About Razz Poker
Poker players often refer to Razz Poker as the most frustrating poker game you can find, although players who are cursed by repeat bad beats may like the game of Razz, in which the worst hand always wins. It was first brought to the poker circuit as a variant in the 1973 World Series of Poker. Since then it has been a frequent WSOP tournament game. In 2004 Razz became extremely popular and has since attracted quite a following. Often players learn and study the game of Razz Poker so they can play in H.O.R.S.E. tournaments, Razz being the “R” between Hold ‘em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud Hi, and (Stud) Eights or Better. Razz poker is offered at many online poker rooms, as well as land-based casinos.
Before you bet with real money, here are some strategy tips to help you get started. The three most basic, but handy, things to remember are to look at the cards that are showing and remember which ones have been folded, to bluff scare cards, and to avoid drawing to a weak low hand.
Folded cards are important to watch and remember. For instance, say you have a 3/4/6/9 with the 6/9 showing on 4th street and have to call a raise to stay in the hand. If you have noticed that a lot of 3s, 4s, and 6s were folded, then you have a better chance at making a low hand (because pairs won’t help your hand). However, if there have been a lot of Aces, 2s, and 5s folded, your chances of making the low are lower. In the first scenario, the remaining deck might have more cards left that can benefit you, in the second, there may not be.
Bluffing scare cards is another RAZZ strategy. When your showing card is a baby (an Ace, a 2, or 3), but you don’t have strong hole-cards, you can possibly pull off a 4th street bluff. For instance, let’s say you raise pre-flop with 8/J/2 (2 showing) and you get called with a 7 and a 6. If another low card is dealt on 4th street you, call the raise, especially if the other players have high cards. But don’t use this technique too often. If you get called again on 5th street, you’ll have to have a legit hand because the pot is so big by this time that your opponents will be tempted to chase the pot-odds.
Finally, avoid drawing to weak low hands. For example, if the action is on 4th street and your hand is 4/8/6/7, depending on how many Aces, 2s, and 3s have been shown, you should think about folding. This type of hand is dangerous when put up against a lot of players and a raised pot; you may end up with a low hand but no win. You will get the feel for these types of hands as you gain more experience playing Razz Poker.