Razz, success and TILT!
This is my first real post on here outside of my introduction thread. Basically I've been playing RAZZ quite a bit lately and am really enjoying it. I finished 22nd in the 1800 person Razz freeroll that FT hosts every night at 9:40pm and won a whopping $2
I took that $2 and have played 4 RAZZ SnG's and 1 HORSE SnG at $1.00 + 0.25. I have won 2 RAZZ, 2nd in 1 RAZZ and the HORSE and 3rd in one RAZZ. So 5 out of 5 times I have been in the money. This doesn't give me a pile of money or anything, but I'm proud of myself all the same
So I have a general approach that I use and I was wondering if anyone had any comments on it.
First things first, when playing RAZZ the most important thing by far IMO is patience and avoiding going on tilt. There will be times when you draw 20+ unplayable hands in a row, or when you draw A,2,3,4 as your first 4 cards and then make three pairs on 5th, 6th and 7th If you aren't patient and can't control tilt RAZZ is gonna be a tough game to play.
Starting Hands: I like to go with the general rule of playing any 3 cards 8 and under, or 2 cards under 5. I decide 90% of my starting hands this way, if it doesn't meet this criteria I would normally fold.
1. 2 cards under 5, but your big card is showing. In this case I usually check the strength of the board. If a lot of people are showing small cards it is likely a good idea to fold, people are going to draw against you and the more people drawing the more likely someone hits a nice hand.
2. 3 cards 8 and under, with your cards being between 4-8 adn the board with a lot of low cards showing. Other people with low cards means they could have good hands and also there are less low cards still available to draw. I would often fold int his situation.
3. 1 low card showing, weak board. This often is only useful if you are down to 5 or less people. Even if you have two face cards in the hole but an Ace showing, that Ace can often be enough to scare off your opponents and you can pick up blinds and the bring in.
4 One more thing I like to do, though again normally only when it is shorthanded (5 or less). If I draw 3 really nice cards, Ace, 2, 3 for example. Just flat call the bring in and downplay the strength of your hand. This can be a double edge sword thoughso be prepared to fold some good cards sometimes if you do this.
If you have 4 cards 8 or under here, normally I like to call any bet there is a good chance you have to best hand. Also if I have 4 cards 6 and under I sometimes like to put in a raise and try to get a bit more money int he pot. You need to be careful raising on 4th IMO because it is still very possible to hit 3 bricks on 5th 6th and 7th.
If you have 3 good low cards the decision becomes tougher, if there is a lot of betting going on, and others are showing 2 low cards, this is likely a good time to get out of the pot. Personally I think this is where people make the most mistakes playing RAZZ trying to draw cards against a lot of betting from people who likely have better hands.
If you have only 2 good low cards on 4th I would fold to any bet, except perhaps if the person betting into you hase poor cards showing as well. Either way, not gonna want to bet here much.
Fairly similar to 4th street mentality, if you have a made hand you are likely betting this street. If you high card is 8 calling may be a good idea, or maybe a single raise. If you manage to get 5 cards 7 or lower by 5th street I would try to cram the pot as much as you can, unless one of your opponents has really really good cards showing.
4 out of 5 good cards here and calling bets to try and draw another card is a fairly good idea, but if someone is raising a lot, they likely have a made hand and it is tie to cut your losses and fold.
3 out of 5 good cards (or less) more often than not is going to lead to a fold, it is just to much to expect to draw the 2 cards that you need on 6th and 7th.
6th and 7th Street
If more than one player is still in the hand at this point then the game changes a little. At this point all players should realize that thier opponents wither have a made hand or are one card away.
It becomes a game of reading the cards that others have facing up and deciding if you have the better hand. One very important thing to remember is that you have to use 2 of your up cards so if your opponent has 2,9,J,K showing and you have a made 7 and under hand htere is no way you can lose.... bet bet bet bet!!!!
Often times though it just isn't that simple, then it becomes a grey area where you may or may not have the best hand. This, to me, often comes down to a feel you have for the player(s) that you are up against. If you are going to play a lot of RAZZ make copious notes on you opponents. Not a terribly large amount of people play RAZZ so knowing what type of hands your opponent is willing to play right to the end is very very helpful.
I hope this may help some people just learning RAZZ and hopefully there will be some constructive criticism ( or even just general taunting and heckling )
Remember in RAZZ tilt and reckless play will sometimes win you some chips, but 90% of the time you are gonna get nailed doin this. Patience is everything.
EDIT I just realized how long this is.... hope some people still read it ....