There is a big difference between knowing how to play Razz poker, and how win at Razz Poker. Learning the rules of Razz is the first step, but with the rules firmly grappled into your brain, it’s now time to learn and implement a winning Razz poker strategy.
In this article, we’re going to describe the fundamentals of a winning Razz poker strategy, from the importance of domino99 proper starting hands selection to playing the player’s, not just the cards.
Razz Poker Strategy – Starting Hand Selection
In Razz Poker, the object is to get the absolute worst hand, as far as normal poker hand ranks are concerned anyways. Since Aces are low and Straights/flushes don’t count against you, the best possible hand in Razz is A-2-3-4-5, called the Wheel.
The winning hand in Razz poker is usually 9 high or better. Therefore, to determine the proper starting hand selection, your best bet is to move on only if your Starting hand contains three cards of 9 or below. The closer those cards are to The Wheel, the better. All three cards being in The Wheel is the best, especially with an Ace in the mix.
Razz Poker Strategy – Bluffing
Bluffing is an essential part of any successful Razz poker strategy. There are specific scenarios which call for bluffing, and should not be passed up unless; 1) your playing the lowest limits, encouraging players to call simply because it’s cheap to do so, or 2) your opponents are playing a very loose game and will call anything.
The best time to bluff in Razz poker is when your face-up cards are significantly lower than that of your opponents, but your hole cards are terrible. Let’s say you have K-J in the Hole, but A-3 showing. If no opponent has anything lower than a 7 showing, this is an excellent time to bet or raise big and take down the pot.
Razz Poker Strategy – Stealing Blinds
Stealing blinds in razz Poker is much the same as bluffing, but a little more involved. First, it helps to be in late position so you can get a feel for your opponents’ situations. Second, having a door card on the Wheel, while no other player does, gives you an essential advantage. So, if the cards are right, and your opponents are Folding or limping in at best, toss a raise out there and steal the blinds.
Razz Poker Strategy – Playing the Players
The ability to read your opponents is a key element of a Razz strategy. Reading players is not as difficult as you may think. You don’t need a degree in psychology, just a highly observant nature., which can be developed through a little practice.
If you’re just learning to read players, pick a single opponent and watch his every move, note his actions and reactions to certain situations. Does he Fold from early position and always Call from late? How does he react from different position when someone else Raises? Is he a regular bluffer? If you think so, call him to find out. Eventually, you should be able to predict his reaction to most situations. Test him on this. Try to predict his next move and see if you’re right. The more times you are right, the better you are getting at reading other players, and the easier it will be to recognize stereotypical player types and behaviors.
Using this profound knowledge will help you to respond to various player actions with profitable results. You’ll know who you can and can’t bluff, who will only play a premium starting hand and other useful tidbits to improve your win ratio.