Razz Poker Hand Selection

Razz Poker Hand Selection

Razz poker is perhaps one of the most misunderstood games in the poker family. This is likely due to the fact that you’re drawing to the WORST possible hand to win the pot. Aside from being contrary to almost every other form of poker, Razz is a very fun game. It can also be profitable as many players online tend to draw to non-nut hands because they don’t fully understand the game.

First of all, pairs in Razz are very bad. Starting off with a pair of Kings is one of the absolute worst starting hands in Razz. Pairs of smaller cards aren’t much better but if you have a hand like 3-3-4 and your only opponent has a King door card, you may want to bet here. The logic is that he will likely fold unless he has two rolled up (down cards) small cards. Even then his chances of out drawing you are slim.

The Best Razz Poker Starting Hands

The best hand in Razz is the wheel, also known as A-2-3-4-5 so unlike Texas Hold’em the guy holding the 6 high straight just lost his chips to you. The top ten hands in Razz follow:

A-2-3-4-6

A-2-3-5-6

A-2-4-5-6

A-3-4-5-6

2-3-4-5-6

A-2-3-4-7

A-2-3-5-7

A-2-4-5-7

A-3-4-5-7

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Tight Is Right In Razz Poker

Since Razz is a seven card stud variant, you should have a good grasp of the pace and mechanics of the game. For starting hands you will want to stay away from big face cards like King, Queen, Jack. Likewise if you look down at a pair of nines or Jack Ten, you will very likely want to toss that hand. The best way to be a successful Razz player, especially as you learn the game, is to start with three cards that all lower than 8.

This Razz strategy may change as you isolate opponents though, because heads up having a Jack door card can be a big advantage if you’re looking at Ace Deuce rolled up. It’s worth seeing another card in this situation but if it’s a big card such as a Queen or a King, it’s likely time to fold. You are counting on going runner-runner to even get a decent four card low at that point. So ignore the crazy calls you see on ESPN during the HORSE poker event and leave that to the pros.

Learning Razz Poker

Both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker offer Razz and variants like HORSE that include Razz. Playing the micro-limits is a great introduction but be warned that very few players fold at this level so the “tight is right” mantra is the right style to employ here. Don’t try anything tricky here as most of your opponents don’t know any better but to chase bad draws. The good news? You can build your poker bankroll and learn a new game all at once.

So try Razz tonight and use our hand selection guide to help you along as you learn the game. It’s a fun game and a great way to take a break from Hold’em.

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