Razz: Reading Players and Hands

Reading Players and Hands

It is important to try to get a read on your opponent and his hand. Here are tips to help you figure out if your opponent is strong, weak or somewhere in between.

  1. Players have tendencies when playing Razz poker. Watch how your opponents play their first three cards, as it will help to determine how to play against them:

    · Tight players: Always wait for three low cards, and raise when they are first in the pot. They miss many stealing opportunities.
    · Aggressive players: Raise too often on 3rd street, and like to steal too often.
    · Limpers: Like to get in cheap on 3rd street to see the next card.
    · Slow-players: Like to trap by limping in with their big starting hands.
    · Razz poker winners: They win more often. They know when to make a play, and who to make a play
    against. If they get past 5th street, they bet aggressively either because they have the best hand or they are bluffing.

    In addition, you should notice the following:
    · Which players defend their bring-in bet too often, and the relative strength of their exposed cards to the raiser on 3rd street
    · At showdown, notice the players hole cards and evaluate how they played their hand.

    Finally, don't forget that your good opponents are also evaluating your table image. Based on how you are playing, try to understand your own table image as it may effect how you play against different opponents.
  2. The first raiser in a hand does not necessarily have a good low hand, but the caller will almost always have a good starting hand.

    If a player raises with a 4 showing and a player calls with a 6 showing, the raiser may be on a steal but the caller most likely has three cards to an 8 or better.

  3. A player who calls the raiser on 3rd street tends to have a good but not great hand.

    If a player raises with a 7 showing and a player calls with an A showing, the caller probably has a good, but not a great hand. If he could beat the 7 low, he would have re-raised.

  4. In general, the higher the up card, the lower the hole cards.

    A player that comes in with an 8 showing will likely have small cards in the hole. So, if he catches an A or 2 on 4th street, there is a better chance he has paired up than if he hit a 7 on 4th street. And, if the player comes in with a 9 showing, you can be fairly certain he has the smaller low cards in the hole.

  5. If your opponent has raised on 3rd street with a low card showing that is higher than two or more players with lower exposed cards, he probably is perfect (A-2) or near perfect in the hole.

    If a player raises on 3rd street with (x-x) 8, and he has players behind him showing better low cards, like A, 3, A, it's highly like his hole cards are perfect or near perfect.

  6. If your opponent has raised in a steal position on 3rd street, his hole cards are probably weak.

    On 3rd street, after the bring-in bettor everyone folds to a player who has (x-x) 4. The next player shows (x-x) 3 and the following player is the bring-in bettor with a (x-x) Q.

    If this first player raises it doesn't mean his hand is strong, as he is in a stealing position.

  7. Knowing which cards have been exposed can help you to determine if your opponent has paired up or not paired up his hole cards on later streets.

    If you have a 3 in the hole, two 3's have been exposed, and your opponent hits a 3 on 5th street, you know for sure that his hand has improved.