Razz Poker Starting Hands

by trikkur

In order to become a winning Razz player, the first aspect you will need to master is proper starting hand selection. By knowing the value of your starting hand, you will be able to easily know if you should open the pot, fold, or raise during the first round of betting. This is important to build your potential winnings with big hands, while keeping the pot small with your marginal hands, and avoiding trouble with the bad hands.

One of the most common Razz Poker mistakes is playing hands that should have been folded. Just having an Ace to work with, or a couple of low cards without an Ace – simply isn’t enough to go on in Razz. It is not your lowest card that wins the hand, but the lowest high card in your hand.. A hand of A-2-3-4 may look awesome, but if the next lowest card is a 9 or 10, it is beaten by a hand like 4-5-6-7-8.

To help with you develop your Razz Poker strategy, we have supplied a card-grouping chart to define what are considered good cards, bad cards, and mediocre cards.

  • A-5 = Good Cards (a.k.a. Wheel Cards)
  • 6-9 = Mediocre Cards
  • 10-K = Bad Cards

When a hand of Razz Poker begins, each player is forced to place the Ante bet before being dealt 3 cards; the first two face down and the third face up. Next, the player with the highest face up card must place the forced bring-in bet. If you are not the highest card holder, you’ve made no investment aside from the minimal ante. This makes folding your hand a highly feasible option with minimal losses, should your starting hand not be favorable.

Play Razz Poker at PokerStars

Razz Starting Hand Strategy

Now, let’s discuss exactly what makes up a good starting hand and how it compares to the ones that should be folded. Normally, you’ll need at least two Wheel Cards (A – 5), including an Ace, to even consider the hand. Two or more cards of 6 or higher should almost always be folded. The chance of being dealt all low cards from this point is incredibly low, and not worth wasting your chips on.

In order to continue on in the hand with confidence, you should only play the some of the best hands. Below is a list of the top 10 Razz starting hands. Should you be dealt one of these hands, make the most of it right away. To let your opponents stay in the hand cheaply can result in them achieving a better hand from sheer luck. When you have it, bet it – when you don’t, fold it. Even though this is playing exploitable poker; it is more profitable than trying to balance your range and play unexploitable. For more information on this subject, see exploitable and unexploitable poker.

Top 10 Razz Starting Hands

  • A, 2, 3
  • A, 2, 4
  • A, 3, 4
  • 2, 3, 4
  • A, 2, 5
  • A, 3, 5
  • A, 4, 5
  • 2, 3, 5
  • 2, 4, 5
  • A, 2, 6

From this list, we can surmise that any combination of cards that has no card higher than 6, with no pairs of course, can be considered a strong Razz starting hand.

Play Razz at Carbon Poker

Play Razz Poker Online

The only poker room that I can recommend for Razz players is Carbon Poker on the Merge Network. It can be difficult to find Razz games running because of its lower popularity after PokerStars stopped accepting US players. Carbon Poker normally has about 15-20 players at the Razz tables throughout the day and 40-50 at peak hours, which is definitely low, but the best we have available. PokerTrikz has an exclusive rakeback and bonus offer with Carbon Poker that is much better than the default one and that you will find on other poker sites. If you sign up for Carbon Poker through PokerTrikz will earn you a 150% up to $750 deposit bonus and a 45% VIP Rakeback deal.