Sponsored Post: All About Razz Poker
Watch the stopwatch I am dangling in front of your eyes. I am moving the watch back and forth, left to right, back and forth, left to right....
You are getting sleepy. You are getting sleeping. You are now asleep. When I snap my fingers you will wake up, read this article and buy Play Razz Poker to Win....three, two, one...Snap!
Razz Poker Rules
Razz is basically 7-Card Stud played for low, which means that instead of making the highest possible poker hand, the goal in Razz is to make the worst possible conventional poker hand. Straights and flushes do not count in Razz, which leaves the wheel (A,2,3,4,5) the best possible Razz hand.
Before we jot down any strategy considerations, let’s take a look at the rules differences between Razz and Stud.
The Bring-In is the first difference between Razz and Stud. While in Stud, the player with the lowest upcard has to bring it in, in Razz, the player with the worst Razz hand is the one who has to make the move, which means that the player in possession of the highest cards has to bring it in.
The Ace counts as low in Razz, so the highest (and worst) card is the King. In case there’s a tie, suit is used as a tie-breaker, just like in Stud. In Razz though, the worst suit is the club, then comes the diamond, heart and finally the spade.
In the betting rounds, the action is started by the player with the best Razz hand. Again, Razz hands are low, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a 2-card or a 4-card hand we’re talking about. This means the player who has the lowest 2-card hand starts the betting. Two unpaired cards are always better than two paired ones. The rank of a 2-card hand is always determined by the higher card.
At showdown, no qualifier for the winning low hand exists. Regardless of its makeup, the lowest hand at the table wins even if it happens to contain paired cards and such. The 5-card showdown hands are always evaluated starting with the highest card.
Razz Poker Strategy
That about wraps up the differences between the two games, so assuming that you know your 7-Card Stud rules, I’ll move on to strategy. There are several things you can do to maximize your odds even before you sit down to the table. First of all: sign up for a rakeback or a poker prop deal. That’s correct: you can’t go wrong with that, regardless of the poker variant you play. It’ll keep delivering that 30-120% edge on every single real money hand you log.
Exercise proper table selection. Unlike Holdem, Razz (much like 7-card Stud) is not a suitable game for beginners. The edges here can be enormous and skill relegates the luck factor to a mere extra in Razz.
If you have your sights set on Stud though, you may as well begin with Razz. Razz is easier to learn than Stud and beginners will find it easier to cope with the rules in the beginning. Razz boards are easier to read. Keep your eye on your opponents’ upcards and act according to the reads you make. If you see a player needing one more card to make a better Razz hand than yours, you probably wouldn’t be correct going up against him. A made hand in Razz is a hand which doesn’t need a draw to further improve. Such made hands should be no-go zones for beginners, that is, they shouldn’t attempt to draw against such made hands.
Starting hand selection – though simple – is also important in Razz: only play starting hands which consist of 3 cards below 8. Start with only 2 cards below 8 and you’ll have to hit 3 of the 4 cards that will come, to make a competitive Razz hand.
Bluffing in Razz is done based on one’s upcards. If you have a A,2,3 in the window, fire away: it’s the perfect hand for a bluff, regardless of your hole-cards.
One more thing: you cannot play Razz with more than 8 players.
Now, go buy the book Play Razz Poker to Win. Oh, one very important fact about Razz. If you only play Razz online, you will find it is very different than playing in a poker club. The reason is simply the challenge of recalling your cards and opponents card are much more difficult when you've been trained on Razz using only online poker sites.