Razz is a seven-card game where the weakest hand wins. Remember, that in razz strategy you need to collect the weakest hand…the worse the better. In contrast to a traditional cards ranking, a combination with unsuited cards - A-2-3-4-5 is considered to be the best hand in razz. Each player is dealt by 7 cards, 5 of which have to be the worst since they will be considered as winning ones in this game. In this article you will learn about important strategies, get useful pieces of advice and also you will familiarize with a hand example that will prompt you how to play according to the strategy and will make a game profitable.
Well, let’s consider useful strategies and decision options in particular situations:
Select a good start
It can’t be guaranteed but any combination of unsuited cards lower that seven (seven inclusively), which don’t include pairs, is considered to be a good starting hand. Look at the opponent’s cards that are visible to you. If you see that many cards are lower than yours, then make a fold. If your cards are lower but they are not perfect, then remember that you can still improve it.
Many beginning players have a poor perception about odds. You can see both open and mucked opponents’ cards. Mucked cards are important information. Dead cards cannot influence your hand. Knowing what exactly is among the mucked cards will prompt you what cards have remained in the game. It’s very important to trace the remained cards that participate in the playing.
In razz, as in any other kind of poker, there is a physiological aspect. Good players make reads skillfully while try not to be “read” by other players. Poker tells are not just a cliché and most people give exactly the information you need. It’s much more difficult to define online tells but the more information you observe and fix, the higher is probability of seeing them. The players tend to obtain game habits and it’s easy to define them if you play with the same group of people every time and make a progress.
Play the cards even if they are not strong enough. You will probably not win but master bluffing can force the diffident players to fold their cards. Just don’t overdo the bluff and don’t change your manner otherwise the opponents will understand that you are bluffing.
Abidance of politeness
You will both lose and win, no matter how good or bad player you are. Be polite in any situation and you will always be welcomed at the table.
Remember, that the one who is self-controlled, pay attention to details and who is versed in the game will be in the top. Good mix of tight and loose playing with periodic brave moves – this is a great strategy to confuse your opponents. In order to constantly win in poker, you need to show a performance and to analyze the situation since experience doesn’t always lead to a victory.
Also, the winning strategy in razz is to steal ante and to attack blank cards. In fact, the blank cards attack is probably the best advice that relates to this game.
Let’s assume that you have been dealt trips of aces and all your opponents have opened cards from J to K. This is a situation when you need to raise a pot since none of your opponents have playable cards and you will usually win despite your hand is the worst.
Also, you have started a game with such hand as A2 | 7 against the opponent who shows 3. You get Ace on the next street (you have a pair now) and your opponent gets some high card. You have to bet here again since check will evidence that your cards are paired. Here your opponent hasn’t hit the board and you have to win this bank. If he continues to play his hand despite the blank on the 4th street, you have to win the hand on the next street. Let’s assume that we have two pairs on the 5th street: now our hand consists of the following cards: A2 | 7A2. It’s a bad hand in razz but it looks strong for our opponent. This is a case where we will bet again despite a card that opponent has hit, since even a low card may be paired and we can take the pot here or on the next street. To speak simply, attacking the blanks and playing a computed aggressive style – this is the winning strategy in razz.
Starting hands: when you start with no position and with no opportunity to steal – a good idea will be to stick to the hands where 3 cards are lower than 7 or better. In some cases they may be lower than 8 or 9; it depends on a situation, game and level of competition.
Check attack: in razz when a player hit the low card, he can check. Usually, it’s an instinctive reaction made by one who multi-tables or watch TV during the game. As a rule, it is a clear sign that their cards are paired. Think carefully about a non-standard game where a player checks with a good hand. It’s not the best strategy in razz poker although some Hold’em players cannot understand it. Stay alert and fix the situations when the players slowplay, but in general – attack, attack and attack when the opponent checks.
Stay away from troubles: in limit razz some players become stubborn and decide to continue a game after the 5th street in hope to hit something. The bet limits are doubled after the 5th street, that’s why if your cards are paired and if you have hit a blank, don’t ever be afraid to slow down or to leave the game.
Although not everyone thinks that razz is an exciting kind of poker, it still remains a favorite one for many players. It's worth learning to play. Often in H.O.R.S.E. the razz is less popular, which means that short training will help you to get ahead of your opponents and the tactics, offered in this article, will make your game profitable.