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Advanced Razz

Further Razz Rules and Tips

1) Best starting hand is A23, Worst is KKK

2) Ranking is from high card down, not low card up. IE 6,5,4,3,2 beats 7,5,4,3,A, because 6 is lower. (therefore 234 is a better starting hand than A27)

3) Generally speaking you dont want to start too many hands that dont have 3 lowish cards (eg 8 x x or 9 x x, where x is lower than 8 or 9), this however does not include short-handed play or baby-bluffing.

4) Pairs are always bad. Two pairs or sets are awful. If you 2 pair your board with at least 1 pair high then you probably need to get out of dodge fast. (the highest pair will always top your low). Simarly a high set will top your low (eg with A56QQQ2, you hand is low to your Queen).

5) If 3rd street is low, and you have a look and get a low 4th street (with others drawing high, or pairing) then this is pretty much always bluff-able, regardless of your whole cards (ie bluff you baby upcards if they look ahead of other upcards)

6) If you are sat to the right of the bring in and it is folded to you, it is almost always worth raising (ie it is an easy steal) (Note :- the bring-in is always the highest card in Razz). This is just another version of bluffing with the baby 3rd street (ie when your 1st upcard is the lowest of any players left to act)

7) Unlike Omaha H/L and Stud H/L, there is no min requirement for the eligibilty of a low hand, so you always will have a hand, it is just how it compares to opponents. Keep a close eye on their upcards

8) Your opponents 3rd highest face-up card is going to top their low. eg if they are showing 4TJK, their low will go at least to the ten. This can be highlighted by some recent ridiculous calls people have made against me :-

Example A) Opponent shows upcards of xKKT, I show A269. I know a low to the ten is their best. I opened the betting, but when it comes to 6th street he still calls. Now I would have to have both hole cards, and 7th street higher than a ten to lose (or a very unlikely combination of pairs/trips). As I opened bidding, or even stayed in the pot, he should know he simple cannot win, and should have got out of the pot on the 2nd king at the latest.

Example B) Opponent shows upcards 378T, I show 2345. I have 68 in the hole. So my hand is low to the 6. His 3rd highest upcard is 7, therefore I know it is impossible for my hand to be beaten. (ie I can bet freely)

9) Try to count the key lows, namely A's and 2's which are dead. On a crucial 6 or 7 high, knowing how many of these are played could be enough to know you're are safe. IE if you have counted all A's and 2's as played (including what you still have), then you know your 7 low cannot be beaten (ie his best hand is 34567). If you have counted all the Aces, then you know that your 6 low cannot be beaten (ie 23456 is his best hand).

10) There is no inflexion point in razz. It doesnt matter how low your stack size gets in tournament play. This is unlike Holdem, for example, where you need to maintain stack size for fold equity. Many a tournament can still be won from a shortstack position by showing extreme patience in Razz. Much more than this would ever apply to Holdem.

11) The antes wont kill you, but the big bets will. 5th, 6th and 7th street bets equate to 30 times the ante. Getting involved on those streets without being confident of winning the hand is where most average players will slip up. Get rid early on average hands, and dont chase down draws when it gets to the big bets.

12) Starting with only two low cards (5 and under) is fine once you get more and more comforatble assessing your situation whilst in amongst the cards. For example something like AK3 can be worth playing when the bet sizes arent too large, as long as you monitor your opponents upcards closely, and back off when things turn bad. Some players struggle to fold 3 low starting cards. If they started to hit blanks and your AK3 starts to hit good lows, then be prepared to assess exactly where you are at in the hand and to get in raises to get the maximum value out of it

I hope you have found these Razz Tips useful.

Good Luck, You can play razz at Full Tilt Poker (Bonus Code = 'SUNSHINE' will get you a 100% bonus)