3rd Street Razz Strategy

To start a Razz hand, you get dealt two cards face down and one card face up. The card face up decides the action and the player with the highest card has to pay what’s called the ‘bring in’. After the bring in, there are standard plays that ‘should’ be made. Fortunately for you, a good percentage of players don’t know what they ‘should’ be doing.

Let’s say there are seven players at the table. A king has to bring it in and then there are in order after the king: jack, 5, 5, queen, 10. You have the 10 and 2-7 in the hole. Now one of the two fives should bet because there are only two baby cards (cards 7 or lower) showing. Play Razz at Full Tilt Poker for Free!

In a straight forward game, it goes like this: The first 5 should bet regardless. If he doesn’t bet then it is most obvious for the second 5 to bet it, because he has the best and strongest hand showing. Now suppose the second five also folds miraculously and the queen does get rid of his cards obviously too. Now it is up to you facing only the king and you are showing a ten. This now becomes a must bet for you, even if you had K-K in the hole. Your hand looks stronger than your opponents, so you need to represent it.

So this in an alarm signal if you see the second player with the five folding. You can be sure he doesn’t play the game, he plays his own cards and you should have that in mind when you face him in future hands.

Taking down small pots early on will add up in the long run. If your opponents show the tendency to fold good door cards, keep abusing them and taking down small pots. Let’s look at another example where you can steal effectively.

A queen brings it in. Afterwards there is another queen, 4, 9, 9 and 5. You are the second 9 and have A-8 in the hole. It is folded around to you. Again, the player with the 4 in the door should have bet. Now you just have to get through the 5 and the pot should be yours. The queen should only call us if he has two wheel cards (A to 5) in the hole. The 5 will get out of the way if he doesn’t have good hole cards himself, because you show strength with a 9 showing. The 5 will more likely raise if he has two cards smaller than a 9 in the hole. If he calls, this is a sign of weakness and you can continue to represent the best hand, giving you chances to steal the pot on later streets. So in this spot again you should be the aggressor because other players just give up equity when they shouldn’t.

Be aware of the cards shown and remember those spots. This way you can accumulate a lot of uncontested pots. Tight and/or short-handed Razz Poker tables should be seen as an opportunity to bluff-win a lot of pots on 3rd Street. If you aren’t winning a lot of pots in this spot, it’s time to get more aggressive, and spend more time looking for good opportunities to steal.

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