Razz, success and TILT!

Shoestringx

Shoestringx

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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 :D
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 :D

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 :mad: 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.
Exceptions:
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.

4th Street.

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.

5th Street.

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 ....
 
Debi

Debi

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I did read it - thanks. I hope some others who play a lot respond so I can compare strategies. I have been playing horse a lot and typically do well with the razz hands overall. I will be interested to hear what others say.
 
Welly

Welly

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It's a good post.

A few other things to emphasize:-

1) The balance of upcards is important to track (way way more than player notes).
2) Dead cards are important to track.
3) Important to balance betting on every street to the other players cards rather than entirely to your own.
4) For the 3 reasons stated above, you wont achieve a high sustainable ROI by multitabling razz.

I'll give you a little example for No.1 which is important,

A) A56....Other cards showing are 9,5,K,A,J,6,6
B) A56....Other cards showing are 9,J,K,2,T,7,7

Even though they are the same hand, 'A' is vastly superior to 'B'.

If you get into a habit of analysing hands like this (along with the stuff you have already mentioned) then you can move your game forward.

Well done on your wins so far.

Welly
 
mrsnake3695

mrsnake3695

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Excellent posts here. I've been playing some Razz with success and agree with what is being said here. There are sooo many donks playing razz that patience is rewarded. Pay attention to the up cards. It's better if there are cards showing that you already have then those you need to complete your hand. It's also better if you start with a 2 card low to have a small pair then a face card. For instance it's better to have ace, 2, 2 then king, ace, 2. Why, well it's pretty obvious, in the first senerio one of the cards your opponents may need is gone and there is less of a chance of you pairing your 2 since 2 of them are already gone. I don't think enough people pay attention to this, but it can make a difference at times. Of course this is even more important if the king in the second scenerio is show which makes this hand a fold most of the time.

Once again, good post, keep it up.
 
Shoestringx

Shoestringx

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Thanks for the advice guys. I've been trying to pay more attention to the upcards. I do find it hard sometimes to keep track of all the upcards online because the hands fly by pretty quickly. I started by just trying to remember them, but that didn't work to well, then I tried jotting them down on a pad of paper, but I was going through a lot of paper and it seemed wasteful. I found a "solution" .... I just jot all the cards I see into the chat window and erase them between hands, helps to keep track.

Also I was wondering about something, most online Razz games have 8 people per table (same with HORSE, Stud and Stud8). If by chance (very improbable I know) all 8 people went to the last card what exactly would happen? There aren't enough cards in the deck to deal 8 people 7 cards.

Anyone ever have this happen?
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

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Also I was wondering about something, most online Razz games have 8 people per table (same with HORSE, Stud and Stud8). If by chance (very improbable I know) all 8 people went to the last card what exactly would happen? There aren't enough cards in the deck to deal 8 people 7 cards.

Anyone ever have this happen?
There's a community card dealt face-up in the middle of the table instead.
 
bryan24

bryan24

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As you all can see I play alot of horse. This of course means I also play Razz quite a bit. I have played and won several Razz SNG's and find it to be a very profitable game if u can develop some good basic judgement and follow it. The above posts are quite good and should get u going in the right direction. One very important aspect of Razz even more so than Holdem is ante stealing (blind stealing). If you are not doing this you are making winning that much more difficult because the "other guy" is certainly doing it. In most cases (especially when you get down to 2, 3, or 4 left in a SNG) it doesn't matter what your hole cards are, but more importantly what your up card is vs. the opponents up card. Stealing antes in the long run can make the difference between a winning and a losing player. Best of luck everyone!!!
 
Shoestringx

Shoestringx

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Actually Bryan24 that is a point that I negelcted to mention. Once you get deeper into a game and the ante and betting structure are getting very high relative to your chip stack it is imperitive that you steal as many rounds of ante's and bring-ins that you can.
But this is only relly effective when there are only 3-5 people remaining at the table. If you are at a SnG for example you need to keep getting more and more aggresive as the number of people at your table dwindles, just to stay ahead of the ante's and bring-ins.
With an A,2 or 3 showing while the other 3-4 people at your table are all showing cards that are 10 or higher normally completing the bet is a good way to pick up the ante's and the bring in.
This can work to a smaller extent with a full table, but the odss of you being the only low card showing is slim, and the odds of you having the only decent starting 3 cards is also slim, so you need to be more careful doing it.
 
Elvis Henry

Elvis Henry

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A2K with K as the door card is a hand I will play early in a tourney when the antes and bets are low, and the table is fairly passive, giving free cards here and there. In ring games I only play it heads up and sometimes against two players if I'm feeling froggy and there isn't a raising war pre-4th street. I find that if I make a good 6- or 7-low hand by sixth with the K door card, I will get a ton of action and get paid off very well for my good fortune. If I'm in middle position with low cards yet to act behind me, I fold that hand without thinking.

There is spirited discussion on 2+2 about the odds of face card-2 baby cards winning in any given situation. Those guys have been playing Razz for many years and it is worth a look to dig out old threads and new ones on the subject. In the A2K example, early on in my nascent Razz playing career I dumped the hand no matter what, K as the door card or buried. I just found I got burned by the hand too many times. But in higher limit games it makes good sense to play with K buried as you can often run off better hands just by playing the boards against one another.

I played a $1 Razz MTT a few weeks ago on Stars and finished 2nd. It was a very tight game. I played in one the other night, and every table I was on was wild. My A24's and A23's repeatedly got murdered by hands like Q29. It happens. Sometimes it is impossible to dump those wonderful starting hands, but you have to learn to do it. It's just like learning to fold aces post flop or after the turn in HE. Very few players can do it.

E
 
mrsnake3695

mrsnake3695

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Elvis touched on the hardest thing about Razz. When you have a monster starting hand like A23 and somebody showing a Q and then getting a 9, keeps calling and ends up winning with 9 high when you keep pairing up. It happens, you just have to keep making people pay to chase you when you know you are lower than him and you have to be able to dump that pretty looking starting hand when you keep getting trucks.
 
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