Winning Razz Poker Tips
This page will go through a few tips and good advice for playing razz poker. Many of these pointers will help you become a better player and will probably let you win more often. These tips are also designed to help you manage your money better and make the correct calls with your poker hands.
Tip 1 - One very good way to win at razz is to steal the blinds and the antes. You are not actually stealing them, but you are mostly bluffing instead. The only risk is that someone might call you and you could lose a lot, but most of the time you can get away with it. One good opportunity to do this is when the bring in person is directly to your left, everyone else folds and you are the last one to do something. Then call or raise in order to take the antes on the table since this is almost like free money sitting around. Another good way to steal the blinds is when you have a low door card or low 4th street card (the second card facing up). Then start making some major bets or go all in if you are playing on a no limit razz table. Good advice is to not do this too often or people are going to see through this.
Tip 2 - This next tip deals with having good razz starting hands. One of the best starting hands you can have is A-2-3 when you are first dealt your three cards. Basically, any cards between ace and five are excellent if you can get all three in this range. If this happens, you should correct your strategy to become more aggressive in your betting since the odds are in your favor, especially if you see that players have higher door cards than yourself. If you have cards between ace and six or seven, then you should become a little more cautious, especially if your highest card is eight. This also works well with stealing blinds as well, but it should be done less frequently as your door card gets higher.
Tip 3 - One way to get great at razz is to adapt to your opponent's strategy. One way to do this is to use a technique known as slow play. Basically, you just play your hand slowly, especially when there are aggressive players at the table. Basically, just hide under the radar and check or call on 3rd street. Do not get aggressive and raise people just yet. The psychology behind it is that people will think your hand is OK but not great enough to raise. If you keep calling whatever bets, players might assume you are trying to chase a winning hand on 4th and 5th street. Note that you should have a powerful hand though at the same time. Just keep playing this tip with aggressive players who keep raising. Finally on 7th street, raise the heck out of it, go all in or do what you think will work best against that specific player to milk as much money out of them as possible for the win. This is an awesome strategy that I enjoy using and this tip works great if you are a tight or conservative player.
Tip 4 - Take advantage of up cards from other players when making your betting decisions on 3rd street. During this time, everyone has exactly one door card facing up for the table to see. First check your cards and make sure that all of them are lower than your up card. Once this is known, look at everyone's door card. If all players have a higher door card, then you know right away that you have the most powerful hand on the table and would win if the round were to just end. A good tip at this time is to become more aggressive in your betting and knock out the chasers. People will also know that you have the low up card and probably have some good hole cards along with big bets and they will just fold.
Tip 5 - A good tip is to knock out as many players and go head up early around 4th street or 5th street. You can do this by betting or raising. The reason you would want to do this is because of the fact that if more people are in the game until showdown, then your chances of winning the pot become slimmer. The key is to get them in heads up or have just you and someone else competing for the pot. Of course you should at least have a decent hand. Even players with A-2-3 starting hands will not always finish with the best hands. Either way, your odds of winning would be almost 50/50 if everyone else is out except a single opponent. Try reading your player to find out if they are good or not since this will help make your razz poker decisions better.
Tip 6 - An important part of the game deals with dead and live cards. In razz poker, pairs are not good and can completely ruin your hand, so you want these cards to become "dead". For example, if you have an ace, 4 and 5, then you would want to see these cards show up in the hands of other players. If you see three more 4 cards appear on the table, then these cards become dead and you do not have to worry about getting a pair of fours. The same goes if you see another ace or 5, then these cards become dead and your chances of being dealt a live ace or live 5 will become lower, which increase your chances of winning and you can become more confident in your betting.
Tip 7 - Another passage of advice is to not get attached to your bring in. The bring in is kind of like the blinds that people need to pay when they receive the highest ranked door card. This is the forced money that you must play whether you want to or not. If someone starts raising, you should not get attached to the money that you already invested. If you have a poor hand or a hand that you would normally fold on, then just fold on it. There is nothing worse than getting drawn in to a bad razz hand and a round where you are surely going to lose even more money than you would if you just folded.
Tip 8 - Finally, know when to fold. This tip applies to just about any poker game. Start paying attention to your starting hands and stop playing bad rounds with weak cards. If you keep playing with so-so hands and there are a lot of people still playing for the pot, chances are, you will just be losing more chips as your bankroll slowly drains away. Instead, play smart and win more money. When you think you are beaten, you probably are going to lose anyways, so just fold unless you are skillful at bluffing. If you keep semi-bluffing on every round, you will certainly lose a lot of money really quickly. The trick is to know when you should fold. People tend to fall into this problem of not folding when the blinds are really small on low limit tables. If the stakes get higher, players tend to "wake up" more and play conservatively and smarter as well. So be patient, pay attention and know when to properly fold.