Razz Poker

razz tips

Razz Tips

 

7 Card Stud Low (Razz) Poker Tips

 

The Razz tips below are the essentials to playing Razz poker better. Learn these basic Razz tips and you'll soon be raking in the chips!

Starting Hands


One of the most important things to understand in Razz poker is that you need to start a hand with three good low cards. Good starting hands in Razz gives you the best chance in winning a hand and gives you a big advantage over those players who play less desirable and questionable starting hands. Avoid playing starting hands that consist of two good cards and one bad card (brick). Don't get into the habit of falling in love with hands like A,2,K, or A,3,10 for example. Sure these hands look somewhat nice and look as if they have potential, but when playing these kind of hands you are already behind in the hand with other hands that have three good cards with their high card lower than yours.

Typically you should only be playing starting hands in Razz that include cards that are 8 and lower. Many good Razz players have even higher starting hand requirements that would only include three cards with 7 and lower!

Although you want to start with three low cards in Razz, it's important to note that determining your starting hand in Razz really depends on what the other players up cards (cards that are face up) are showing. For example, if your opponent's up cards are strong then you should be playing with starting hands that are 7 high. When your opponent's up cards are marginal cards like 8 or higher then you could play starting hands that are 8 high.

Beware of 'rough' hands in Razz. Rough hands are hands that include two or more cards that are in sequential order, e.g. 8,7,6 or 8,7,2. One of the most dangerous starting hands in Razz is what's known as a rough 8. This hand would include an 8, 7 and any card lower than 7. These hands are dangerous simply because many decent Razz players will start with hands that have an eight high in them. So when it comes down to the showdown and your opponent's show a hand with 8 high and four other cards lower than a seven then they have you beat! For example, you have 8,7,3,2,A and they have 8,6,5,4,2. To avoid this common situation when playing hands that are 8 high, try to play hands that include two other cards that are six or lower along with your 8 high.

Patience


Razz poker requires a tremendous amount of patience, much more so than games such as Hold'em and Omaha. With Razz poker you almost always want to start off with three good cards, cards that will contribute to your five low cards. This means if you play starting hands that have 7 high or better then you'll be playing approximately 1 in every 10 hands! If you start off with hands that are 8 or better then you'll be playing about 1 in every 6 hands! If you think that you can fold your marginal dealt hands often and can wait for three good starting cards then you are well on your way to becoming a good Razz player!

Discipline


Discipline is another key trait that all good Razz players possess. Being dealt excellent starting hands in Razz is one thing, but knowing when to throw away this good starting hand when it doesn't improve much later in the rounds is another thing! Winning big pots or winning a lot of smaller pots is great, but not knowing when to fold your hand away in marginal situations when your hand doesn't improve can cost you a lot of chips, or your tournament life. Always remember, saving your chips from potentially losing hands in marginal situations is just as important as winning chips. Know when to fold, even if you were dealt a prefect starting hand. Live to play another hand!

Tracking Cards


Tracking the cards on the table in Razz is very important and can help you determine if you should get involved in a hand or not. After looking at your dealt cards you should quickly look at everyone's up cards (before some of them get folded). What you are looking for, and should make note of, are cards that you would like to get to help improve your hand. The more cards that are in play that you could use for your own hand means that it would diminish your chances of improving your hand. These are known as 'dead cards'. Likewise, if you note that there are no cards up that could help your hand then the chances of improving your hand is that much greater. So if you see a few cards that you can't have that would of helped your hand, then you may want to consider folding your hand. But If all you see are cards that are the same as yours and/or are higher cards then you then you have a great starting hand that can win the pot!

Ram-and-jam


It's important to realize that in Razz poker your excellent dealt hand can easily turn to junk in the following streets! That is the frustrating part of Razz poker. Getting dealt a good Razz hand and for that hand to keep improving is somewhat of a rarity. With that being said, it's important to understand that when you have a great starting hand in Razz then you want to 'ram-and-jam' the pot! Ram-and-jam simply means to play aggressive, to bet, or raise, or to re-raise. The reason for this is threefold; 1) you want to isolate the field. It's hard enough to win against one or two players, but to win a pot with three or more players involved is asking a lot in Razz, even if your starting hand is perfect (A-2-3)! By ramming-and-jamming the pot you can eliminate some players who are holding marginal hands, and thus improving your odds of winning the pot by eliminating those players which could have easily improved their hands. 2) Because your playing with a great deal of patience and you've finally been dealt a hand that you can play, you'll want to get the most value out of the hand. There is no sense in playing for a small pot when you are a favorite to win it! So make the pot as large as you can! Of coarse there are times when caution is prudent, but knowing when to ram-and-jam and when to play cautious will come with experience. 3) Ramming-and-jamming the pot also gives you a chance to win the pot before it even gets to the showdown. Let's say that your hand and your opponent's hand do not improve in the later rounds, your aggressive play of betting and raising just might get your opponent to fold their hand! Your aggressive play may be too much for them, since they don't see their hand is improving much!

So in a nutshell, when you think you have the best hand, bet, raise, and re-raise. When your hand gets worse, then play with caution.

Bluffing


Bluffing in Razz comes more easily once you gain experience in the game. Bluffing is usually determined by what the up cards are showing. Common bluffs in Razz occur when there are one or a few players left in the hand and it "appears" that your hand is the best, even if it actually got worse! Say you were dealt 2,3,6 and the next card is a 2, and your opponent show XX29, you could make a bet here as this person would think that your hand might have improved while there's did not. If they call, then you'll want to see what the next dealt card is. If you get dealt a lower card then them again, regardless if it improved your hand or not (unless it's another 2), then you'll want to take a shot at the pot with yet another bet. Usually bluffing in this situation will work against players who have some inkling of the game. Beware of weak players in Razz though! Weak Razz players tend to call to the last card in hopes of having some chance of winning the pot. When playing Razz against weak players it's sometimes best to play fundamental poker.

Another bluff maneuver is stealing the antes, which in Razz poker is common practice for all good Razz players. Knowing when to steal the antes is critical for this bluff maneuver to work. Here's an example, if all the players fold to you and the remaining players left to act after you show high door cards (higher than yours), then you may want to try and steal the pot right there and then by making a bet, regardless of what your hole cards are. Stealing the antes should really only be played when you are in middle to late position. The fewer the players are left to act behind you, the greater the chance of success will be in stealing the antes. Stealing the antes is a great way of slowly building your chip stack too!

Best Drawing Hand vs. Made 9


An interesting fact about Razz is that the best drawing hand on fifth street is a favorite over a made high 9 hand. So if you know your opponent has a 9 high then you'll want to bet, or raise, as your best drawing hand is more than likely to win. However, if your hand does not improve by sixth street then the made 9 high is now the favorite to win the pot and you'll want to proceed in the hand with caution.

Making Player Notes


Making player notes when playing live poker required you to "mentally take notes", and for some people that can be difficult. Thankfully, with online poker, making player notes has never been easier! Making player notes is usually as simple as double clicking on a player's avatar and writing text in a special field where those notes on that particular player could be accessed at anytime, even weeks, months, or years later!

You want to make player notes because there may be times where you may have to make a tough call against a certain player. Let's say that you observed a certain players playing style, such as the player bluffs a lot, or the player is known to play questionable starting hands, or the player is a River Rat, etc. Wouldn't having this information on the player be valuable when you need to make a do or die decision when squared off with this player? Sure it would! Poker, whether playing Razz or any other form of poker is all about getting an advantage over your opponents, regardless of how small that advantage is. Always be observant of the action on the table, even if you are not playing. Making player notes when making observations will definitely help you get that extra winning edge that many players can't be bothered with! Advantage you.

Staying Focused

 

As mentioned before, playing Razz poker requires patience and discipline. But Razz poker also requires one to stay focused! When playing Razz there are many things happening that require the player to be on top of their game and must give their complete attention too. This is usually not too big of a problem when playing live games, but when playing Razz online this is even more important. When playing online there can be many distractions, such as: T.V., surfing the Internet, telephone, kids, checking email, pets, texting, and so on. Having anything distract you from the game at hand is a recipe for disaster! Razz is a game that can be very profitable, but lose focus and you'll quickly see your chip stack diminish. So when playing Razz online be sure to eliminate all potential distractions while sitting down at the table and your bankroll will thank you for it!

Now that you have an idea as to what it takes to become a good and profitable Razz player then you'll want to test out your new found skills and play Razz poker online! The two best poker rooms online to play Razz poker are PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. No other online poker rooms even come close to the available Razz games that these two poker rooms offer. Both poker rooms offer high traffic for Razz ring games (cash games), multi-table Razz tournaments, and Razz sit and go tournaments.

Follow the Razz tips above and you'll soon discover for yourself how profitable Razz poker really is!
 

 

 

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