. When more cards are dealt it’s hard to keep up with what has been folded and what is still in play, but note the lower cards which are going to make stronger razz poker hands.

Dial in Your Starting Hands

One of the biggest leaks that we see from Razz poker players are the starting hands they play. Most play a much too wide range of hands to start with and get suckered into the limit format of the game meaning that it’s “not that much” to peel another card.

This is a strategy that will lose a lot of money and fast.

An easy place to start is to pick any three cards that can make a wheel. This might be A, 2, 3 (best possible) or something like 2, 4, 5. Basically, any three cards that are ranked 5 or less are good to go.

You need to broaden your range somewhat though and a simple rule of them would be to play any three cards of 7 or less. The 7 card is generally considered to be a good middle card in that, low hands that start with a 7 are still relatively strong, but anything higher and you’re likely going to struggle at showdown.

Use “Up Cards” to Plot Your Strategy

The ability to see up to 4 possible up cards with an opponent is a huge tool and one that a lot of players overlook. There are several things you can look for here, but one of the most common are the draws that players might have and how they react to that.

For example, if a player is being conservative and then all of a sudden start to get aggressive with 3 cards to the wheel on show, there is a good chance that they’ve got a strong hand.

The flip side to this is that smart players will get aggressive with these hands purely based on how it’s perceived to their opponents. You can use the cards you have and even cards that have been dealt/mucked to work out the likelihood that a player is bluffing or not.

5th Street = Make or Break

5th street is arguably the most important street for razz poker, and you need a plan once you get here. This is the time where you can now see three up cards for each player but it’s also where the min bet jumps from the small blind to the big blind.

If you’re chasing a card at this point, chances are it’s time to give up. If you’ve made a hand then stick around for two more streets and if you’ve a monster, use the increase in blinds to get money into the pot.

One of the biggest leaks that we see with a lot of new razz poker players is that if they get to 5th street, they feel too invested and overpay to see the last two cards. It’s generally that they’ve so much money in the pot at this point that they don’t want to fold, when in fact, folding is almost always fine (odds-wise).

Top Tips on How to Win at Razz Poker

To make the most amount of money from Razz poker we wanted to include some tips that you can use to get started. These are going to be very easy to apply and you can align most of them with just about any form of poker.

1. Bankroll Management

One of the most common poker tips you will see from any reputable site is that of bankroll management. It’s common because it’s important and you need to learn how to manage it to be successful.

With poker, you will need a buffer of a bankroll to cover times when you lose money. That’s right, you will lose money as basic variance suggests that, even if you play a perfect strategy, there will be times when the cards don’t align, and you get beat.

The bankroll is designed to cover those losses and see you through until your luck turns. The amount you need is going to be based on several factors, but the most common is how conservative you want to be and how easy you can top your bankroll up if needed.

We suggest that you look to have anywhere from 30 to 100 buy-ins for the level that you’re playing. So, if you had $1,000 as a starting bankroll, this would cover you for stakes between $0.25FL and $1FL.

2. Keep Learning

If you’ve got this far in this article, then you’re already on the road to becoming a better razz poker player. Don’t just stop with this article and instead keep reading, watching, and learning as you play.

There are tons of great resources online and YouTube is one of the best places you can start. Check out some of the videos from Daniel Negreanu or Card Player. These are two great resources for players who are just starting and those looking to move up the stakes.

3. Change Your Strategy Based on Your Opponents

There is a saying in poker that if you can’t spot the weakest player at the table, then it’s probably you. This is a tongue-in-cheek comment for the most part, but you need to be able to change your style of play to best overcome the players at that table.

For example, if you’ve got an incredibly loose and aggressive table, then it’s probably best to sit tight and bet big when you have it. Good players will become wise to this, but it will remove you from situations where you’re unsure about where you stand.

The flip side is that, when you play with more conservative players, look to open your betting range, especially early on to try and win the blinds and antes.

4. Link Games to Bonuses

Most online poker rooms will allow you to claim a welcome bonus of some sort. This will vary based on where you sign up but can be worth thousands of dollars for the right offer.

All of these offers come with clearing terms, and some may limit the games that you can play to clear the bonus. Take the time to check the T&Cs for that offer to see that razz poker is a game that they allow you to play to clear the bonus. If not, find one that does!

Playing Razz Poker on Mobile

Most poker sites will have some form of mobile accessibility. In fact, some will have dedicated poker apps that you can download and play on a range of devices.

Razz poker mobile will be an option with these apps. The game will work the same as it would if you were playing online but be aware that the limited screen real estate means that full tables can get a bit crowded.

Our advice would be to target smaller tables as this will be easier to play. Either that or get specific razz poker apps that you can download as they often render better on iOS and Android devices.

More on poker…

We’ve included a wide range of poker articles on the site. To access these check out the links below:

Best Razz Poker Site in the US

Razz is one of the best mix games that you can play and it’s something a little different from the norm in the online poker world. The downside is that razz poker is not all that accessible, and it can be hard to find the best razz poker site in the US.

However, BetOnline is a brand that we considered to be the best overall poker site on the market right now. They have a massive range of games that you can access as well as tons of existing player promos.

On top of that, new accounts can get a welcome bonus for the poker room worth up to $1,000. To claim this, simply click the link below and create your account today!

FAQs

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Jonathan has been working within the iGaming sector since 2007. After graduating with a BA Hons in Marketing from Northumbria University, he's been able to set up his own online content business, working with some of the biggest brands in the iGaming sector. Outside of work he enjoys any type of sports, especially cricket, golf, football and darts.