Razz Poker Strategy
Top Tips and Strategy for Playing Razz Poker Online
Any 7-card Stud game, Razz in particular, can be an entertaining and challenging game to learn and play. With up to 7 cards being dealt to each player and 3 of those 7 dealt face down, players can have a difficult time knowing where they stand on any particular street. Just because an opponent is showing 3 cards to a wheel on 5th street does not mean they have it; or does it? Well, we cannot say for sure. While we cannot tell our visitors how to magically figure out what their opponent’s hidden cards are; what we can do is share a few strategies that can help determine if a player is beaten and what they can do to avoid making mistakes.
Paying Attention to Your Table
One of the first things to point out is that once a player gets past the “basics” such as starting hands, pot odds, and card odds, then the focus can shift to watching the other players around the table. While doing this it is important to only try to watch one opponent at a time. This is because when watching other players it is important to try to make mental notes of what they do in certain situations and with what hands. A few things to watch for:
1. Are your tablemates loose aggressive, tight aggressive or loose passive? Knowing the player styles will help you anticipate certain situations and will allow you to take advantage of their weaknesses. For example, if you are up against a tight aggressive player, then many times you will know to only encounter them when you have the nuts as your opponent will have a strong holding. With loose aggressive players, you can make them pay to see draws since they will more than likely only fold when it is definite that you have them beat.
2. Does your opponent try to steal with low door cards? This is a good strategy to be used by any player, but what is important to figure out is how often they do it, if they fold to a re-raise, and maybe what cards they are willing to do it with, both the hidden and door cards.
3. Does your opponent like to try to be tricky? In other words, instead of making solid value bets with monster hands, does your opponent like to limp in and check-call all the way to 7th street? Or maybe they like to try to push you off hands with two hidden face cards and a wheel door card? Many players also like to try to employ the “bad is good and good is bad” tactic which should be able to be spotted immediately.
4. Watch for specific betting patterns. How often does your opponent raise or re-raise? Also, watch for specific hands and even draws or semi-bluffs that they may bet with as well. While there are many more scenarios to watch for than these, hopefully this gets across the reasoning behind only watching one player at a time.
When watching one player’s actions, you can then try to become an expert on that player and will be able to have a good idea of what they have, when they have it, and what they will do with it. Aside from watching your opponents, here are a couple other great strategies to try.
Semi-Bluffing: Semi-bluffing is either when you do not have a hand but have a draw to a great hand or the nuts, or when you have great up cards showing but garbage for hidden cards. This accomplishes a couple things. One, if you have a great draw to a hand that you know will be the winner you are building a hefty pot for yourself. This of course should only be done if there are plenty of outs. And two, if you have great face up cards and garbage for hidden cards it will be very possible to shove an opponent off a hand to take the pot down.
Bluffing on 3rd Street: When you have a wheel card in the door (A-5), it may be possible to steal the antes regardless of what your hidden cards are. This should be done with caution and if an opponent raises you, you should fold your hand if it is not any good.
Strategies for Playing Razz Poker
Many of these strategies are used in various other poker games, but what makes the strategies different for Razz is there are 7 different streets to play often with different scenarios. An opponent may give off an expression or betting pattern tell on 4th street, but that may change if he hits or does not hit his hand on 5th street. And above all, if you know what kind of an opponent that they are or maybe a few of their tendencies, then you can use those tells to either fold your hand, push an opponent off their hand, or just play the hand straight forward so that in the end, all of the chips are in front of you.