Razz Poker Tips
In Razz poker, the object is to get the worst possible hand, but just like in other poker games, the player that pays the most attention to detail has the best chance of winning. Building a winning strategy is a matter of reading the table, knowing how to play and when to fold, and playing smart. Use these Razz poker tips to improve your game.
The Information at Hand
The first piece of information you need is right on the table. Each player is dealt three cards, two face-down and one face-up. Paying attention to how your cards stack up against your opponents' cards is the first step in sizing up the game.
Watch the Dead Cards
Dead cards that have been discarded are important when considering the odds. You're trying to build the lowest possible Razz hand, so if you're holding a 3 – and two 3’s have been discarded – your chances of getting a three on the draw are pretty slim. Conversely, if you have an ace and a 2, a 3 is the best card you could draw, but you are much less likely to draw one. Make smart betting decisions based on the odds.
Don't be Afraid to Fold
Folding is often a good strategy. Players who don't know how and when to fold are bound to lose far more frequently than they win. If your opponents have higher up cards than you're holding, stay in. The best possible Razz starting hand is Ace, 2, 3, unsuited. If you have high cards, pairs or suited cards – in other words, good hands in normal poker games – fold.
Learn How to Read
How your opponents play should influence your own style. At nearly every table, some players will doggedly stay in every hand, some will timidly fold every hand, and some will play aggressively all the time to intimidate the other players and steal the pot. Each of these playing styles is weak and shows inexperience. If your opponents are loose players, staying in the game, or playing aggressively – and you have a good hand – stay in the game and take their chips. Nobody has a good hand every time. If you have a good hand, raise. Call the bluff. Chances are pretty good you'll win.
If the table is tight and conservative, scare opposing players off by raising big and steal the pot when the other players fold. Just be sure to vary your approach to ensure you don't become predictable.
Play Your Level
The bottom line is that sometimes you lose and sometimes you win, no matter how good or bad you are. Be gracious, win or lose, and people will always welcome you at the table.
It's tempting to look for a game where big money is at stake, but it's not wise to get in over your head before you have the skills to pull it off. Keep to low stakes games until you know you're ready to move up, even if you've played for higher stakes in other poker games. Razz poker takes many of the same skills necessary for more traditional games like Texas Hold'em, but it will take extra concentration to reverse conditioned thinking and build really bad hands to win!