Razz: Introduction

You will be a winner at poker…Razz poker.

Razz Poker is the easiest way to consistently be a winner because it's the only game left where you can get an edge.

Remember when poker tournaments appeared on TV, and the same players kept getting to the final tables. Those players (the Pros) had the edge because they already knew the strategies to winning No Limit poker, and were playing against others who didn't. Now, though, with hundreds of books, articles, videos and online sites devoted to No Limit poker, their edge is gone, and amateur players are winning big. The same advantage the Pros have for Limit poker and Omaha are also going away.

Razz poker is the one remaining game where the knowledge base remains small because most players have climbed on the bandwagon of the bigger and better known games. Yet, to win at Razz poker and in the "R" in HORSE poker, you need to know what the other players still don't.

Play Razz Poker to Win is going to give you that winning edge. It is the first book dedicated to the game of Razz poker. It builds on the accumulated knowledge about Razz poker from the top poker pros:

  • Championship Stud by Dr. Max Stern and Linda Johnson (chapter on Razz)

  • Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide-Tournament Edition (chapter on Razz)

  • Play Poker Like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth, J (chapter on Razz)

  • Sklansky on Poker, by David Sklansky (chapter on Razz)

  • Super/System (original book) by Doyle Brunson (a few pages on Razz)

  • Theory of Poker, by David Sklansky (Razz used to support some key theories)

And creates new strategies that are often based on simulations and probablilites using the ProPoker Tools Razz simulator (www.propokertools.com).

In Play Razz Poker to Win, you will find:

  • A new Starting Hand Point System that allows you to calculate the strength of your hand as it relates to the exposed cards on board, the betting action of your opponents and your position.

  • How to steal the antes by taking advantage of both passive and aggressive players.

  • A new strategy for 4th street play when you are dealt a mediocre or bad card, called the Two-Level Rule

  • Proof that the best drawing hand after five cards is not always the favorite over an already made 9 low!

  • A new strategy for 5th street play that determines if and how you should continue to play your hand; and it's not as simple as the best hand versus the best draw.

  • How the pot odds on 6th street is usually big enough to see the last card.

  • How being a calling station is not a bad concept when it comes to 7th street play.

Play Razz Poker to Win is a new look at a game that is going to be more important than ever as the champion at HORSE poker is seen as the best poker player in the world. Yet, you don't have to be a champion poker player to be a consistent winner at Razz poker. All you need is the winning strategies that you'll find in this book.

Acknowledgements: In writing this book, I want to thank Marc Johnson, who was able to convert playing card clip-art into fifty-three usable, black and white images. Importantly, I want to dedicate this book to the people who have contributed the most to my poker play. First, my Mom and Dad who encourage me to play poker and believe that poker is not a sin but an enjoyable game of skill. Second, Andrea Siegel who was my "poker manager" for years when I started playing poker, and who just wants a small piece of the
action. Finally, to the tournament directors in the San Francisco Bay Area card rooms that spend so much time and effort in providing a great environment for poker players.

Mitchell Cogert, 2008