7 Card Razz
7 Card Razz is the only variation of Razz poker. It is a lowball poker game in which the best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5, straights and flushes don’t count. 7 Card Razz games are available to play online and if you want to check out the best places to play razz then have a read of this play Razz online article. When the WSOP first started and Razz was a popular high stakes game in Las Vegas back in 1971 it was actually formally known as 7 Card Razz. Over time the name has changed from 7 Card Razz to just Razz.
Advanced Razz Strategy
Before you read our advanced Razz strategy article you should probably check out our Razz strategy page which gives some more basic 7 Card Razz advice. This article will cover reading your opponents hand, getting the pot heads up and attacking players who check.
7 Card Razz Hand Reading
Razz is a game of incomplete information, you can see four out of your opponents seven cards. Assigning ranges to your opponents hole cards is something that takes practice but isn’t that difficult once you get going. There are certain factors which you can take into account which will allow you to identify the strength of your opponents range. This is pretty advanced Razz strategy but with a bit of practice it should make you a much better player.
The first of these factors is the position at the table they have raised from. The earlier the position the stronger range you can credit them for.
The second of these factors is their exposed card, if they have raised with a low card from early position then you can more or less assume they are drawing to a strong hand like a 6 low or better. This is player dependant but you can alter your ranges based on what you know about your opponents at a later date.
The third factor in assigning your opponents hole card range is the strength of the hands they have raised into. If a player in early position raises with a 5 showing but all the players left to act have hands with a Ten or higher exposed then they don’t have to be as strong as a player who raises with a 5 showing into players with low cards exposed. Should an opponent raise a hand from early position with what appears to be a multitude of low cards exposed behind him you can bet your life he’s drawing to something very close to a wheel. Should someone re raise an opponent who has entered the pot for a raise in early position you can bet your life they are drawing to a wheel.
Obviously the above isn’t set in stone and the higher stakes games you play the more your opponents will be trying to use what they think you think against you. Players are much less tricky in low to mid stakes games, using less advanced Razz strategy, which makes the hand reading advice above more accurate. Use the tightness or looseness of your opponents to adjust their ranges. If you can work out what your opponents hole cards are with a degree of accuracy then playing and reading the rest of the hand becomes infinitely easier!
Advanced Razz Strategy – Aggression
Aggression when playing 7 card Razz is key to developing a successful winning style. Attacking opponents who are checking is just a no brainer especially if they are catching high cards but attacking opponents who check when they catch low cards can be just as profitable. Why would someone check after they have caught a low card? because it has paired up with one of their hole cards. A player with a seemingly strong holding who checks into you is either check raising of has caught a pair. If the player who checks his seemingly strong hand is multi tabling you can be more confident that he has paired up. Players who aren’t really paying attention to the game will often check in these spots not realizing what they are doing. Use this little gem of information and attack everyone with it!
Getting the pot heads up when playing 7 Card Razz is another great way to create profitable situations for yourself. First off the fewer players that are in the pot the more chance you have of actually making the winning hand by showdown. Secondly if you are heads up against someone and they start catching bad you can destroy them with your aggression no matter what your hole cards are. Forcing tight players into playing heads up with you by re raising them preflop is a great way to exploit the fact that they are playing too tight. Let them catch bad and put the pressure on.