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Razz is seven card stud, lowball game. It is simple but not as simple as many people would like to believe. It is not played many places outside of the casinos of Las Vegas and Reno . The reason why it is played at these places is because it is an unknown game to the tourists who then become the victim of local hustler. Many of the Las Vegas seven card stud players and hold'em players look down their noses at the razz hustlers because they think that razz is a game that has very little to it and it is profitable for the experts when they are against weak players.

The above statement in some respect is true. However, razz has some interesting subtleties which are not generally known. Therefore this topic should be able to make an expert razz player out of a good poker player. However, there is another reason why poker players should read this text, even if those players don't intend to play razz. The reason is that many general principles and concepts of poker can best be illustrated through the game of razz. This is so because razz is one game where reading hands is not of great significance. Obviously a king is a bad card whenever your rival or you catch it on board. However, a small card is a good card anytime it doesn't pair you. The only reading that is necessary is determining whether a small card might have paired your rival (or in certain cases whether your rival might not have started with a good hand) and in most cases this is mathematical rather than a psychological determination. Because of many of these principles and concepts that were summarized originally in The Theory of Poker are easily shown with the game of razz in which you generally don't have to make psychological judgments. Even the expert seven card stud player, however, can gain from this text because of situations where, for example, he has made a good indication about what his rival has but still not sure what to do.

In this game, you have a very good idea of what a rival has and this section would explain the correct play when you are in that particular situation. Hence those instinct seven card stud or hold'em players who are great at reading hands but are weak in deciding the correct play even after they determine their hands at somewhere in the middle round of betting, will benefit from this text. Of course, the players who decide to take up the game of razz will achieve greater benefit from this text.

The Rules and Structure

Razz is a seven card stud for low. Earlier, there has been six-card stud for low which has also been called razz but this it is no longer in existence. This text will focus exclusively on the seven card stud variety.

As the ante structure and betting structure is very important in determining the correct strategy in the game of razz, we shall state some rules of the two standard games played in Las Vegas that have the normal extremes of structure. These two games are the $15-$30 game and the $30-$60 game.

In both the games each player starts off with three cards as in seven card stud with one card showing. As long as he stays on he gets a total of four upcards and then one last down card. A-2-3-4-5 is the best payable hand and there is no joker.

In the $15-$30 game, each player antes $1. The high card must start the betting off by betting $5, In case of a tie, the high suit must start the betting off with spades being the highest followed by hearts, diamonds and clubs. A player wishing to raise the high card can raise $10 making it a total of $15. Every subsequent raise on third street is also $15 with 4 or 5 allowed. The bet on fourth street is also $15. Fifth street on has a bet of $30. Starting on fourth street the low board must bet first. If you bet you must bet the maximum.

The rules for the $30-$60 game are the same but the structure is different. The ante is $5, the high card brings it in for $10 and the first raise makes it $30. $30 is also bet on fourth street and $60 is bet on fifth, sixth street and seventh street .

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