Bluffing in Razz Poker
Bluffing has been one of the most powerful weapons in poker and that does not exclude the game of razz. We all know that bluffs work by betting big and getting other players to think you have a killer hand when you actually don't. Bluffing is also one of the greatest works of art when it comes to poker games and there is plenty of money to be made, especially online when you don't have to show your face. This page will explain a few good tips and strategies to use to get good at bluffing in razz poker.
First thing to remember is that there are 5 rounds of betting in each hand of razz if it lasts until the showdown, so the pot can get quite large and is one of the reasons why this is a fixed limit game. One piece of information that you can take advantage of is the fact that no one wants to leave the hand after 5 rounds of betting and after giving up so much money in the pot, so they will want to stay in longer. That means one of the goals is to get rid of these people very early in the round when they are less committed to the pot.
When the dealer hands out the initial cards, one door card will be facing up for everyone to see and this is a great way to start out your bluffing strategy. Any "wheel" card is one that makes up the most powerful razz hand: A-2-3-4-5. A great opportunity to bluff is when you are showing one of these cards and everyone else has bad high level and face cards. Even if your hand is K-K-A with an ace showing, no one else would see the kings and you can use that one door card to your advantage when the rest of the cards are useless.
Even if someone else had some good hole cards, they may be a little weary of facing what could be your wheel hand. This kind of strategy is known as straight bluffing and should not be used all the time. Now we will continue on to the open cards, which appear later on. Bluffing is harder to do on 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th street and as the round starts getting late, but it is still possible to get away with it. The only thing that matters in bluffing is your exposed face up cards.
If you have a lot of lower cards showing up, then you can mix things up and bluff. A great way to do this is play it slow and then start raising a lot as soon as a low card comes up later on since players will assume you finally caught your wheel or a strong 5 card hand. Note that you should do this during 5th street or afterwards since this is when you actually have five cards. Otherwise on 4th street, everyone at the table is still chasing their hand so no one is the sure winner yet.
A few things to watch out for: You do not want to bluff often when there are loose and aggressive players on the table. The reason is that the table has a fixed limit so you cannot go all in and scare them as easily. Some people just don't take the game seriously so they will bet on every hand in order to see the next card. It's players like this that will ruin a bluffers game! So write a note next to the player online or remember who is loose or not. Bluffing works brilliantly against tight and conservative players though so find a table full of them. You can also get an easier read on tight players to determine if their hands are strong or not when you decide whether you should bluff or not.
semi-bluffing is a partial bluff and it works as a good weapon against loose players. Straight bluffing works great against tight players and so does semi-bluffs. In a semi-bluff, you are sort of chasing a good hand or you have a plain old fair hand. Even if someone calls your bluff, you have a chance of actually winning anyways where a straight bluff will usually ensure that you will lose if someone calls it. This works great with loose players because they are going to go until the end anyways but some will drop out and fold at the same time. It reduces the number of players during showdown, which increases your chance of winning, and the loose players probably have a crap hand anyways since they bet on everything.