Part 2 – The beginners guide to razz poker strategy

Continuing from yesterday, I will write a basic version of razz poker beginners strategy and continue the second part of the strategy guide. This guide is intended for novices and beginners who are just learning razz poker or have never played it before. This information will go through a few basic things you should learn in order to get good at razz strategy before moving on to the intermediate and advanced guides.

I wrote a detailed guide in the link to the article above but I will go through the same thing in shorter words. Beginners should read the rules and learn how to play the game by reading the articles in the link above. Basically, you are trying to make the lowest 5 card hand out of 7 cards possible. If you have played 7 card stud played for the lower pot, then this game is essentially the same thing. A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest and strongest possible hand in razz and this is your goal.

Straights and flushes do not count for anything in the game so you can ignore those. You should pay attention to pairs though because these are always damaging and you must throw out an extra matching cards as you can only count one. The dealer will deal out 3 cards at the beginning after everyone has paid the ante. Two are face down and one is face up, known as the door card. Whoever has the highest door card, which is also the weakest, must be the first to bring in action by making a bring-in bet.

Now the beginners strategy should focus on the door cards on the starting hand. This card is facing up for everyone to see and this becomes an important aspect to take advantage of. If you have an ace or a 2 showing, you should raise the pot because these are strong. If you have a 3 through 7, just call. If you have anything higher, it might just be wise to fold.

There is a little bit of bluffing you can do as well. Remember, do not bluff on every single hand or else everyone will get used to it. The first thing in bluffing is to ignore the 2 hole cards in your starting hand (the cards facing down that only you can see). Make sure your door card is strong with an ace or 2 and make sure everyone else has high door cards before bluffing. Since a lot of money needs to be invested through 5 rounds of betting in razz, more people are likely to fold if you raise really early with an ace showing for example. This is a great way to steal the antes as well, but make sure everyone else has weaker cards showing.

For the rest of the game, watch 4th, 5th and 6th street or the 3 next cards to be dealt that are open or facing up for the table to see. If players get a pair showing, this is very bad and you should attack the heck out of that and become aggressive, especially if the rest of their cards are low. There is a great chance they will fold in this situation and you can take the pot. You do not want to keep too many players so late into the game since they might actually get a great hand after being dealt 7 cards, even with a pair.

So the main goal as a beginner is just become more comfortable with the rules and learn how to bluff better. Focus on door cards and watching what players have with their face up open cards.