Razz poker is also known as 7 card stud low, has become incredibly popular among poker enthusiasts. Interestingly, the winning hand in razz poker is determined by whoever has the lowest hand. Razz is quite fun to play but can be frustrating to new players who are not used to its format. Here’s some razz poker strategy for you to look over before you put any money on the table:
Starting Hands for Razz Poker
Any three cards between the ace and the five card constitutes a great razz poker hand to start with, although the best starting hand would obviously be ace-two-three. There should be no pairs in your razz poker starting hand. With this type of hand, you should not only bet but also raise on Third Street. Starting hands between the ace and six or seven card are “so-so” hands that might prove fruitful. If your starting hand has three cards between the ace and the eight card, it is most often best practice to fold and save your chips or bankroll as this would be a game that is left to Lady Luck.
Observing Opponent’s Cards
As with any game of poker, observation of your opponent’s cards is a skill that you must master in razz poker. Observe the face up porch cards of other players in order to ascertain if you have a good chance of getting the card you need as well as how strong your opponent’s cards are. Oftentimes, simply looking at the opponent’s porch will give you a good idea of where you stand; for example, if your highest card is a nine, and no one is showing anything lower, then you can assume that your hand is strong.
Looking for Dead Cards
Finding out what cards are dead in the game of razz poker is good information to develop your razz strategy. For instance, if you hold a hand that contains ace-two-four and you see two other fours and one two, then you can build a bit of confidence in your hand because you are less likely to get stuck with pairs. Dead cards are the best kind of cards in razz poker because you want to avoid getting pairs.
When to Fold in Razz Poker
Any good razz poker strategy should include knowing when to fold your cards, cut your losses, and move on. Don’t make a habit of starting with less than ideal hands or drawing with weak hands in razz poker. To do so is to simply throw your chips to the wind, in most cases. When you feel like you’ve been beat in razz poker, your instincts are probably true. A good player of any type of poker, including razz poker, knows when it is time to tuck his or her tail between their legs and fold.
Stealing Antes in Razz Poker
There are a few situations in razz poker that are great for stealing the ante. Once such situation is if the bring-in player is to your immediate left and it is folded up to you, you should always follow through and complete the bet. This may not work every time, but it is a profitable move when everything falls into place. Another great ante stealing attempt can happen if you are the lowest face up card. The best thing to remember with stealing the ante in razz poker (or other variations of poker as well) is that you should practice stealing the ante only occasionally, and save your best ante stealing attempts for higher limit games.