The Best Razz Strategy for the Bring In

Razz is a creative variation of online poker that can provide even the best players with quite a challenge. The game is played just like 7 Card Stud, but rather than playing for hi-lo, this version is low hand only. Razz strategy requires a different approach than most poker strategies, especially when you are faced with the bring-in.

Understanding the Bring-In

This variation follows the same progression as 7 Card Stud. Each player is dealt 3 cards: the two hole cards that remain face down until the end of the round and a third one that is visible to the entire table. The face up one determines who starts the betting round. In this case, the first position is referred to as the bring-in and belongs to the person with the highest showing. Obviously, this isn't the best position in a low hand game and requires a good strategy if you want to profit.

Should You Fold?

Even if your hidden ones are an Ace and a two, it can be tempting to fold at the 3rd street bet when you're stuck with a King showing. When it is this early in the round, you should at least make the minimum bet. The only time you should fold without making the bring-in is when both of them are valued high, as well. If you're already holding a pair of Kings and a Queen, the chances of getting the lowest hand are very, very slim.

When to Defend

In most cases, you'll want to stay in through at least the first round of bets, even when you're in the bring-in position. A good Razz strategy will look at several factors, including the number of people still in the game, as well as the visible options and playing style of the person making the raise. If you're holding two very low ones (Ace to 5) or if yours are lower than your opponent's, go ahead and call his or her raise.

The Best Hands

If you practice poker regularly, you're probably familiar with the best and most profitable hands. Just remember, the best options to hold in a high hand game are often the worst combinations in this variation. The best hand in this version, known as the nuts, consists of the 5 lowest: Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5, regardless of suit. Pairs and high values can be detrimental to you overall.

More Strategy Tips

The 3rd street bet is a big deal for the bring-in, but you can still receive 4 more options to help create your winning hand. Even after the 4th street bet, most hands could still turn into wins unless you're holding very high numbers including pairs at the end of the turn. Stay in as long as possible, but only call the raise when you appear to be a step ahead of your opponent.

Razz is a unique variation to traditional online poker games that can provide a great deal of fun and potential profit. A good Razz strategy will help you minimize your losses and maximize your wins.