How to not suck at Razz Poker

Razz Poker has become a popular poker variant in online poker rooms since the 2004 WSOP game of Razz was televized. Nowadays most online poker sites and online casinos feature tables of real money Razz Poker. Let’s see some tips that might help you succees at the Razz table.

The goal of the game is to form the lowest possible poker hand. It’s important to remember that in Razz straights and flushes don’t count. This way, the best possible hand that can be formed in Razz is an ace-to-five straight (A-2-3-4-5), known as the ‘bycicle’ (bike) or ‘the wheel’.

Starting hand

In Razz Poker each player starts with three cards – two ‘hole’ cards, facing down, and one ‘door card’, facing up. The best strategy is to avoid betting if you have an eight or anything above in your starting hand. The best starting hand in Razz is A-2-3.

You have to watch the ‘dead’ cards, as well. Dead cards are the ones needed to make pairs with the ones in your hands, but are in the hands of your opponents. For example, if you have a starting hand of 2-3-4, and you see that the other players’ hole cards are 2-3-3-4, the odds of making pairs with the cards in your hand are low, so you should proceed.

Starting hands with higher ranking cards in them may only bring variable results in Razz. If you have a high card in your starting hand, or a pair or anything above, it’s wise to fold at the beginning.

Betting in Razz

In Razz Poker you have to be very selective with your starting hand. If you have high cards, pairs or such, it’s better to fold – but not always. If you have a good starting hand, though, you should play aggressively. When you have a good hand, your interest is to bring as much money into the pot as possible. If you have a strong hand, don’t play it safe, but play to win as much as you can. Bluffing is difficult in Razz, as most of your cards are visible to other players.

Pairs are bad in Razz, but having a pair doesn’t mean you lose from the beginning. Remember – you have to choose five cards to make the lowest possible hand out of seven – so if you have, for example, A-A-3-4-5-7-8, you can win the hand with A-3-4-5-7.

Stealing the pot
Sometimes, during a game of Razz, you have the chance to steal the pot. This can be done if you have a reasonably low card showing – A, 2 or maybe a 3 – and your opponent has something bigger as his door card. In cases like this you can raise, trying to determina your opponent to fold, so you win the pot.

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